“If Miss D. Alleyne was still headmistress that could not happen.” Said
one of the George Lamming students, who was on the cruise. “If
she heard that music she would have gone and made them turn if off and
the students could not have behaved like this but our headmistress and
our deputy are Seven Day Adventist and they do not come out on a Saturday.”
not do this for this invites all sorts of wrong things and you are too
young to handle the consequences. Look at the men how they look
at you.” I went over and spoke to two groups of
children. One stopped but one set moved to the front of the boat
No other adult intervened.
“I ain’t got no girl children.”
“Dem ain’t mine.”
“Dey is do it all the time.”
“If you ever come to the
secondary school cruises on the later cruises you would go mad.
You should see them.”
“Bare foolishness.’ I said. “You all are going to be sorry one day. This behaviour is like cholera it does not stay in one section of the community; all will suffer the consequences later.”
I saw the Captain, my relative: “This is why I do not do these 10 o’clock cruises the primary school children behave too badly. It is disgusting.”
A teacher from
Harrison’s College expressed disgust. “Do you realize some would
call us old fogies.” He said.
“I am a Seventh Day Adventist and I do not go to those things on a Saturday.” I telephoned the headmistress of George Lamming the next week and told her about the behaviour.
“Were they any of your teachers on the cruise?” I asked. I knew they was because one played the raucous sexy music.
“Are you a parent?’
answered my question with a question.”
She complained about parents of the children.
“I have not called to chastise
I called to help.”
I asked my teachers that went how was the cruise and they said fine.
If there was that kind of bad behaviour the teachers would have told
me. They did not say anything about vulgarity. I am very
surprised at what you are saying. Are you a parent?”
“Every child there had a parent.” That is a lie. “So if the parent did not say anything.”
bring their children for 10 o’clock to the ship buy a ticket, put
$10.00 in their hand and come back for them at 4 o’clock.”
Billy, the captain, had said.
She spoke about the woes of an amalgamation of a lesser school, Carrington school into Erdiston.
“I am going
to write your responses.” I said and she put the telephone down
in my ear.
Does she know
any better. She has a problem with conflict resolution.
She does not want to know because she would have to do something and
she does not want to so she absolves herself and takes the line
of least resistance. How can such behaviour make it to the top
but then again it is so common nowadays for many to coil their way up.
If they cannot be beat then join them. This behaviour is not suited
for a head for it is not known what other attitudes lurk.
to be moral fibre to manage and managing is not about managing people
but it is about managing. Any normal thinking person would
regard such behaviour as uncouth. I upset her because most probably
she had more than one complaint. Even though she treated me this
way she will still have to ask at a meeting, even if it is private,
what happened. She has to do that.
On the cruise
for about half and hour the music changed to Michael Jackson and even
a religious song and the behaviour of these children changed drastically
– the wuking-up stopped but started again when the filth began to
was a repeat interview of Tom Clarke with Carol Roberts and he talked
about his being victor ludorum at interschool sports. He said that he
became an athlete not because he was inherently an athlete but in his
day he had to be ambitious to get from the bottom and he wanted to do
something and not be where he was. School let out at 3 o'clock
and his mother expected him to be home by 4:15 p.m. and if that time
passed and he was walking someone his mother appeared and said: "Is
this what you are doing?' She was probably too strict but she
Tom if he always wanted to be a writer and he said that when he was
at school he thought that when he grew up he wanted to be a teacher
or a priest because he had an English priest at St. Matthias and the priest language was of a different kind like a foreign language
although he was speaking English. One thing he wanted, not
to grew up to hang around the corner. There were some bright boys
in the St. Matthias, Harts Gap, Dayrells Road area and they had something
they wanted to be. They may not have known how to achieve their
ambition but it was not to be a bartender or a porter.
Back 60 years
ago tourism – the new kind of slavery - was not our business. Lamming
early in the year said some hard things: he said tourism replace agricultural
slavery and there is the tourist dollar but tourism is the
most insidious weapon and a spanner in the works of progress.
tourism and get lick down with a big rock not by the white man he going
pay some body to pelt at you but white advice could be white or brown
skinned or the socialist that sent his children to school at St. Winifred.
“Eleven and ready;
This is what
young men, some in their twenties, say when asked, what are they doing
hanging around primary schools. They took the slogan of the common
entrance exam “eleven and ready,” and turned it into a sexual
built a school and to accommodate some idea and to get political mileage
out of it they called it George Lamming Primary because it is
across the road from Carrington Village were George Lamming was born
and bred in Alkins Road, Carrington Village. Lammings were town
people. His maternal aunt as well as his mother lived there.
When his mother married a policeman, they moved to St. Davids.
George got a scholarship very early and he ran for Combermere in the
Wuk-up is Barbados’
signature and the behaviour at schools is ghettoized. Culture,
generally speaking, focuses on the wild and the wassy. Wassy means
shockingly worthless, visibly shocking and shockingly loose, bad behaved,
loud and crude. The behaviour in public activity is without inhibition.
showing themselves as sexual beings long before society says that they
should and then there is wonderment at why men pursue them. All this
is child abuse in the open. Society must expect some sexual
boldness to be exhibited especially by fifteen-year old teenyboppers
with hormones kicking in and now smelling themselves but not at nine-years
to eleven years old.
