Continued from last Friday, March 23, 2018 issue of the Amandala
The big bad bully (BBB)
I started by saying I was not going to weigh in on this issue. The distasteful attack of Senator Elena Smith in the usual misogynistic style by the “Honourable” Minister of National Security on his Facebook page and the subsequent comments he has endorsed, jerked me out of my slumber and back to reality for several reasons, some cited above and for the following.
I found the trend most distasteful and reeking so of bullying that I too took to Facebook and posted my position along with pictures and news article to give the good Minister the evidence needed to support the basis upon which the Senator stated her disagreement with his re-appointment to said post.
As reported in the news, the President of BNTU said the following:
“We have not had the chance to have a complete discussion on the matter but based on feedback that we are getting from our members, they are very disappointed that the fact that the Prime Minister has chosen to do a 360°, if you will, and to put back at the helm of this Ministry, the Ministry of National Security, somebody who, we believe, was not doing the best in that position. And so, if I may, if as a teacher, let us say, you teach Standard Six for a number of years and every year your students fail PSE, why would I as a principal leave you with Standard Six to teach them another year when you have shown that you are not able to deal with that class and get them to another level? It makes no sense and it is the same thing with this. If you’ve been placed in that position, you have not made any changes that are good or that have seen any betterment for this country as it relates to crime and the actions of the police.”
That is a fair comment and the statistics stated above back it up. However, the Minister saw this as an opportunity to bully the Senator via social media and to get his followers to weigh in with some of the nastiest of comments. But what she expressed is the view held by many and posted by many and written about and commented about. However, Senator Smith was singled out in the usual misogynistic style of a man pouncing on a woman.
He said, “Elena Smith you are way out of line. You have absolutely no evidence or right to be referring to me in the manner which you did”. To that I say the crime statistics, especially murder under his leadership, speak for themselves. Then he goes on to say, “You are using your position as President of the BNTU as a bully pulpit because you know the power of the teachers.” Bam sih deh! It’s reverse psychology for him to say she is a bully when it is really him bullying because he has no basis on which to defeat her assertions. He resorts to name calling and making it seem he is the victim of the power of the teachers. Now that is the most subtle yet damaging form of bullying, because while the teachers have power, it is not greater than the Government’s. Otherwise there would be no need for rallies and strikes and protests to try and get Government to conform to the wishes of the masses.
Bully is from the big to the small … police bigger and more powerful than BNTU and definitely Saldivar is more powerful and bigger (no pun intended) than Senator Smith. Per Dr. Dan Olweus, “This definition includes three important components: 1. Bullying is aggressive behaviour that involves unwanted, negative actions, including words. 2. Bullying involves a pattern of behaviour repeated over time.
3. Bullying involves an imbalance of power or strength. Then there is cyberbullying, which is defined as “wilful and repeated harm inflicted through the use of computers, cell phones, and other electronic devices” ( – from Bullying Beyond the Schoolyard: Preventing and Responding to Cyberbullying)
Saldivar cyberbullying Smith!
Now go check the facts and see who posted against whom in social media. Senator Smith gave an interview saying what the feedback thus far has been regarding the appointment of Saldivar. However Saldivar took to social media and wrote his attack and stated “it is only a matter of time before teachers realize how you are using their power for self-serving agenda. Just as evil has not triumph [sic] over me to this point so too will I continue to be shielded …” This is interesting because a bully must alienate its victim from any protection and support and then pounce on them and remind them that they have the power and in this case the Minister reminds the Senator that he has been “shielded” thus far. Coming from the Minister of National Security and a deputy leader in the ruling party, this is a loaded assertion and one that cannot go unnoticed.
But he ends with this subtle, yet powerful threat: “Careful of your glass window my friend!!!” The three exclamation marks tell the mental state and pronouncement and emphasize the subtle yet not so subtle threat. Now what do we do with glass windows? We can break them and so those who want to defend the Minister can do so, but for an office holder who is to bring solution to crime and peace on the streets, he is openly displaying the very attitude that has resulted in street criminals not being able to resolve their differences peacefully and only by gun violence. He is not even leading by example, but rather has sanctioned the “beefing” system. Don’t think because it’s a person in power, the threats are any less than those issued between rival “gangs” on our streets. It is the same modus operandi only that it has moved from the streets to the National Assembly, as both are Honourable Members of the Legislature in this country.
PM now really can’t be wise to think that the recycling of a failed Police Minister, whom he removed from that post, will solve crime when the mere mention of his name still conjures up the ruthless beheading of Pastor Lucas and the association of Mason with UDP politicians, Saldivar being the primary one! So I must remind the Minister that not only does Senator Smith, but the whole nation, have the evidence as cited above…. or will I too be bullied for writing the truth?
I stand in solidarity with BNTU and call for the removal of Saldivar. He must go! It takes a certain class and finesse in leadership to lead but even more so to find solutions against the rising crimes. How could a man who gets so petty and bully against any criticism, and especially against a woman, show us by example how to stop the violence when his very Fb post reeks of vengeance, establishing a beef and retaliation …. Come on! It is this very attitude that has fomented the murders, gun violence and crime frenzy in this country! If we want to end the violence on the streets, the violence against us women and our children, then we need a Minster who by example can lead. This is the very cycle of abuse and violence that we have come to accept, even from our political leaders. We have those who will justify and defend said conduct because they have become so desensitized they no longer recognize abuse!
And I denounce his attack against a woman like myself. Those women who want to defend this attack against a sister and a unionist … well you accept the abuse and misogyny… you know your worth, or what you stand or fall for! #pressforprogress The teechaz got we back, so I got dem back! More important we must have the back of our country because for me it’s country over party, sister over bully and truth over lies!