Today’s Editorial for February 16: Actions speak louder than words

The Medical Director of the Health
Services Authority, Dr. Greg Hoeksema, is back from Haiti after spending
10-days in the earthquake-stricken country.

While he was away, tending to those
injured not only in the earthquake, but afterwards, Dr. Hoeksema might have
been surprised to learn he had become the subject of controversy, not for
anything he did, but for something he said.

Speaking with the Caymanian Compass
on his way to Haiti, Dr. Hoeksema noted that the “sexy time to go was right
afterward” and that there was less glamour in going when he was going.  But he noted, the need in Haiti was still
phenomenal.

Some people felt the “sexy” comment
was insensitive and called for his resignation. 

Of course, what Dr. Hoeksema’s
detractors seemed to gloss over was the fact that, sexy or not, he was actually
going, on his own free will, into a disaster zone that potentially held dangers
of violence and disease.   As it turned
out, he experienced a rather tense situation in the face of an angry mob
brandishing machetes and sticks.

Although Dr. Hoeksema now agrees
that he could have chosen his words better and he has apologised to anyone he
might have offended, we really don’t think what he said deserved the amount of
criticism he received. The only thing he was trying to convey was that the real
exciting and glamorous time to go to a disaster zone is right afterwards, when
they whole world is watching.  The world
“sexy” in this context had nothing to do with sex, but was meant in the slang
definition, which means ‘exciting and glamorous’.

More to the point, Dr. Hoeksema
went into Haiti after that period, which means he wasn’t going for the glamour;
he was going to help people.  Instead of
being admired for doing so, as we feel he should have been, he was reviled by
people who took offense to his words.

We have to wonder just what some of
the people who have harshly criticised Dr. Hoeksema have themselves done to
help Haiti in its hour of need.