I would like
to think that I am wrong and blame it on chicken with hormones but there
were no boys to speak of doing it and the way these girl children wuked-up
they had to know about sex. These pre-teens had all the movements.
Are they having sex at eight years old? If so it would be an old
man interferes with them and when they get by themselves they do it
to themselves. They see these things in the house and they do it.
Wuk-up Schools from where has all of this come? Was it going on
in our day? It is a ghettoization of values. Urban
ghetto behaviour has been allowed to happen and the ghetto argumentation
says “wuk-up is we culture.”
There was always
a: “Johnny belly man come go down to low down, low down.”
People wuked-up but those were games played in the moonlight and played
when adults were not looking.
Now, that kind
of behaviour is considered high level folk culture and anyone who cannot
or does not wuk-up cannot represent school or community and only when
some big issue is made only then does the ghetto argumentation come
down a bit.
not a typical African dance. In some African dances the ground
is hit - the Spanish took over that. The land ship dances are
the over hand simulating African. There is limbo, a dance of skill
and the donkey dances of the tuk band and break dancing on the head
and simulated animals movements: the bird, the snake, the monkey, the
There is calypso
dance, which is wine and chip and the only dance that Barbadians have
taken as their signature of African dancing is fertility dancing - in
which sex is simulated. That is the only movement taken over.
Wuk-up and say that that is African dance.
sexuality is cool amongst girls. Boys do not develop as
early as girls and do not tend to go that way but if they do they will
be punished by their parents and they will know quite early it is taboo.
Another worst thing has happened is that cheer-leading has been introduced
in schools. Girl children are cheerleading and dividing and competing
with themselves. This year classes were supposed to be from nine
o’clock to noon, then lunch time and then off to sports. Most
students did not go to school until noon and they went to sports and
watched more cheerleading than sports.
is girls wuking-up and skinning-out. Skin-out is showing panties
- inviting a male: "Here are the goods; here is how
I could wuk up!” When this is done at the sixteen-year
old level; she practices in the house and her nine-year-old sister or
niece see, they think that what she is doing is cool. So it becomes
cool to skin-out and then the older one in the house, sixty-one and
sixty-two, say nothing.
The urban ghetto
culture has reached even St. Winifred; every year in their pantomime
they have an obligation dance: it starts out as a ballet-type dance
and ends up with a rousing dance.
American and raunchy, hip-hop with lurid lyrics and the technology of
the music video at the snap of a finger for our eight year-olds.
Cue in and see anything: blues and adult and emphasis is on individual
pursuit – hedonism – “I have a body and I going satisfy my
body and I do not care.”
set the standard with the cheerleading thing decades ago - add pace,
skimpier and skin-out in a new shockingly slack culture.
The music of
the generation, which sees itself as part of the cultural empire of
the USA is sexually oriented. This kind must look American hip-hop.
They would love to be the fifty-first State of America. Everything
must be copied from America. America’s Top Model/Amateur Model
Search – cooking shows - mimics, monkey see monkey do.
It is hard
put to recognize this culture, the emphasis on American has wiped out
to the point, where Barbadian cannot be seen and what is not American
is Trinidadian: instead of J’ouvert morning Barbados has Foreday
Jump and Crop Over is no longer Barbadian but Trinidadian. Little that
is Barbadian speaks out and unlike other Caribbean people, Barbadians
have become exactly what they wanted to be - like the Americans - and
worst, not even Jamaicans, who are supposed to be arrogant - when a
Jamaica is in an argument he is in it in a very Caribbean way.
American is part of Barbadian culture it is obligatory to have an American
or Jamaican accent. Trinidad and Jamaica have some self-respect.
some on earth can wuk-up. In the black Caribbean it is part militaristic
- one, two, three, four – ten-cent dollar - and part procreation.
They are masters at the art of wuking-up. Middle Eastern women
can do the same but there men cannot juke-juke- for-juke.
Girls did that
but not in public. Showing to the world a pussy is American.
in middle and upper classes: if asked to do something creative too many
children will choose modeling. The emphasis in modeling is breaking
up bones - females learning to juke out their hips – and walking with
the hip-jerk walk that again emphasizes sexuality.
down from Crop Over parading and men sit on a wall watching. The mostly
white Blue Box Cart band came down and a white girl about fifteen years-old
holds on to an older man and wuks-up on him. She has to be a St
Gabriel’s or Queen’s College and everybody cheers and he is embarrassed
but he cannot push her off in front of his friends to look like an idiot.
represent the old (said applauding) when there was a gentility
of manners and mannered ways and when Barbadians went overseas they
were known as a mannerly persons and to be English in a palatable way
– formal, prim and proper, stiff people, who knew their place and
did not embarrass. Yet there was something about our creativity
that was Bajan; they took the best of England and made their own.
