So last week the shocking news broke that Rob Ford, the embattled Mayor of Toronto, admitted that he has indeed smoked crack, although he did explain that he was perhaps in one of his “drunken stupors”. This story not only rocked the city of Toronto, but also made international news as CNN, FOX, ABC, MSNBC, the BBC and every other news outlet around the world, seemingly picked up the scandal, thrusting Toronto into the spotlight: whether it wanted to be there or not. Can we chastise Rob Ford publicly for his bombshell admission, while many of us continue to do wrong behind closed doors? Is anyone without sin? Can we be classified as hypocrites?
Months ago, Yendi Phillips, first runner-up in the 2010 Miss Universe and a Miss Jamaica World and Miss Jamaica Universe winner, announced that she was pregnant and was not married. Her baby daddy, Daniel Chino McGregor, son of singing legend Freddie McGregor and her, proudly posted pictures of her belly for the world to see on Facebook and in the newspapers.
Subsequently, she gave birth to a beautiful baby girl, who is now seemingly the light of her life, as per her posted pics on Twitter, Instagram and on Facebook. She is viewed as a role model to many young girls, not only in Jamaica, but also around the world. It begs me to ask a further question of course, which is, should public figures private lives be scrutinized and examined to the highest degree when they make mistakes? Is it really any of our business what they do behind closed doors?
Far be it from me to judge Ms. Phillips on the birth of her daughter, as I myself had a child out of wedlock when I was in my early twenties and paid dearly for that choice. Being a single mother is one of, if not the most difficult job that one can ever imagine. I obviously do not know the circumstances under which that pregnancy came about, whether or not it was planned, an accident, or if there are plans to marry in the future: but really and truly, is it any of my business?
What I am positive of though, is that over 72 percent of Black babies born in the U.S. are born out of wedlock, and shockingly Jamaica is on the top of the list of countries where children are born out of wedlock. What did this pregnancy say to the young women of Jamaica? The world, including Jamaica, has shown their disapproval, as many folks have made very derogatory comments about this union and the birth of her daughter, and they continue to do so to this day.
These negative statements are all uncalled for in my opinion, but I do understand the disappointed feelings, not only about Yendi Phillips but also about Rob Ford. To be quite honest though, I do have to play devil’s advocate here and then also ask, “Who cares if Yendi Phillips had a child out of wedlock? Who cares if Rob Ford smokes crack and becomes inebriated when he has too much to drink? It is none of our concern correct, even if they are in the public’s eye. I, who certainly am nowhere near the level of Yendi Phillips in regards to celebrity status, often feel the sting of a stranger’s cruel and mistaken judgement of me. Being a columnist and an author, one is open to a lot of scrutiny from the public.
They of course have never met me and do not know me on a personal level. The rumours that circle around about me sometimes are almost on the border-line of being placed on Anderson Cooper’s “The Ridiculist” list that he airs on CNN each night. I am damned if I do and damned if I don’t! Many seem to have placed me in an unwanted fish bowl, making assumptions of my character, without even knowing the true reasons behind many of my decisions.
I then have no choice but to examine both Rob Ford’s and Yendi Phillips’ current situation and wish them both nothing but the best of luck. Each man is put on this earth and given the ability to make his or he own choices, and many times we do fall down.
Look neither to me, nor Yendi Phillips nor Rob Ford as role models to live your own lives, as we are nothing but human beings, fraught with mistakes and bad choices. The great thing is that each day gives us another opportunity to turn our lives around, if we ever go down the wrong path in life. Let God be your only judge and jury at the end of the day, as we all have skeletons in our closets!
Sandy Daley is a columnist, radio and television personality and actress. She is also the author of “Whose Vagina Is It, Really?” She can be contacted at: Website: www.sandydaley.com, Facebook: email@example.com, Twitter: twitter.com/whosevaginaisit and/or Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.