Don’t test me; I am a punk

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He uttered those words with misplaced pride and candour. His teeth clenched, his voice quivering in a rising crescendo. He was clearly angry, and he spat out his words with considerable malice and venom. Talk about, “them thar fightin’ words!” Of course, we are referring to the unhinged diatribe unleashed by he of the highest place here in our fair State, this past weekend. Barked, the Top Dawg, “If is one man y’ll can’t take, and aryou might run aryou mout, me will run aryou dong and bang aryou arf lacka wan likkle bwoy. And me ah wan big man now, meh ‘tronger than y’all, hab more firepower than y’all, me cyarn run from aryou, and I am not promoting any violence, what I am saying is that I AM NOT AFRAID OF Y’ALL, so just stop the foolish rhetoric, stop sending me messages, threatening my life, threatening my family members. You need to just cool, and I am not saying this specifically to Sagyfu, I am talking generally. Those who believe that they can bring violence and so on, people like Hammer Pump and so on, who is telling people that he is going to hurt me, even a former minister of government was trying to get people to bun dong my place in Jolly Harbor, and those who set Xcape alight, we have a picture of that too, I want to tell aryou ‘tarl, because if you all come here and bring any violence, y’all goin get hurt! If is one man dat y’ll not goin to hurt and get away with it, is me. You see like how dey chop Comrade Ralph in his head, a want to tell you, the same stone that they throw at Ralph, if dey throw it at me, dey getting it back in dey face, so aryou nuh test me! And I am not promoting any violence here, but I want y’all to understand that I am very spontaneous when it comes to people who bring violence to me. I am going to defend myself always . . . . those of you who are sending me messages, and posting things on social media, I am asking y’all to cease and desist, because if y’all come close to me, and threaten me, you’re gonna get hurt . . .  I am warning y’all publicly . . .  don’t test me, I AM A PUNK!” Say what?

According to the dictionary, the word ‘punk’ is an unflattering term denoting “a young troublemaker.” Is he of a high place a self-described troublemaker? Good grief! Perhaps he misspoke. A poor choice of words! You know, the English language.

Anyway, the above rant was hardly the first time that he of a high place had had to resort to rather unfortunate and unbecoming language, threatening to deliver as good as he gets. If you recall, about two years ago, during the raucous standoff in his constituency, when many of his erstwhile supporters were outraged at the efforts to unceremoniously relocate them, he of a high place, surrounded by his bodyguard and a large police presence, looked the irate people in the eye and intrepidly (wink, wink) declared words to the effect, “Me nuh fraid aryou!” It was a profile in courage! (wink, wink)

Which brings us to the highlights of his bloviating: “I am not afraid of y’all!” and “If y’ll bring any violence, y’ll goin get hurt,” and “I have more firepower (whatever that means) than y’all,” and “I am a big man now, meh stronger than y’all,” “If they throw it at me, they getting it back in dey face!” Good grief! Help us, Lord! Whatever happened to the noble notions of eschewing violence, the tool of the ignorant? Whatever happened to taking the high road and elevating the discourse? Whatever happened to a peaceful resolution of differences? We’re talking about the “soft answers that turn away wrath, rather than the grievous words that stir up anger.” We’re talking about toning down the inflammatory and belligerent rhetoric. Alas, those noble and statesmanlike concepts are trampled underfoot by he of a high place, and his high office has been brought low.

As you can imagine, all men and women of goodwill, the decent citizens of this fair State, were mortified by the low-down, gutter language being employed by he of a high place. And shockingly enough, he of a high place seemed oblivious to the fact that his language was offensive and unhelpful to the promotion of a ‘kinder and gentler’ political mileau. So he prattled on, childlike, much like a boy flexing his prepubescent muscles and raging at anyone who cared to listen, that he is a man. A big man! Talk about raging testosterone and an appeal to his machismo!  Anyway, in order to buttress his claim that he is not a punk, and that he is an honest-to-goodness “Bad John,” he of a high place waxed nostalgic about that time in High School when he delivered an uppercut to  a youngster whom he thought may have cuffed him. Hmmmm! Such rage! He admitted that he was not even sure who had cuffed him, he just lashed out at the nearest person. Hmmmm! He said it with undisguised satisfaction and glee, much to the titillation and amusement of those with whom he was conversing. Sigh! That first-form High School episode is Exhibit A, proof positive,  that he of a high place is a bad, bad, hombre, and that he ought not to be trifled with!

Of course, just in case the ‘threateners’ and the ‘harassers’ are not entirely convinced of his ‘bad-assness,’ he of a high place continued his  distasteful megalomania. He launched into an unseemly broadside of Ras Sagyfu,  a well-respected elder in the Rastafarian faith, citing how gracious and wonderful and kind he had been to the Rastafari. He said, untruthfully, we might add,  that the gains made by the Rastafari could not have been made under a United Progressive Party administration, and he callously said to Ras Sagyfu, that if he (Sagyfu) wants to be his friend that’s okay, but if not, that’s also okay. He then  cryptically cautioned the good elder by saying that he needs to stop his anti-Gaston talk, and to hold his lane. He then declared that “If you want to fight us, we will fight you back! We are not afraid to fight!”Vigilantism anyone? Taking the law into one’s own hands?  The commander in chief making like an outlaw from the wild, wild, West, where if you hit me, I will personally mete out retribution and justice, hunting you down and hitting you back?Good grief! No more ‘blessed love,’ simply because members of the Faith disagree with the tactics ofthose in high places re the vaccine.

Clearly, the political discourse has sunk to a new and dangerous low, and the drivel by he of a high place will do nothing to lower the tenor and temper of the these dangerous times. When he of a high place will stoop down to wallowing in the gutter with threats and counter threats and macho talk, it is most unhelpful. We here at NEWSCO are calling fora more genteel political dialogue.Let us look to our better selves, calling on that ‘milk of human kindness.’ After all, we are brothers and sisters, we love Antigua and Barbuda dearly, and we are all looking for a betterment. Let us immediately end the vile, and threatening language and tactics. We are better than that!

In the closing lines of George Orwell’s ANIMAL FARM, Clover peeps into the farmhouse where the animals and man, whom they had overthrown, were playing cards and carousing together. Snowball’s heart is broken at the import of what he sees. A fight had broken out between the animals and man, and he could not tell the difference between greedy, grasping self-centred man, and the (supposedly higher) animals. Sigh! Seems, there is no difference between this punk and that punk! Same ugly show! Help us, Lord!

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