Growth Forum: 'Kick American culture out of Hanover'
Steven Rivierie, president of the Hanover Hemp and Ganja Farmers Cooperative, has issued a challenge to Jamaican parents and caregivers, urging them to make a concerted effort to wean the minds of the country's youth from the corrosive elements of American culture.
According to Rivierie, any effective attempt to address the delinquent behaviour of Jamaican youth must begin with a recognition of this negative American influence.
"If we ignore our youth, we will do so at our own peril, and persons of my generation are very fond of saying that 'the youth them head gone', and 'the youth them nowadays them this, that and the other thing'," said Rivierie, while addressing The Gleaner's Job Creation, Investment and Growth Forum, in Lucea. "But we need to realise that the predominant youth culture of the world - not just of Jamaica - is the American youth culture, which is not good."
"I don't believe in censorship, but one must be able to make a choice between rubbish and something good," Rivierie said.
"I love music, and when my sons were at Rusea's [High School], I hear them listening to some rap music, and while I don't believe in censorship, I take some CDs and I just pop them up," he said.
Rivierie said when one of the boys protested, he responded by saying: "My youth, see $1,000 here. Go buy a Beres Hammond, go buy a Bob Marley, go buy a Garnett Silk, and listen to something that can help you and raise you up."
"It's this kind of strong action, which not only punishes bad behaviour but also offers guidance in how to channel their mental and physical energies into constructive channels which must be encouraged," the Hanoverian insisted.
"We need to engage the youths and bring them in - whether in farming, whether it's ganja or otherwise - and create jobs and opportunities for them so they can be employed," continued Rivierie. "And any organisation in Hanover, including the Hanover Ganja Farmers Co-operative, has to identify some young youth and bring them in and say, 'sit here, at the table, so you can help be a part of the development of the future'."