Submitted by Charles Knighton
The Advocate’s editorial of December 10th, “Rewarding bad behaviour?” makes the undeniable point that children will “….not learn half as much about values in school or a media campaign as they will from observing us, their elders.” Following such logic, and viewing the population of Barbados as one large extended family, one could argue that citizens draw value lessons from their leaders in government.
You rightly cite the Westbury cemetery imbroglio where the SSA has rewarded grave diggers who defrauded their employers, as well as the young mother who parlayed the crime of housebreaking into a NHC unit to the detriment of those following proper protocol. You have drawn the proper conclusion in both instances, that doing the wrong things can get you what you want. But what of doing the right thing?
Senator Reverend Dr. David Durant (l) Minister Stephen LAshley (r)
It is with immense discomfort that BU comments on the reported abuse last week of a seven year old boy at the hands of two eight year old girls. Yes believe it or not, these are children in our primary school system. As you would expect there is the predictable response from those BU has been describing of late as …. These people continue to ignore the weeds overrunning the lawns by comforting themselves that this kind of thing was happening in days of yore with the same frequency. How can anyone deny where there is a gathering of human beings good and bad things are likely to occur? Of course despicable deeds occurred in the 50s and 60s but are we saying that they occurred with the same monotonous regularity and acceptance?
Sorry, BU is not convinced that such an ambivalent position will help to build the kind of society which will enrich the lives of all Barbadians. The barefaced display of crass behaviour by Barbadians, young and old, which veers sharply from the value system of old has been under threat for some time now. BU accepts that value systems will shift as people become more enlightened but some basics which we* Barbadians still hold dear, must not be tampered with at this stage.
Let us critique two examples which appeared in the media last week. Senator Reverend Dr. David Durant (not sure if we got the protocol right with the titles) and Minister Stephen Lashley chided Barbadians for being too harsh in their criticism of the path Rihanna has chosen to trod to support her career. Here is a young lady who is idolized by many of our young children entranced by the prevailing pop culture, she goes naked when she desires, she engages in childish retorts with all and sundry; the latest being Louis Farrakhan, she skips from boyfriend to boyfriend as anyone would change underwear and we could go on, yet she remains a Barbados Youth Ambassador, what are we saying to our young people? How are guiding our young people?