Barbados Youth Development Council – Set better Standards: Save our Sons, Save our Society!
Crop Over 2012 is laid to rest and the post-mortem has begun on what were the hits and misses this festival. The heated debates will continue about which songs were the best, who should have won in the various competitions and discussion about various logistical adjustments to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the festival.
For certain Kadooment Day with its scenes of vibrant colour and infectious merriment are etched in the minds of those who participated or watched from the sidelines. These scenes will also be transmitted through our newspapers and will be the source of fond memories when pulled from the ‘archives’ of social media pages. However, buried beneath this merriment is a scene of the festival to which there should be no debate.
From year to year the debate continues as to whether public displays of simulated sex acts between adults are appropriate, be it ‘jukking, wukking up, or slamming de bumpa’. Even before that debate has been resolved the country has taken the issue to a totally different level. We now have sunk into the abyss of moral depravity where we have gone beyond acts between consenting adults to those between adults and children. Without a doubt these acts are nothing short of child sexual abuse being performed in the most heinous of ways against young males. As if these acts were not enough large crowds gathering smiling and cheering on these acts as if to stamp their approval and unanimous consent on the proceedings.
Yet this is a country which has been ranked as a leading developing country on the human development index and touts its social capital as its major resource. Say what you may about certain Western societies which are often referred to as ‘liberal’, while we refer to Barbadian society as being conservative. One can guarantee that such acts against children in any public setting would never be allowed without the perpetrators being duly charged and reprimanded.
At a time when the rest of the Caribbean is reeling from new discoveries of instances of child abuse we find it apt to display our blissful ignorance of these matters in the midst of our premier festival. Moreover this is in the face of a recently concluded CARICOM meeting which issued the following in its communiqué -“having reviewed several studies that highlighted a disturbing trend in sexual abuse of children, the Council Human and Social Development (COHSOD) condemned all forms of sexual abuse of children and agreed that there could be no justification for such practice”. Not even in the midst of our time to ‘free up and revel’ should we even contemplate any such action with or without a young male’s consent.
In the past we have had public officials on record stating that the behaviour of our children is due to ‘demon possession’. If one is to follow this argument then the question must also be asked, how do such children become ‘possessed?’ Following Grand Kadooment’s displays of indecency involving young males, the answer to this must now be a foregone conclusion.
There is a popular quote from Edmund Burke which should stir every right thinking Barbadian in our society who believes such issues have no impact on him or her, ‘all it takes for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing.’ As these scenes of vulgarity and lewdness ‘trend’ across Twitter and Facebook one wonders what would be the result if some foreign journalist snooping for a salacious story were to highlight this aspect of our country. A country which has ‘signed’ on to the UN Convention on the rights of the child. Maybe some may argue that there are nothing new, perhaps they are correct but for those of us seeing such acts for the first time whether they be live on kadooment day or via social media it is a stern wakeup call that our society is not functioning as it should.
We need to set higher standards in our society, arrest the pervasive moral and social decay and reverse the trend of wanton self-destruction exhibited by several of our young men. But this can only be done by adults (male and female alike) who respect themselves, who respect their country and most of all who respect our children and care about this island’s future. We ought to, we should and we must know and do better Barbados!