Our eyes are on you
Minister issues warning to users of social media
Embattled Government minister Dr Denis Lowe has sent a strong message to social media users from the floor of Parliament that they will be held accountable.
Lowe, who is under pressure from the local and regional gay and lesbian community for suggesting he would step down before supporting the passage of gender-neutral domestic violence laws, said some “so-called journalists” were negatively influencing the country’s young people.
“I want to make it clear today that those peddlers in the business of social media who believe that they are exempt from the responsibility that they have to be called to account because there are some people whose daily diet of intellectual stimulation is derived from a pottage of garbage that is spewed by elements in the social media,” charged Lowe, who is in charge of the Ministry of Environment and Drainage.
”They can write from now to the twelfth of never, they can talk from now till the cows come home, I know of where I stand and I know whose I am. I have a responsibility in this society and an honour to serve in this House of Assembly to ensure that my contribution to my country, Barbados, is one that will be remembered for a long time because of the efficacy of my views as they relate to how we should live and move . . . in this society we call our own.”
Police recently charged 39-year-old Omar Shawn Watson of Maxwell, Christ Church, for the offence of Malicious Communication after a message appeared on social media.
Lawmen say the message was menacing in character and caused Minister of Transport and Works Michael Lashley annoyance, distress and anxiety.
The police also warned residents to desist from this type of behaviour which, it said, constitutes a criminal offence.
In his comments before legislators yesterday, Minister Lowe said society was falling apart due to the “crumbing of the very values that define who we are”, and urged parents and churches to step up to the plate.
He insisted that there was need to rebuild a value-based society.
According to the minister, while the Freundel Stuart administration may not be considered to be the most intellectual to grace the halls of Parliament, it can be viewed as a Government driven by strong moral standards.
“As a political party in Government we should never allow ourselves to hand this country over to anybody or anyone or any system that does not demonstrate a commitment to the strong traditional values that have become part of the DNA of this country,” he said.
Last month, the Barbados – Gays, Lesbians, and All-Sexuals against Discrimination (B-GLAD) condemned the Minister’s statements on gender-neutral domestic violence laws, saying there were irresponsible, antediluvian, archaic and non-progressive.
They demanded his resignation.
The Caribbean organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender, CariFLAGS, has now entered the debate, expressing disappointment over the prime minister’s silence on the matter.