Giving the Red Devil His Due

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Certainly, we can all agree that the Red Devil is blessed with the gift of gab.  The simple truth is that his uncanny ability to twist and spin complete fiction into pseudo facts, to his advantage, has been a cornerstone in his political career.  It has always been about “the optics” with this one.  It has rarely ever been about the greater good, the truth and certainly never been about “Normal Belizeans.”

At the last sitting of the House of Representatives we were treated to yet another “pappy” show as the Red Devil again made a spectacle of himself and a mockery of the importance of government business.  It is already shameful that the only response to the recent tragic events involving two mental health patients was that the Ministry of Health (MOH), UNICEF and other advocates for mental health awareness haphazardly met on June 11th in order to sloppily plan a survey to be carried out in… 2020.  This survey will then be used, at a further date, to help Belizeans understand and address mental health illness.  To add insult to injury, a plethora of medical terms and diagnoses were tossed around.

Dr. Campos is the only medical practitioner at the House of Representatives (HOR) and, while he is no longer at the MOH, would have been the only one even remotely qualified to give his professional opinion.  The predicament lies not in the use of the words but in the context in which they were hurled across the floor at Hon. Julius Espat.  The words “bi-polar, schizophrenic” and “sick puppy” were spoken to inflict offence and abuse.  They were spoken as slurs, to disparage, malign and defame.  It was in this same spirit that the word “peasant” was used to describe Hon Julius Espat.  A peasant can by definition describe a subsistence farmer who rents or owns a small piece of land for the purpose of cultivation.  However, that was not the connotation intended, rather the Red Devil cast it as an aspersion, a barb to humiliate and put-down someone whom he considers beneath him socially, intellectually and financially.

The intention with which those words were used do nothing to advance mental health awareness in our country.  The fact that they were used in an utterly derogatory and demeaning context by the Prime Minister of this country sets us back and is telling of the stigma still associated with mental health disorders in this country.  Instead of moving Belizeans forward by establishing treatment centers for some of our most vulnerable, the PM chooses instead to shame and victimize Belizeans who are ill and reinforces the idea that it is acceptable.

The bitter truth is that the PM and his family belong to an elite class.  It is difficult for them to imagine what it must be like for the working-class Belizean who cannot afford Rolex Watches, Armani Suits, Hermes Birkin and Louis Vuitton bags and is in fact struggling to make ends meet.  They can never imagine the living conditions of tens of thousands of Belizeans who live in extreme poverty.  Those Belizean brothers and sisters who cannot even feed their families or have basic services like potable water and electricity.  You will find no empathy there for the sick and suffering in this country.  You will receive only utter disdain, scorn, contempt and insults.

We are in the season of Village Council Elections and so we invite all us “Peasants” to please give the Red Devil his due…Vote Blue!

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