ISSUE:- George Lamming and St. Andrew’s primary school girls simulate sex to vulgar songs with vulgar lyrics on a Harbour Master primary school cruise on 18th April 2009. The D.J. was a George Lamming teacher.
Post date: Apr 29, 2009 5:14:05 PM
“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.”
“You must 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 and continued.
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?’
“You have answered my question with a question.”
She complained about parents of the children.
“I have not called to chastise I called to help.”
“On Monday 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.”
“Parents 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.
There needs 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 be played.
Recently there 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 cared.
Carol asked 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.
Preach against 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;
Twelve is lunch.”
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 saying.
GEORGE LAMMING PRIMARY:
The powers-that-be 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 under tens.
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.
Tiny girls 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.
Licentious 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.
Wuking-up is 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 lion.
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.
Exhibiting 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.
Cheerleading 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.
Vigorous, urban, 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.”
The American 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.
Everybody and 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.
Wuk-up even 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.
Bands come 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.
People who 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.
The habits 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 got burnt.
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.
Those girls 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.”
If parents 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.
A hardworking 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.
Everyday macaroni, 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.
Trapped like 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 living.”
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.
Some girls, 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?”
These sores fetter and will bubble over. The sad part is when nothing shocks at all.
“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.”
“Morals what you talking to about morals. You are their brother or sister?”
Big brother 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.
Structure, 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 ways, change yourself, change attitudes.