Schifrah is an avid reader of our blog based on the comments made on several of our posts, here is another in response to a letter in today’s Gleaner “Too many cowards in Jamaica” and is posted below named “Get it right”
Schifrah whoever and wherever you are, you are on the ball, thanks for your participation as activism and vigilance like this we need more. Peace
The Response from Schifrah
Let me respond to this letter point by point.
1. What could be more cowardly than Mr. Smith using his “parliamentary privilege” to protect himself from libel (as pointed out by LLoyd B. Smith ) JCF of being over-run by homosexuals. Needless to say he has no evidence to back his claim but a spurious sensationalized “news” story . Mr Smith is no better than the white southern racist who had the weight of the Jim Crow laws behind him in the Southern US so he could stand in the street and shout ” Nigger” at every passing person of colour. Those Jim Crow laws were not justifiable and neither are the sodomy laws.
2. Buggery is against the law …I believe that the correct term is sodomy. This does not in essence address homosexuality which is NOT against the law.In fact the dear writer might be interested to know that for many heterosexual couples, anal sex is a normal part of sex play, as is oral sex. Are we going to lock up (lets conservatively say) even 20% of our straight and gay population for consensual sodomy…or are we going to honestly address issues of sex and sexuality in the hope of saving another generation from the HIV/AIDS pandemic. Given that in this region that heterosexual transmission accounts for over 80% of the new HIV cases I think that the dialogue is urgently needed.
3. I am a Jamaican contrary to the implication otherwise, and I live here. The “crude and nasty e-mail” forwarded to you was only “crude and nasty” in that it quoted the lyrics of Jamaican dancehall songs, in the hope that you would take the piece of lumber out your own eye before picking on a speck. Furthermore the lyrics quoted in the specific piece were misogynistic hardly homophobic.
4. What I do in my bedroom is none of your business. I don’t ask what you do in yours? Frankly I’m not interested. Our sexual orientation (yours or mine) should not be anyones business. I do know that my partner is adult and we are involved in a loving relationship. We do not harm children and we are responsible tax paying citizens who are entitled to the same rights and privileges as any other human being.
5. How is espousing tolerance, acceptance and human rights lowering ones standards? The thin veneer of moral superiority that Ms. Foote and Mr E. Smith have adopted, is simply that of individuals who need to find scapegoats to blame for the ills in the society over which they have no control. We see this being done in Rwanda, where the Hutu Government blamed the Tutsi minority for the evils in the society. This led to the massacre of over 800,000 Tutsis. The Nazis did the same in Germany…over 6 million Jews, gypsies, and homosexuals were murdered.
Instead of finding scapegoats we should be addressing the real problems in Jamaica: crime; the lack of self esteem among our young men who afraid of being called “gay” don’t do well at school, and continue to underachieve all because they must fit in to rigid gender roles; the present economic crises, the continued abuse of our children…those are the real problems.
What consenting adults John and Jim or Jane and Jill do in their bedroom at night(or day) is not a socio political or moral issue.