Sunday Brew — July 5, 2020

Sunday Brew — July 5, 2020

with HG HELPS
Editor-at-large
helpsh@jamaicaobserver.com

Sunday, July 05, 2020

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Was Chuck all wrong?

Cabinet Minister and senior member of the Jamaican Parliament Delroy Chuck continues to feel the heat arising from his freedom of expression during a joint sitting of a parliamentary committee over a week ago.

Chuck's comments in respect of the #MeToo movement in the United States, and his support for the proposal that complaints related to sexual harassment ought to be reported, in, say, no longer than a year after they were alleged to have happened, have caused a major furore, some even calling for his head to be placed on the chopping block.

But, is there anything that Chuck said from that presentation that could be taken seriously?

The chuckle that was attached to Chuck's remarks was not the wisest gesture, as the move may have suggested that he was being insensitive, and trivialising a matter that is hugely serious in a country like this.

Chuck has apologised a record three times to those who were offended, meaning that he genuinely regrets his conduct. The Delroy Chuck that I know would not consciously make fun of a serious matter such as this.

And while there may be issues surrounding women, or men for that matter, reporting incidents of sexual harassment, the real issue is that we really need to change the culture of silence that exists among ourselves.

When an individual takes 10, 20, or 30 years to report something that happened to him or her, too many questions arise, and remembering what happened is not always easy. What needs to be done is for a clandestine national thrust, administered by the Church, to be established, whereby those who are victims could come forward right after an “act” has been committed, so that there is a freshness that goes with the matter.

Now, I know that some out there will argue that people are afraid, ashamed, etc to report these matters. But that's the point of establishing this national thrust — so that people would find it easier to step forward and put their experiences on the table.

Please, not Cameron as ICC chairman

If he could not get certain basic things done while he served as president of the West Indies Cricket Board, later renamed Cricket West Indies (CWI), what has got into the head of Mr Whycliffe Cameron that now gives him the zest to want to become chairman of the International Cricket Council (ICC)?

It emerged last week that Cameron will seek the support of Cricket West Indies, and one other full ICC member nation, to get a nomination for the post of chairman when the ICC votes later this month.

Now, why would someone who was voted out of office as president of CWI in such an acrimonious way want to get the support of those with whom he fought for control of cricket's main prize? Would those who are now in charge be so silly to nominate him to run the ICC? Burning bridges is never a good thing.

It's always good to have ambition, but what does Cameron think that he can take to the ICC that he couldn't push when he headed Cricket West Indies?

The ICC would be deemed a daytime joke if Cameron were to be elected as its chairman. I hope that good sense prevails.

Conde Riley should resign and leave Simmons alone

There remains some dinosaurs in West Indies cricket who will continue to spoil the good game as long as they remain in positions of authority.

One of them is Conde Riley, miraculously still the president of the Barbados Cricket Association. Riley's latest outbursts are related to the campaigning of former Cricket West Indies president, Whycliffe Cameron, who now wants to run for chairman of the International Cricket Council, and needs the support of Cricket West Indies to do so.

Riley has always supported Cameron, even if what the latter does to West Indies cricket has an ugly look. So from that, one can deduce that it's a situation of personal friendship being put before the good of West Indies cricket.

Now, Riley's latest verbal garbage is a salvo against West Indies team coach, Phil Simmons, who was given time off to attend the funeral of his father-in-law in England last week and had to be placed in quarantine.

It must be quite stupid of Riley to be calling for the sacking of Simmons, or as he puts it, “the immediate removal” of the Trinidadian, while describing Simmons' decision to attend the funeral as “inconsiderate and reckless”, a move which Riley felt would “endanger the lives” of the other members of the West Indies squad and officials. What rubbish! Isn't this man stupid? Riley should know that as long as the protocols are followed, which Simmons did, no problems will arise.

Riley just cannot get over the fact that his friend Cameron is no longer president of Cricket West Indies. And, of course, it was the Cameron administration, of which Riley was a part, that fired Simmons as head coach in 2015, with Simmons winning a wrongful dismissal case against Cameron's men, and the now board was forced to pay him over US$300,000 in settlement fees.

So is it Simmons who should go, or Riley?

It was sad to see Sir Everton Weekes, that great Barbadian and West Indies batsman, with whom I shared many conversations over the years, depart this life last week. If Sir Everton had heard the latest garbage by Riley, he would lower his head in shame.

Barbados has, without question, produced the greatest of all West Indies cricketers. The island's cricket administrators though, such as Riley, leave a lot to be desired, in terms of their thinking and general conduct.

How an injection can get you better

For those who are afraid of needles, be comforted. They have their use.

I proved it last Thursday following a bout of pain that forced me, the last man to visit the doctor, though I have so many friends who are doctors, to rush to one's private surgery.

The pain was excruciating, like something I had never felt before, and I dare any woman who has given birth to tell me that the pain I felt in my side was not more severe than the one she feels when her time comes to bring another life into this world.

Things were going great during the visit. My doctor is an awesome individual, who knows his stuff like magic. He is fabulous, and I will not tell you that it was because he attended Kingston College. Even during the 'interview' to determine what was wrong, the pain was still there, and I was wondering if it was the exercise sessions that I had been involved in over the previous two days, walking and jogging, that had laid me up so much that I thought that St Peter was stretching out his hand to greet me.

We had to move from one room to the next, so that, guess what? I could be given an injection. Wow! the room was cold already, yet I was perspiring profusely.

Suddenly, the pain was gone. The thought of getting injected had solved the nagging problem. But, alas, the pro still had to do his job. 'Don't worry, you won't even feel it,' came the reassuring words from doc. But saying something like that is easy. It's better when you get to see a needle going inside of you, but it's not a nice feeling when your back is turned to the holder of the item and you have to be there guessing, “Lord Jesus a when it ago jook me.” Believe me, firming up in anticipation of that shot does not make things any better.

It was not hot in the true sense, but it was only because of a word called 'shame' why I never bawled out like a baby.


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