By Gerald V. Paul
As a boy, I bore witness to my beloved mother Rose experiencing domestic violence in my Mother Guyana.
“Help! Help me,” my suffering mother cried. “Help son … Help!”
I stood helpless. Stunned. Transfixed in time. And did not go to my mother’s rescue.
Helpless to help. Lord, have mercy.
So, while serving as associate editor of the Caribbean Camera on behalf of my former managing editor I covered the Underground Railroad. I made the trip and dedicated it in the name of my mother who was taking her last breath and in the name of all domestic abused women.
I picked up a special wooden cross that I still carry today in her honour and all the beloved women as well. I also made the journey in the name of freedom and democracy for my beloved Mother Guyana, after she was used and abused during 28 years of rigged elections and dictatorship.
Fast forward. The AFC’s (PNC / APNU “strange bedfellows”) Moses Nagamootoo – soon to visit Toronto – recently said: “Well this lady, (PPP/C prime ministerial candidate Elisabeth Harper) says she wants to be prime minister because she was a victim of domestic violence.”
Methinks the lady is not a tramp. Right, all those who have suffered and are suffering domestic violence?
Fact: This powerful woman with over 40 years of foreign affairs experience said, “ Domestic violence is real in our society and me being able to tell my story, from, what I’ve become, how I did it, I feel that I could encourage women, I could also encourage interest groups in society to help get rid of this.”
Harper said she will seek to promote a reduction in the cases of domestic violence while underscoring the importance of eradicating such a social ill.
She will review all the laws surrounding women to identify gaps and loopholes and address them to make certain women’s rights are strongly represented while strengthening the justice system so that victims can be represented by the law, given there is a low conviction rate.
As a columnist, Eyes will pose the tough questions to Nagamootoo when he’s here and his “I am not Burnham” such as:
Were there rigged elections and dictatorship in Guyana?
Are you for or against domestic violence?
Does domestic violence lead to the destruction of society?
“Did you ever beat your wife? Say wah, Eyes?
Answers? Blowing in the winds of trust and integrity.
“The fact that Nagamootoo’s first inclination is to be critical is very compelling evidence of a politician who has no moral compass,” said Dr. Leslie Ramsanny, former president of the World Health Assembly.
“He might hate the PPP/C; it is his prerogative, justified or not. But as one who seeks such a high post and to be a leader in Guyana, he should have the decency to see that one of our sisters has attained such a high place in our society.
“He may not like the PPP/C presidential candidate, but he should have the decency to acknowledge that she has achieved a distinction that few women in history around the world have attained.”
Methinks my precious and priceless mother Rose worshipping in Heaven would say: “Right on, son! Stand and represent me and all those who suffered and are suffering domestic violence,”
Thanks Mother Rose and Mother Guyana. Your son has since grown into an ordained minister and columnist, with a righteous indignation, ready to afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted, eyes-fixed on the right thing to do … nah suh?