Monday, February 20, 2012

What is Human Dignity Worth in Belize?

While the nation discusses the national election and continues to discuss section 53 in the most vile of terms without regard for facts or critical rights thinking, I have one simply question for you: What is Human Dignity Worth? I am attaching these three pictures to tell a story. Here is as follows:

I got on the bus to go to Chetumal on Saturday 18th, 2012 in the morning, when immediately, a male passenger yes" No cover yo face with you hair, Ah no da you!" I decided to stand infront of the bus because the bus was full, but when he said that it was to avoid conflict as well. I also watched as my Board secretary changed to another bus to also avoid the conflict. Minutes later, the bus was moving towards the gate and there was traffic, again the male passenger proceeded to tell the bus driver to throw me off the bus because he would be unable to

pass once I was on the bus. I continued to ignore the situation by placing my head phones in my ears to listen to music. Realizing that I wasn't in a secure place, I placed my headphones into my bag. We weren't even pass Vernon street when his girl friend started to quote biblical passages. I simply got tired, pulled out my cell phone camera and decided to take his picture. Realizing that I was taking his picture, he got up and said, " get wa good picture ah me and make sure yo report it to channel 7." So I took his picture, bottle in one hand.

What amazes me at the time was that bus conductor quitely said" bouy yo the drink pan mi bus?" What I am asking is what is the Ministry of Transport policy on public disorder on the bus regarding clear acts of harassment and drunkenness that would put not just one passenger, but all passenger at harms way.

I can understand that the fearmonger that was sold to the public by Belize Action Team has caught fire and as a society we have disagreements, but what happened to my human dignity in the process. Should I buy a car because I fear being harm, even though I cannot afford it and cannot drive? Should I get taxi all the time, knowing I can't afford it? Should I pay someone to buy my food as going to the supermarket has become a chore in will? Should I have accepted the constant, " battiman fu dead comments as polite jokes" as well as the $2,000 is cost to fix my teeth in silence. When the PM mentioned the possible human rights violations regarding the beatings on George Street, does homophobia justify that my rights can be ignored simply because of a difference of moral position?

It is clear that while many take it for granted that walking the street and getting on the bus is their right to movement, I can no longer take such rights for granted. My opponents will argue that " battiman fu dead" in the mean time, does that mean they will kill their nephews, nieces, uncles, aunts, mothers and fathers. It is neither a joke or entertaining when homophobic remarks are passed. So I challenge you to ask, What is human dignity worth? and whose dignity is more important as a human being?

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