Marvin Gonzales, representative for Lopinot/Bon Air West, believes that people in this country must enhance the way they communicate about one another. This, he stated, includes politicians who speak about their colleagues in “the most degrading form.”
Friday he addressed a joint select committee on financial and legal affairs. The focus of the meeting was the Equal Opportunities Commission.
Rebuilding a culture of love in TT is vital, according to Gonzales, who added that all institutions of society have a role to perform.
He stated that it begins with the family, the community, and how individuals refer to one another.
All of these institutions must play a role, including our churches and schools.
According to him, there have been significant advancements in public accessibility for people with disabilities in recent years.
However, he stated that there is “considerable potential for advancement.
“All hands must be on deck.”
He urged public officials to recognize their responsibility.
“You hear political figures in the Parliament of TT speaking about each other in the most degrading manner, and we are not people with disabilities, but the way we speak to each other and talk about each other on our social media platforms, you can’t believe these are members of the Parliament of TT. This is where it begins.”
Then, he proceeded, “one can only imagine how tragic and different life is for our citizens with different abilities.”
Hazel Thompson-Ahye, the committee’s chair, reminded Gonzales that the term differently-abled does not refer exclusively to a person with a physical impairment in response to his remark that sitting Parliamentarians are not individuals with disabilities. She stated that sometimes it is psychological.
“Therefore, do not believe that you should observe a physically challenged person. This is not always the case.
She suggested that, as is done with judges, psychometric testing may be necessary for legislators.
Gonzales concurred and responded, “I’m sure, because many of them – or many of us – would not be sitting where we are right now.”