The HONOURABLE Portia Simpson Miller: An Apology, an Appreciation and a Thank You..
She has climbed to the top of Jamaica's political ladder and also one of our oldest institutions the People's National Party, dedicated her life to serving the Jamaican people. In any other country, she would've been hailed as a pioneer at breaking the ceiling of women in politics being only near the seat of men with power, yet she has been thrown in the spotlight and put down all throughout her career. Why?
Portia Simpson Miller is undoubtedly one of the strongest women this country has ever seen. Fierce when angry, jovial and warm when met in person, she is a treasure that we have not appreciated and continually condemn. I have rarely heard a mother or father tell her/his daughter to aspire to be like her and fight against the odds to be the best you can be. Instead, we have only snide and mean remarks against her, attacking her womanhood and demeaning her to less than an individual. The world of politics is a savage place, Jamaican politics even more so, we take no prisoners and our "jokes" often go above and beyond what is accepted. I once was in this group of persons who mercilessly laughed at her, made wicked jokes at her fumbles and in general just didn't look past her shortcomings. Mrs. Simpson Miller isn't the most articulate individual in regards to her speeches, it is well known and the natural charisma and warmth that she has is severely limited when she has to stick to a script. We Jamaicans make a joke of it and tease her without qualm for it, without thinking how she must feel when one of the most common phrases about you is that you cannot read. I remember when she did an interview and she stated that it hurt when she heard those remarks being said almost to her face by the very persons she pledged to serve. Worst, her biggest critics -in my opinion- are women, a sad state of affairs when our girls are in need of role models that they can see themselves in.
I won't blindly praise Mrs. Simpson-Miller, I was not a fan of her hands off leadership style during her time as Prime Minister especially when Jamaica was in such a bad state. At a time like that, the captain of the ship should have been highly visible and her team must be, or least look like they were united in one mission going forward instead of the disjointed ministries they had in place.
So Mrs. Simpson Miller, I thank you for your contributions to Jamaica, I apologise for my disrespect towards you. You have sacrificed so much and though you may never see this, know that someone genuinely appreciates all that you have done.