You probably never heard the name Patricia Deveaux before last week. She has been since 2017 and the dramatic loss by the PLP one of the right stars of the party. She is a strong supporter of the effort by Philip Brave Davis to become Prime Minister and she fights for him every day.
She is phenotypically Black and recently changed her hair style to that of the afro replacing the straight hair which is the fashion. All of that is external but it speaks to the internal and where her head is at.
As National Vice Chair she has been instrumental in the reconstruction of the branches of the party, ensuring that they conform to the rules and that they meet according to the constitution. She is nursing the constituency of Bamboo Town for the PLP and will make a fine representative.
Against that background, she was a natural then for the PLP to use as an MC for its rally at Columbus Primary School in Centreville on Monday 10th February 2020. The crowd was great. The crowd was enthusiastic and every one was ready to see the PLP test its mettle up against and in contrast to the fake Town Hall meeting of the FNM staged at the Edmund Moxey Park. The meeting went over like gangbusters and every one went home feeling great.
And then Duane Sands, the judicially condemned Minister of Health, who ought to be fighting the corona virus excerpted a clip from the rally in which Ms. Deveaux in introducing Dr. Michael Darville used the word “darkies” and seemed to boast that the PLP has light skinned curly headed candidates and no darkies wanted. Not the best choice of phrases but that turned the whole thing on its head with those even those who were at the rally and thought nothing of it at the time now lecturing and hectoring about inappropriateness and apologies and how she may not be fit for purpose.
The fight on the pollical front line is a difficult one. People will make mistakes. You just have to think about Miriam Emmanuel of the FNM who could not pronounce the figures in her speech, stumbling and bumbling. The FNM could not find anything to attack about the rally so it had to be turned into what they say was a racist remark.
The only problem is when you look at it in the context of what she was trying to say, it was a witticism which simply went wrong. That’s life really.
The FNM shouldn’t be too high minded. They defended by their silence Bennett Minnis who is a Board member of the Water and Sewerage Corporation to this day after he called the Leader of the Opposition a black monkey. No word of reprimand. No word of apology. Ms. Deveaux apologized. The Leader of the party said he thought she did the right thing and said we must move on.
We are on that side. We say move on. We did not think that the apology was warranted and we should have told these FNM trolls go to hell. But be that as it may, it’s over. Last week you never heard of her. This week you have. We become public figures in ways that we often do not imagine nor foresee but when we do, the question is how do we use the opportunity to turn it to greater fortune? Ms. Deveaux should keep fighting for her political career and hopefully in time, this will simply be one of those teachable moments in her personal history book.