You are hypocrites!
That was just the beginning of Minister of Education Ronald Jones’ tirade today against adults, who he said liked to criticize the debauchery of young people, while they exhibit unsavoury and morally disreputable behaviour on the road during Grand Kadooment.
In a highly charged feature address at the graduation ceremony of St Ambrose Primary School, Jones returned to the subject he first raised at Youth Explosion’s annual church service at the St David’s Anglican Church in Christ Church on June 18, where he had stopped just short of calling for moral police to be employed to keep those who practise “naked exposure” off the road.
Back then the minister had said he was appalled at the level of nakedness during the Crop Over finale.
He was even more critical today, suggesting that some revellers behaved as though they had been overtaken by evil spirits.
And while he did not make specific mention of a video circulating on social media showing a young boy on stage at a Crop Over fete gyrating on an adult female, the Minister of Education described the behaviour associated with the carnival as “too crass”.
“A licence to behave badly is not given on Kadooment Day. The licence is given to parade on Kadooment, but what do we get? We don’t get the parade, we get the bad behaviour and then people say to me they are having fun.
“It is too crass. It is as though there is a possession of evil in the midst of merriment,” he told parents gathered at the LV Harcourt Lewis Training Facility at the Barbados Public Workers Cooperative Credit Union.
He said adults were being hypocritical by dressing their best to go to church on Sunday and then acting “vile and vulgar” on the Kadooment Monday.
“And then in our hypocritical responses as adults in our society, when we see our little ones displaying similar behaviour then as the hypocrites we are, we condemn them,” he added.
Addressing the theme, I Am the Author of My Story, Jones argued that by setting poor examples parents were already plotting the paths or ‘stories’ of their children.
Yet, he said, those very parents were attempting to “save our own souls” by condemning their charges who mirror such behaviour.
“By example we have been charting
. . . . [our children’s] stories and then they mimic, then they display the behaviour that we as adults display and by strange notion we believe that when we condemn them we have saved our own souls.
“What you are saying, ‘twice, neither do I condemn thee, but behave yourselves,’” he added, while implying that the story of today’s society was a “fractured” and “damaged” tale.
Speaking specifically to the 19 graduates, he urged them not to allow all of life’s successes and failures to define them and their capabilities.
“It is not everything that is said to you, done to you that should become part of your story. You have to be able to sift through all that is around you in your community, in your family, in school, in church and in chapel,” he said.