No longer is
there grace - the eldest sons – now in their 80s - when their
sisters reached a certain age took them dancing to certain places.
Most of these dances were invitation only and their male friends, like
Lamming, said something about their sisters like she is so sophisticated.
He hit the nail on the head because of the way they behaved -
they did not put on anything.
of that generation that went to Spartan Club dances, and these were
blacks and coloureds that always had a pretension to be snobbish, by
invitation or had to dress a certain way - formal for men, black and
white. Percy Greene or Arnold Meanwell played. Meanwell
was a regular white man and some wondered if he was really white.
He was from St. Matthias and went to bed smoking a cigarette and he
The girls had
programmes: when the lady paid or was paid for she received a programme,
on which was written the songs and/or the combination of medley to be
played. The men asked and booked a dance. She looked at
her programme card and gave them number two or three out of the dances.
The young ladies were escorted on to and off of the dance floor and
they did not go to the bar, the males fetched drinks and relied on their
natural instincts to appeal to a woman.
come out looking as if their parents looked after them and were let
out by their parent for the parents knew that they would meet Harrison
College boys and Spartan men at places like the Aquatic Club.
There is a
joke about Joe Tudor from that time. Joe went to this girl and
asked: “May I have this dance.” She declined and Joe,
who was known for his common jokes, said “But look at you, you so
great, you do not want to dance with me.”
Her lips pursed.
Joe said: “You
better laugh because if you do not laugh you will poop. You could
laugh in public but you cannot poop in public.”
and grands have decent morals and good values but this is a different
set of rules all together: children do what they see and they have the
wrong role models. A real issue is not showing disapproval.
Those who know better and do better are supposed to say something.
It is not old fashioned to object, children themselves do not realize
what is normal behaviour and when disciplined and even if there
was a desire to follow they would not.
woman in her thirty told how she used to go and buy crack for her uncle’s
woman and he had sex with her from eight-years old, when she attended
St. Mary Primary School. She ended up with four children all of
them in homes.
So many mother
are mothers only because they have reproductive organs. Some of
these girls look like concentration camp house lizards; some mothers
do not cook they get Kentucky. Kentucky is so expensive, so that
means that each child will not get one - buy a box at $11.99 and let
the children share. School meals are relatively free, but the
problem is that many of these children do not eat vegetables they want
macaroni. Children get accustomed and they think it is normal.
rice and English potato is the easiest things put it in the pot and
leave it sometimes it gets soggy sometimes it burns. Everyday
is eaten one, two, three - macaroni corn beef and English potatoes and
cheap and easy and chow mien.
When we grew
up and Sunday was not Sunday without chicken and peas and rice at the
table and sometimes a spoon full of macaroni and cheese. This
was not about culture. “You do not eat macaroni pie?
You not a Bajan?” Macaroni and cheese is now called pie and it
is cheap. Acclimatizing is why certain people do not get out.
They are trapped in a class.
a thirty-four year old general worker with no certificate because she
bred very early. The first one she “get catch.” He is eighteen-years
old, and uses all the holes to curse all day, does not work and is in
the background shouting that when her elderly, sick, lover, who is in
his 80s dies she will have no money and will have to “sweep for a
She prays hard
but it has not worked. Her five-year old girl went to school at
three years old because she needed to have something to do but the baby
has no role model to follow. Her big brother is jackass and the
mother is not equipped either. The child needs to be taken out
of that environment.
A child had
children - that is multiplied by 50,000 times across the island.
who do not fall in the trap and speak out have to endure because senior
relatives will not listen or say: “You cannot lock up your
uncle look how it would look?”
fetter and will bubble over. The sad part is when nothing shocks
“Like putting bleach on a spot and all the spots cannot be removed.”
“Weeding a patch in a garden and the next door person growing weeds and you cannot go tell them weed their patch.”
what you talking to about morals. You are their brother or sister?”
must be interested in little sister. That was the norm.
Most of our children are lucky, so far they have not killed but the
sexual thing should be surprising, shocking, disappointing and then
there is a chance.
Once upon a
time adults in the family could go to town on Saturdays and leave teenagers
in the front gallery and they would kiss and grope but the thought of
having sex was frightening. Nowadays leave a girl alone for three four
hours and by that time they have been bred – “Not me cannot happen
to me; it happen to someone else,”
and there is nobody to tell them.
There are a
lot of people, who have a good sense of what is right. It has
a lot to do with the quality of expectation. Recently at Lester
Vaughn the girls sang songs and that sort of thing; a lot of them seemed
committed and nobody beat them to make them so, they follow one another.
Certain schools are like that.
The Seven Day
Adventist School although there is some bad behavior by them on the
bus a big Seven Day girl gets on the bus and all the bad behaviour stops.
gentility, or poor-great, they were our own standards before the last
twenty years. A campaign with missionary zeal by those, who will
measure success by what is achieved, with vigorous arguments buoyed
by optimism, influence and spirits that will not be dampened can win.
Move ahead and see how far can be got.
change yourself, change attitudes.