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The humblest calf drinks the most milk, Dr Haughton

Tuesday, October 08, 2019

The community of Cornwall College, 'the school beside the hill', and trying inner-city Mount Salem, St James, must be in anguished and wailful mourning for their young but prominent son, Dr Andre Haughton.
There is little doubt that the Opposition People's National Party (PNP) thought it had made a big 'catch' when it made Dr Haughton the party's candidate for St James West Central and significantly, gave him one of only eight highly desired seats in the Senate.
Everyone describes Dr Haughton as “very bright”. We in this space regard brightness as not just the ability to regurgitate and reproduce knowledge but as a highly functional ability that sets men apart in their wisdom and intellect.
We are carrying on because of our deep disappointment in Dr Haughton's reluctance to apologise for his very indelicate, insensitive, offensive, sexist and loose comments about his love for the female breast in what was supposed to be a serious Senate discussion on the cruel disease of breast cancer.
“…As a child growing up, I always love breast. My mother always say I am a breast man. Even when I was one year and two months I was still drinking breast milk… so I am a breast man. If you ask which part of the female you prefer, the breast. Otherwise I prefer the breast…” he trumpeted in the Parliament's upper chamber.
We believe that he meant well and was trying to sound cool as he promoted Breast Cancer Awareness Month which, by itself, is commendable. But he ended up offending a lot of people, especially the multitude of women who have had their lives upended by breast cancer.
His dancehall approach to communication doesn't always cut it. Colleague Senator Damion Crawford, who has been down that road and suffered the consequence, should help him to understand the error of that approach.
But alas! Dr Haughton does not wish to be corrected. He has, as the Americans say, doubled down on his statement in the style of the super macho American cowboy of western movies, John Wayne, who once said: “Don't apologise, Mister. It's a sign of weakness.”
One woman summed it appropriately in a Twitter post: “Some women going through breast cancer treatment or who have survived it face serious mental health challenges, partly due to loss in sexual confidence due to breast(s) loss and scar tissue left behind….
“You professing that you are a 'breast man' in such circumstances reinforces notions that a woman's sexual desirability is primarily tied to their breast(s). So please have some awareness on how your statement add to and/or trigger survivors as it relates to this issue,” she added.
Again, Dr Haughton is held as one of our brightest and so we invest great hope and expectations in him. Naturally, it spooks us to realise that he lacks the sophistication to be a vessel for such hope.
However, it is not unusual to find such bright but utterly dysfunctional people in our communities. His party should work hard to prevent him from self-destructing. But make no bones about it, his flawed judgement has seriously injured his young political career.
A full-throated and sincere apology is what is required of Dr Haughton now, in the hope that he has not already put himself beyond the reach of well-meaning supporters.