COMMENTARY: It’s time for Jamaican politicians to stop spreading the toxic disease of homophobia by labeling political opponents “bent” or “fish”. (“Fish” is a derogatory Jamaican term for “gay”.)
By Maurice Tomlinson
The latest ejaculations by ostensibly “straight” Jamaican politicians have once again stained the fabric of our national discourse. For, in their rush to have intercourse with John and Jane Public during a recent election campaign Messers Dayton Campbell and Mark Golding of the ruling People’s National Party (PNP) have continued to spread the toxic disease of homophobia. The fact that one of these disease vectors, Campbell, is a medical doctor is distressing. Golding’s remarks were also disappointing considering his previous role as the country’s Minister of Justice.
By questioning the sexuality of the ruling Jamaica Labour Party’s (JLP) member of parliament Alando Terrelonge and resorting to puerile suggestions that this made him unsuitable for office, both Golding and Campbell have shown their bigoted colours.
What is ironic is the well-known prevalence of the “bent” strain in the PNP, which recently raised a “fishy” stink in Parliament and includes accusations of similar pescatarian pursuits by the longest serving PNP PM, PJ Patterson. The fish does indeed rot from the head.
But, before we jump too quickly to the defence of the JLP, let us not forget that fishing party’s desperate attempts to poo-poo Christ’s favorite activity, being fishers of men. Leaders of the JLP have also resorted to fish-baiting in order to feed the rabid hunger of their base.
A JLP PM (coincidentally another Golding) famously declared “not in my cabinet” when asked if gays could hold political office in Jamaica. And the JLP’s mayor and former mayor of Montego Bay recently worked together to ban Montego Bay Pride from the taxpayer-funded Cultural Centre.
The childish behavior of our politicians belies their age and many of these fossilized dinosaurs are no better than overgrown schoolyard bullies seeking attention. They should be put in a corner to play with their (fishing) poles and little else.
To both political parties I therefore say, mind the fish in your own pond and stop throwing stones in others. In fact, you BOTH inhabit very fragile glass houses so any stone-throwing would be self-defeating. In the famous words of another previous PNP PM, herself accused of “bent” behaviour: “Don’t draw mi tongue!”
I am pleased to see that the PNP has apologized for the rash homophobic statements. Hopefully this will mark a turning point in Jamaican politics and homophobia will cease to be a political tool.
Jamaica is so over these pointless fishing expeditions. Let’s focus on issues, not fishes, shall we?
- Jamaica: Live and let (Pepsi drinkers and gay marriage advocates) live (
- Jamaica commentary: Anti-gay letter is ‘incredibly dangerous’
- Survivor of Jamaican hostility, I work to legalize our loves (