Best News & Current Affairs Blog (2011 & 2012) and Jamaican Blogger of the Year (2011) at The Jamaica Blog Awards.

Posts tagged “Human Rights

NCU Has Rights Too !

ImageChristianity is not dynamic, it remains static. As society’s understanding of rights and freedoms evolve, Christianity must necessarily remain steadfast. Anything else would disturb the supposed infallibility of the religion’s tenets. It is against this backdrop that I approach the controversy currently surrounding the Northern Caribbean University (NCU) in Central Jamaica. The University stands accused of suspending a female student for “depicting homosexuality in a (cheerleading) routine”. This depiction amounted to dressing like a man and proposing to another female student, all in the name of fun. The decision of the University has come under fire from human rights advocates who charge that the suspension is in violation of the student’s most basic rights as a citizen, with many condemning the draconian and theocratic approach of the tertiary institution. While I agree that the action is draconian and startling, I am persuaded to stand with NCU in this matter. It is my considered opinion that the University has the right to determine, as a matter of conscience, what behaviours and attitudes it deems acceptable under the existing “ethos” of the campus.



The Golden Age Home : An Insult To Human Dignity‏!

There has long been a culture in Jamaica that lacks accountability. Our leaders know our people lack the will to hold out long enough, we lack the will to band together and demand that justice be done when atrocities are committed against our people. From the extradition saga to the incursion into West Kingston that killed some 70+ people, we allow our public officials to get away with far too much.

On April 3rd, The Sunday Gleaner published an expose which painted such a terrible picture of the state of affairs at The Golden Age Home in Kingston; that any reasonable understanding of decency and respect for the elderly and disabled among us, must demand that justice be done. There must come a collective and sustained call for the resignations of every single individual who had an obligation to protect and care for those being housed at the facility.

My heart ached as I read the accounts of undercover reporters who allegedly saw patients subjected to mass bathing rituals before 6AM. Bathing rituals which saw men and women being hosed down together and forced to walk along corridors nude. The reports further claimed patients, disabled patients, were tied to their beds on the floor and left to wallow in dirt. One cannot help but wonder what would happen if, God forbid, there is a fire at the institution. Oh my God!

Doing some research, I came across information which stated that in May 1980, there was a massive fire at The Eventide Home (the Golden Age Home was built to replace this one). Some 144 women died in that fire. How then can these workers at the Golden Age Home be bounding patients, disabled patients, to their beds? What kind of society is this? What kind of people have we employed to care for the elderly and less fortunate? It is disgraceful and a display of extreme cruelty.

The most painful part of the story for me was the allegations of verbal abuse being meted out to the elderly patients. It was reported that one worker said to a patient “Gyal, gwaan guh bade!” Seriously?! Gyal? How can you speak to a disabled senior citizen that way?! Don’t these people who work there have parents? Grandparents?? What the hell man!? What kinda of monsters are these? Crippled patients being forced to crawl on the floors to bathe themselves? What is this? It hurts me even more to know that any one of those patients could be related to me. Why do we just cast aside our elderly? Why do we treat them as inconveniences? Some of these people worked tirelessly to build the society we now enjoy and may have simply fallen on hard times. We cannot treat people this way! We have to respect people’s human dignity! It hurts man!

Finally, I hope that all human rights and civic organisations in Jamaica will not let this story die. Jamaicans for Justice in particular must condemn this hell house the Government calls a place of care and comfort. The issue must be thoroughly debated by the parliament and the Administrator of the facility must be made to resign immediately! It is a crying shame! It makes no sense having manicured lawns and peaceful serene grounds, if they are only there to hide a home that is nothing more than an insult to human dignity.