Breakdown of moral values contributing to criminality
THE EDITOR, Sir:
I was not surprised at the fatuous remarks by some people on social media who attacked Opposition Spokesperson on Youth and Culture Lisa Hanna for her comments on radio last Tuesday, that music from incarcerated artistes like Vybz Kartel should be banned from the public airwaves.
What shocked me was the malevolent expressions by Kartel's fans, in their dissent, to withdraw their political support for Hanna, as well as the brazen criminal threats that were levelled against her.
When someone contemplates, let alone utter, that another be subjected to unlawful acts as punishment because he or she disagrees with or was incapable of understanding the rationale in an argument, then we know we are in serious trouble.
This is what a breakdown of morals and values in a society that has poor or a lack of good parenting, as well as a blatant disregard for the rule of law, can do to people. The level of ignorance that besets many of these men is profoundly baneful, and we must cauterise it before it spreads criminality further.
While I do not support the banning of music, because art should be celebrated, provided that it conforms with the law, and with the reasonable expectation that the radio and TV stations would ensure that the content is fit for airplay, I agree with Hanna that incarcerated people should not get the privilege of recording music and, I must add, for financial gain.
The only privilege that incarcerated artistes should receive is that of producing positive music that can guide their followers from their depraved inclinations and wanton ignorance.
The kind of garbage that I hear from some artistes feeds into the psyche of the criminals that are plaguing us. It gives great support to criminality, and is particularly empowering to the abusers and the murderers.
As part of the punishment for his murder conviction, Kartel, and all others incarcerated, should produce positive music for release, and the proceeds should go to the estate of their victims.
I certainly do not support the proceeds going to any convict's family. If they wanted the proceeds of their artistry to support their families, then they would have respected the rule of law and the victims' right to life.
Whether dancehall artistes are convicted criminals or not, the reality is that the rubbish that they often create has a major impact on the lives of our youth, many times for the worse.
We should not dictate what type of music the artistes should create as this would be restricting their musical expressions. However, it should not be too much for them to understand that we are living in perilous times, and that they can help to make a difference by producing positive music.
We need a sensible discourse on how to address the negative influence that some artistes have on the youth, in conjunction with the other societal ills.
At the end of the day, the proper mechanisms must be put in place to support and guide our youth, instilling in them the values, principles and determination needed to move our country forward.