Columns

Who's your horse in the race?

Barbara
Gloudon

Friday, June 14, 2019

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And there came a time in the political stable when a younger horse looked out at the field and surveyed the horses around him. Not long before that time there was a big race, and what seemed to be a sure win turned out to be a loss. Some horses in the field wondered if they would ever gallop to the finish line again. Could they lead by a length or a nose, or would they trot across the line behind a rival equine?

Younger Buck felt that it was up to him. It was his time. He had it in the legs. His hooves were fresher and he had what it takes to be a prize winner. It was time to nudge Older Steed off the track. The other horses soon began to take sides, lining up behind Younger Buck or Older Steed. Supporters of Older Steed pawed the ground, ready to tek on Younger Buck.

“Young Buck nuh know di course,” one said.

“Him not so young to dat,” said another.

The argument gained momentum. A pretty filly countered with: “Older Steed not getting the ponies interested in our stable.”

Yet another said, “Nay! Nay! Now is not the time to have an internal race.”

Goat and Cow stood on the sidelines watching the growing argument with interest.

“What you think going happen with this race?”

Goat always wanted to know what was what. Cow flicked her tail and muttered... “Not my concern. All horse is horse to me. All dem horses do is eat off the grass and don't leave any for me.”

Goat wasn't going to let the excitement pass just so. If Cow wasn't concerned, he'd find someone else to discuss the race.wasn't concerned, he'd find someone else to discuss the race.

Goat surveyed the farm and found his target. “Mother Mare, what you have to say?”

Mother Mare, who was enjoying the sweet grass in an adjacent pasture, looked across and shook her mane: “Tell them nuh, call me name in any race… I not choosing sides. Let them test their speed and endurance, but remember, another race will be coming up and that one has larger stakes.”

You know what, enough horse talk. Whatever happens, we will have to wait and see who comes out ahead when the race is run in September.

 

Political correctness

Moving on to another political argument; speaking now of political correctness and understanding how we deal with each other. The growing issue of alleged sexual harassment at the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts has been in the news for a few weeks now. There is the larger, more troubling accusation that female students were threatened with low grades or other penalties if they did not give in to the advances of a tutor who must have lick him head. Opinions on the right or wrong of that kind of behaviour are clear. If it happened, then that is a clear violation.

Opinions get cloudy on the other issue of inappropriate jokes and comments, which have also been brought out as a problem with the tutor in question.

I overheard a discussion in which one man grumbled, “I can't take this political correctness argument. You cyaan mek a joke or even compliment a woman now, she going say is harassment.”

His younger male “parrie” in the argument saw things differently: “Not every joke funny,” he countered. “You would want somebody to run joke like that with your daughter?”

The older man's answer was, “No, but…”

The “but” is where the preckeh starts. Very often we find an excuse for wrongdoing or not standing up for what is right because we fail to see things from the other person's perspective. That is the reasoning behind political correctness. It is the shrugging off of seemingly smaller issues that embolden perpetrators and make things harder for those on the receiving end. Some say, “Cho, it not that bad, just ignore it.” For others, it is not just a little thing. Little things can become big things.

A lack of empathy for persons who have had to deal with harassment and abuse is how we end up with the bizarre circumstance like that of the three rape victims who were carted from one hospital to another with delays and excuses as to why a rape kit couldn't be performed. Was there no other way to help these women in a more timely manner? No phone call, no WhatsApp message or smoke signal to another facility, another police division to find additional rape kits? Aii sah. What a place we live in.

 

Sunday is Father's Day

We salute the men who are doing right by looking after their families and playing their part in their children's lives. For those who are not pulling their weight, let's encourage them. Help them to see that they can make a difference. Working together is the only way we will make our families and communities, and this whole nation better. Happy Father's Day!

 

Barbara Gloudon is a journalist, playwright and commentator. Send comments to the Observer or gloudonb@gmail.com.


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