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Veteran singer, Tanya Stephens, has generated a backlash of criticism of unsavoury comments she made on social media about former Prime Minister, Portia Simpson Miller, on the day Simpson Miller retired from active politics.
Stephens, in a social media post that has since been deleted, declared that, "Hearing people lament Portia's departure is like seeing people congratulate my rapist for being a 'good man' ... She isn't a good person."
The artiste further said, "Besides (having been) unqualified and an embarrassing representation who wasn't even of average intelligence as per her public displays, she was also an awful, apathetic human who perfected the art of pandering to the hypocrisy of Jamaicans."
Stephens concluded that, "I'm happy to see her back. I'm not alone. Good riddance".
Obviously disturbed by Stephens' sudden and sharp criticism of the former leader, a number persons, mainly supporters of Simpson Miller, including noted members of the People's National Party (PNP) which she served for over 40 years and led for the last 11 years, went into ultra-defensive mode.
PNP Vice-President and Senator, Angela Brown Burke, expressed shock at Stephens' comments.
"Tanya, really now! That's what you've chosen to say about another woman who has inspired so many others? SMDH," she responded.
Venesha Phillips, the PNP Councillor for the Papine Division in St Andrew, took a totally different angle, but with even more telling effect.
"Angela, please delete this post. Let us not give airplay to the useless. To recognise that dead will give life to her, so let her remain in her grave."
Some members of the Facebook group 'Fair and Balanced Jamaica' were anything but balanced, in spinning some 'wicked dub plates' aimed at Stephens, including one user, Vinnette Wilson, who mercilessly declared that the artiste who last year publicly declared to having been raped and abused, "needs to go and get help with her damage(d) and hurt feelings, and stop being so bitter with everyone."
Suzette Parks, another Facebook user, was far more balanced, and acknowledged that Stephens has a right to her opinion.
"I love her as an artiste, but I think she crossed the line, because even though I didn't want her (Simpson Miller) to be my PM, I love and respect her as a woman who let all women know they can make it in this society that thinks only men can get the job done."
Parks added that, "Portia has fought and worked hard to make her name in society, and I salute her".
She declared that, "I love Mama P to mi heart, but I didn't want her to be my PM, so I did what I had to do. We must speak through our votes, and not degrade anyone.
"Tanya, mi love you bad, and a labour mi seh, but you need to apologise to this woman. She is a true icon.
" Big up yuhself Mama P.
"Tanya you a mi G. Love you still, nah change," Parks wrote.
Kamla Forbesz, clearly a strong supporter of Simpson Miller, also declined to directly attack Stephens, opting for sarcasm instead, and interestingly, introduced a wider element to the 'debate' on Simpson Miller's representation.
"You can only do better if you know better, and clearly she doesn't know better," Forbesz wrote.
"We have a culture in Jamaica where women tear each other down. Instead of lift them up, we envy each other.
"Tanya Stephens is an unfortunate product of our society (in which) women feel they have to tear each other down to get ahead.
"And comrades, stop being hypocritical, because nuff a unnu same one hate Portia and orchestrated her demise.
"You orchestrated the demise of Lisa Hanna too.
"Until as a people we learn to respect the work of our women in society, expect a few more Tanya Stephens to pop up," Forbesz predicted.
Simpson Miller served for 35 years as the Member of Parliament (MP) for South West St Andrew, and six years as Prime Minister of Jamaica before resigning from representational politics on June 29.
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