The views expressed herein are those of the writer and do not represent the opinions or editorial position of I-Witness News. Opinion pieces can be submitted to [email protected].
After the horrific Holocaust of the mid 20th century, poet Martin Niemoller wrote, “First they came for the Socialists and I did not speak out – Because I was not a Socialist.
“Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
“Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.
“Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.”
This week, the NDP came for me because I dared speak out in an opinion piece on the I-Witness News website. Instead of addressing the substance of my argument, the author attacked me personally. The NDP mouthpiece called into question my Christian faith and questioned my intelligence, all because I wrote an opinion piece supporting the Unity Labour Party.
What’s ironic about their personal attack against me is that they actually helped to make the point that I was arguing. The point of my article was that the NDP had no ideas and no solutions and has run the dirtiest and most negative campaign in the history of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. They have run a campaign rooted in personal insults, racist statements and vilification of innocent people — including Ms Rishatha Nicholls, Isis Gonsalves, and now, myself – Rodan John a young Vincentian man from Biabou who just so happens to want to speak his mind.
What I don’t understand is why the NDP isn’t talking about the issues that matter? The young people of this country want to hear about their plans and ideas for the nation. Why not use an opinion piece to talk about what you’re going to do in education, or healthcare, or public safety or economic advancement? Why not use an opinion piece to tell us what you’re going to do with the international airport? Why not use it to tell us why the NDP’s time in government was successful?
Instead of talking about the issues and the future of this country, the NDP, through their mouthpiece, stalked me on Twitter and used precious digital ink to call me “sick”, “brainwashed” and a “simpleton.” They attacked my Christianity, claiming, without a shred of evidence that I “worship” Ralph Gonsalves. That’s offensive and insulting.
But, you know, in a way, I’m actually thankful that the NDP attacked me so personally and went on to, once again, attack Isis Gonslaves personally and also defend racist statements that would be considered hate speech in other countries around the world. Why? Because the NDP proved my point. They are not about ideas. They are not about solutions. They are not about a track record of transformation. They are so obsessed with winning power at all costs that they will attack, vilify and lie about a young man from Biabou who speaks out.
The NDP is trying to silence me with these personal attacks. And, many people have asked if I am afraid of their victimization. Well, what I can say is, if they attack people who disagree with them so openly in the media, imagine what they will do if they take government! I shudder to think about the kind of victimization that will take place — the number of good people who will lose their jobs — if the NDP seizes power.
If you’re a young Vincentian who supports the ULP but is thinking about not voting on election day, I have a warning for you: this is how they are going to treat us if they get into power. They’re going to lie about us. They’re going to attack our faith. They’re going to attack us personally. And, if we don’t vote, they’re going to be in government and they will be able to come after our jobs and our families.
We must prevent this kind of victimisation. We must cast our X next to the STAR on December 9th.
The views expressed herein are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the opinions or editorial position of iWitness News. Opinion pieces can be submitted to [email protected].