What’s the big deal about that Dal­ton pic­ture?

The Star (Jamaica) - - COMMENTS THE WEEKEND STAR -

Iam not a ‘Bi­ble per­son’, but to­day, I am go­ing to bor­row some­thing from it for the sake of what I think ails many Ja­maicans to­day and why it makes me sick to my stom­ach.

There is a phrase, “So as a man thin­keth in his heart, so is he.” (Proverbs 23:7), that ap­plies to too many of my fel­low Ja­maicans. For more than a week now, there has been this buzz sur­round­ing a pic­ture of ‘X Fac­tor’ con­tes­tant Dal­ton Har­ris, wherein he ap­pears to be sit­ting on the lap of a fel­low con­tes­tant, who is hug­ging him by the waist.

When I first saw the pic­ture, my re­ac­tion was that he seemed to be get­ting along with his fel­low con­tes­tants, which is usu­ally a good sign of a win­ning men­tal­ity. Shortly be­fore that, he had posted a pic­ture with an­other con­tes­tant stand­ing be­hind him with her hand on his shoul­der.

His head was turned back to­wards her with a smile on his face, and she was look­ing at him ador­ingly. Funny enough, too many of us choose to go neg­a­tive with what we per­ceived the pic­ture with the male con­tes­tant to mean.

A pic­ture cap­tures part of a sin­gu­lar mo­ment in time. It freezes a mere frac­tion of a se­quence of events. It is not a video, which would pro­vide greater con­text. For all we know, he was grabbed and fell back­wards, and in that mo­ment, the pic­ture was shot. More­over, even if that was not the case, then so what?


In mo­ments between friends, men hug, they clasp hands and bump shoul­ders, and de­pend­ing on the cul­ture, they are some­times kissed on both cheeks. None of these ac­tions speaks any­thing about a per­son’s sex­u­al­ity.

How­ever, based on a sin­gle pic­ture, so many of us chose to make this ma­jor leap to make as­sump­tions about Dal­ton’s sex­u­al­ity. But even if their mis­guided as­sump­tions are cor­rect, so what? What does that have to do with any­thing? You know what it has to do with? Our envy and crab-in-a-bar­rel men­tal­ity that pre­vents many of us from be­ing happy for the young man who seems des­tined to win a £1-mil­lion con­tract and a plat­form for what could be an ex­tremely suc­cess­ful in­ter­na­tional record­ing ca­reer.

What we think of Dal­ton is not a re­flec­tion of who he is. It is a re­flec­tion of who we are – per­verted, sick, de­mean­ing peo­ple who can­not stand to see peo­ple suc­ceed, es­pe­cially when that per­son looks like us and comes from sim­i­lar cir­cum­stances as us.

The bot­tom line is, if you have a prob­lem with Dal­ton’s pic­ture, what you think it says is not a prob­lem with him. It is more a prob­lem with you.

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Dal­ton Har­ris

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