Do not underestimate the negative power of music and film on youth

Dear Editor,

It is dangerously callous to underestimate the influence that music and films carry.  I have argued with social activists in the UK, that when looking at the continuous increase in knife crime that is rife among black youths in London, we must not ignore the choice of music they embrace.  London is perhaps the most multi-cultural city in the world.  Yet, the prevalence of horrific knife crimes is exclusive to the black youth between the ages of 11-25.  Black African and Caribbean school children throughout London are notorious for playing loud music from their phones on public buses: Gaza and Gully and their violent and sexually lewd contents, as they sing along word for word, much to the annoyance of other commuters. School gangs are on the increase like never before and the black youth want to dress and sound like American rappers in the videos they watch.

Perhaps, music and films have nothing to do with this manifest behaviour.

It is a misnomer to believe that in 2010 Jamaica is the most homophobic society in the isles of the Caribbean; that if you are manifestly gay you could lose your life pronto.  There is a new trend in Jamaica where gays who are bad boys are dressed like women in the same dancehall like everyone else rocking to Buju’s, Boom bye bye.

Capleton’s hit song, Tour which was done about fourteen years ago, lamented the rise and visible openness of gays in Jamaica.  Here is what he said after returning to Jamaica from an overseas tour.  ..” come back in Jamaica and everything insecure, rich ah get rich and poor ah poor.. batty man and gay all a march and tour, march Kingston and a march Portmore.. it seem like da people dem nah love god no more.”

I made those points after reading Freddie Kissoon’s column titled, `Religion has failed Guyana so far’ in yesterday’s Kaieteur News.

Yours faithfully,
Norman Browne

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