By Mark Williams
I am a proud Vincentian and founder of Pink Thursday an anti-bullying initiative. I will like to take this opportunity to share my opinion and thoughts on a recent issue back home.
Defaming someone is wrong and can have serious legal and financial consequences if a lawsuit is brought. As a society, we must never endorse or normalized defamation, even if it is in an artform.
I am not a lawyer. However, after listening to one explaining how the law works as regards defamation, this calypsonian could have some legal consequences if challenged in a court of law.
The Merriam Webster Dictionary defines defamation as “the act of communicating false statements about a person that injure the reputation of that person”. Slander is defined as “the utterance of false charges or misrepresentations which defame and damage another’s reputation”. So, while defamation is the general act, slander is specifically spoken defamation. Libel is defamation that is written.
By now every Vincentian may be aware of the recent and highly controversial song sang by a particular calypsonian, that caused intense debates and political discussions.
This calypsonian may have defamed another citizen by calling them a rapist in his song and has not provided any facts to the public regarding this allegation. It is a serious allegation that should not be directed at another without proof. While we do have freedom of speech, there is a difference between opinions and lies. Individuals should not push narratives based on falsehoods that support their own agenda. If you have a point to make, do so but tell it with integrity.
I am calling on the leadership of the NDP and ULP to denounce defamation and slander. By doing so it will set a good example and send a clear message to everyone that defamation is unacceptable.
The point I really want to get across is, please do not defame another person irrespective of their status in society. We all have a moral responsibility to do what is right. It is all fun and games until someone gets hurt or killed. None of which I want to see happen.
Please remember that our kids are watching, kids are a product of their environment. Let us teach them to do what is right by being the change we want to see.
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].