Home / View Point / Letters to the Editor / Dear Editor: Why is the media glossing over Watson Duke’s sexual assault charges?

Dear Editor: Why is the media glossing over Watson Duke’s sexual assault charges?

“[…] What is most worrisome is the media’s purposeful glossing over of Watson Duke’s history. I cannot be the only one aware of his four indecent assault charges and one rape charge. It churns my stomach. 

“As a woman, how can I be comfortable with this? How is the victim feeling? How could Suzette Louwe, who claimed to care about women’s right to safety, align herself with a man who is still before the courts? […]”

The following Letter to the Editor highlighting questions marks over PDP political leader Watson Duke was submitted to Wired868 by ‘JB Arima’ of Arima:

Photo: THA Deputy Chief Secretary and PDP political leader Watson Duke.
(via PDP)

I am mature enough to recall my great-grandmother crying over the death of Dr Eric Williams, a remote almost mythical figure in my head. I’m embarrassed to say that I remember singing ‘Chambers Duncy’. When he visited my primary school, I was selected to escort him and realised he was a very gentle and intelligent man. 

As I grew older, I remember the roguish charm of Basdeo Panday and the stateliness of Patrick Manning. I was 19 when I heard Dr Keith Rowley on a platform for the first time and my pores raised. 

My first observation of Kamla Persad-Bissessar was at  a women’s forum, and I thought she was pleasant, placid even. I was far more impressed with Hulsie Bhaggan’s fire, though. (Where is she now?)

Trinidad and Tobago is a small society. So small that we can scrutinise our leaders or those holding aspirations to become leaders. 

I saw the newspapers front page over the long weekend and I was perplexed at the publicity Watson Duke has been generating, given his untrustworthiness. His controversial  stint as PSA president, pending rape charge, numerous disrespectful outbursts and the list goes on.

Photo: Former PSA president Watson Duke.
(via PSA)

What is most worrisome is the media’s purposeful glossing over of Duke’s history. I cannot be the only one aware of his four indecent assault charges and one rape charge. It churns my stomach. As a woman, how can I be comfortable with this? How is the victim feeling? 

How could Suzette Louwe, who claimed to care about women’s right to safety, align herself with a man who is still before the courts? It is bloodcurdling.  

In my entire 40 years, there is no politician I am more concerned about than Watson Duke. It is not his boorishness or his inability to grasp basic grammar. I am concerned as a mother of daughters because never have we ever elected someone with sexual assault charges.  

How did we get to this point? We have in the past elected known scamps. That is factual. When the same scamps plundered the Treasury, the country was enraged—which was hypocritical at best, delusional at worse. 

My grandfather once told me that Trinidad and Tobago citizens do not vote governments in, they vote them out. He also said we get the leaders we deserve. 

I, for one, do not deserve Duke. 

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3 comments

  1. “Still before the courts” should be the only words necessary to make Duke’s disqualification for public office complete…yet apparently you can have all manner of pending scandals and still win the acclaim of people in sweet T&T, the party capital of the world.

  2. This PNM Prime Minister Keith Christopher Rowley is the same man that [CENSORED] while he was a teacher. While sheep-like PNM followers and the mass media turn a blind eye to this atrocity, I have to wonder whether the predators among us have been emboldened in their disgusting acts by the dark history of their very own Prime Minister. This is the example he has set in our society and one that the media upholds by its refusal to acknowledge it.
    ANIL ROBERTS , April 30th,2022. Douglar Report / Editorial

  3. Excellent commentary!!
    Well put! Well said!