Sun | Aug 20, 2017

Fatherless homes spawn 'generation of vipers'

Published:Saturday | May 14, 2016 | 5:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

Chairman of the Jamaica Police Federation Sergeant Raymond Wilson has been spewing words like a bull in a China shop, as he once again reflects a leader that is out of step with modern-day policing that is necessary to solve Jamaica's crime problem.

One could not fail to notice his subliminal message for the nation to endorse the archaic eye-for-an-eye law of retaliation when he stated, "When will we wake up and see that this generation of vipers may require a similar harsh response to what they are doing to our law-abiding citizens and our hard-working police officers?" (The Gleaner, Thursday, May 12, 2016). Could this "harsh response" be the establishment of "death squads" to carry out vigilante killings among the "generation of vipers?" Based on the force's failure to solve the more than 40,000 homicides since the late 1970s, we can assume that it is not about arresting these vipers.

The term "generation of vipers" was used by the biblical characters, John the Baptist and Jesus. In John the Baptist's case, he asked. "Who warned you to flee?" while Jesus asked, "How shall you escape?"

What do these biblical characters mean by "generation of vipers"? It is first the recognition that every generation contributes its quota till, at last, judgement falls; and that while they warned of judgement, it was important that the human conscience be brought to recognise both the reality of the wrong and the inevitability of the punishment.

 

FATHERLESS CHILDREN

 

In Jamaica's context, our "generation of vipers" is populated by fatherless children manifested in the growing irresponsible men towards their families and children. Ironically, some are found among the police force, as pointed out by the minister of national security, and masculine regression into childhood games of narcissistic self-concern that are the sorry side effects of the departriarchalisation of modern Jamaica.

The unasked question of Sergeant Wilson should therefore have been: What significance is the presence of a fatherless society to the development of awareness and independence in children and, inter alia, the nation?

If both the political directorate and the Jamaica Constabulary Force is really serious about the need to stymie crime, we need to urgently address both the poor economic opportunities and poor family life in our fatherless society.

DUDLEY C. MCLEAN II

Box 1313, Mandeville, Manchester