Controversial talk show host Maureen Holder today called on Opposition Leader Mia Mottley to present her legal qualifications to quiet the doubters and naysayers.
Holder made the call while presenting her own academic certificates in response to accusations made on social media that she was “a liar and a fraud”.
“I stand up for a united Barbados and stand up against those who threaten the rights of women and others who do not share the same favourable opinion about Ms Mottley,” said Holder, while also calling on the Leader of the Opposition Barbados Labour Party (BLP) to join with her in condemning “those who commit such acts of terror in her name”.
“Ms Mottley if you do not condemn this video . . . done in your name, I will take it that you are no more committed to looking after the rights of women in this country or protecting them from such abuses than you are committed to repealing the NSRL [National Social Responsibility Levy],” said Holder, while making reference to damning video which has been circulating on Facebook in which the poster leveled a number of scurrilous allegations against the talk show host.
Addressing reporters during a press conference at the Almond Bay hotel in Hastings, Christ Church Holder also held aloft her academic certificates, while stressing that Mottley, whose legal qualifications have been the source of a divisive national debate, could bring an end to the controversy by doing the same.
“If a nobody like me can present my qualifications, then I ask the question how then should Ms Mottley, who is far more regarded than me, not feel inclined to present hers as well, so as to bring closure to the matter of her LEC [Legal Education Certificate] and to erase the shadow of doubts occupying the minds of those through whom she seeks to be elected to the highest office of the land,” she added.
With general elections due to be held here by the middle of next year, the talk show host, who is employed at the state-owned Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), said she believed she had been maliciously targeted by blogs, but was confused as to why.
“I am not a politician, nor am I running for elected office, so I find it difficult to comprehend why a grown man would sink to such low levels, to behave in a way that not even a man, who has lost his mind would dare behave. For me it exemplifies a social issue in our society which we need to deal with,” she said, while suggesting that her gender may be the issue.
“I think it’s because I’m a woman that I was targeted and because I may be regarded as a strong female,” she said.
However, the CBC radio moderator, whose positions in support of the policies of the Freundel Stuart administration have made her a target of Opposition critics, said she had grown accustomed to personal attacks and was now ‘“abuse proof”.
“I’m unafraid. I know many people in Barbados are afraid to speak out against the ills and wrongs of this society, mainly because of the ‘bandwagoning’ and the abuse and cursing against them [but] I have had so much of it that I’m abuse proof,” she said while calling on Barbadians to stand up for principle.
“If you are going to judge me, judge me for working hard to better myself, especially coming from a humble background with no Uncle Tom, no Uncle Errol, or no Uncle Elliott or Auntie Lizzy. Judge
me because without a silver spoon or a golden shovel I determined by the Grace of God that I was going to be a somebody,” she said, while serving notice that she would be going to UN Women and other organizations to share her story.
“Through UN Women I’m going to connect to other women’s organizations in the Caribbean and I’m also going to go to the BBC to tell the story and bring greater awareness of women being impacted and abused in public and political lives by males and other women as well,” she said, adding that she had also made an official complaint to local police.