This morning I awoke to an article which referenced a statement by the Minister of Health and Wellness Christopher Tufton talking about George Wright, the independent Westmoreland Central member of parliament (MP) being forgiven for allegedly battering a woman.
Mr Tufton stated: “George had an alleged unfortunate incident, which, based on the allegations, we must never condone and we must discourage, but I put it to you today, if George Wright has made peace with his God and those he has transgressed against, who are we to judge George Wright?”
Lest we forget, the other members of the Jamaica Labour Party who have suddenly started ‘George Wright is wonderful tour’, for the obvious reason that local government election campaigning has begun and, well, a seat is a seat.
ACTIONS REDUCED TO A ‘TRANSGRESSION‘
That said, Tufton’s comment angered me the most. He surmises that when you are a political figure and commit a ‘transgression’, which is what George Wright’s actions seem to be reduced to, all you have to do is say sorry to God and to whom you hurt and we should all go back to regular scheduled programming. This premise is asinine.
When you are a politician/elected official, your private life ceases to be private. If you can’t understand that – get out of politics. It is called a ‘blood sport’ for that reason. What you do in your private life is as important as how you act in your public life.
Let me be clear, if you commit a horrible/criminal act, I do not believe that you should be in a penalty box for the rest of your life. However, how you atone for that act is crucial. If you are a public figure, public atonement is necessary.
Floyd Green flouted the Disaster Risk Management Act and wrote a public apology. I was one of the people outraged by his conduct but respected him for the fact that he publicly admitted that he was wrong and (whether by choice or not) stepped down. Green became an example for all politicians, and citizens by extension, that if you flout the law, you pay a price, and should publicly atone. Green has returned to the fold and continues to work hard for his country.
It is amazing to me that the JLP seems to be putting forth the argument that George Wright’s actions seem to be less egregious that Floyd Green’s. Apologise to God and the person and all is forgiven.
Green had to publicly apologise but Wright seems to be allowed to skip this step, despite a tape showing him committing an ‘unfortunate incident’ as called by Chris Tufton.
What was shown in the video is not an unfortunate incident. It is a crime of violence. Please Mr Tufton, do not insult the female populace by telling us, and the men that abuse women, that an ‘unfortunate incident’ is all such actions are-merely a trifle.
POLITICIANS KNOWN FOR NOT ADMITTING WRONGDOING
Further, to my knowledge, George Wright has never admitted to abusing that woman in the video, nor has he publicly atoned for committing what is a heinous act. He has not shown contrition for denigrating the seat of which he holds, and for acting in such a way that has mothers and fathers of this nation having to explain to their children that boys should never behave in such a way and girls should never stand for such behaviour.
Politicians are known for never admitting when they have committed wrong, but they might learn that apologising earns respect rather than diminishes it.
So, Mr Tufton, who are we to judge? We are the citizens, and in particular the women of this country who feel that our politicians should be held to a higher standard and who believe that those who do not ask for our forgiveness, should not be afforded the same. We are the voters.
– Victoria Forbes is a concerned citizen