Paul: Tackle issue of deviance
A MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT has called for “an honest debate” on why so many of the island’s young men are engaging in deviant behaviour.
MP James Paul was speaking at the launch of the inaugural Caribbean Congress of Community Practitioners (CCCP) at the Warrens Office Complex yesterday.
The two-day event, with the theme Unlocking The Region’s Future, saw participants being drawn from a number of community groups across the island and the region.
NATION Associate Editor Maria Bradshaw was rewarded for her WEEKEND NATION community column, It Matters To Maria, while Joycelyn Miller, Dale Elliott and Jermaine Griffith were recognised for their work in the community, in television and in music respectively.
Paul, who referred to a recent killing in his constituency, said: “We need to have a very honest debate about why so many of our young men are being deviant.
“What can we do as community practitioners to help to address this very critical issue?”
He said while everyone had to shoulder some of the responsibility, part of the problem stemmed from the fact that “too many of us bite our tongues when we see wrongs happening and fail to say anything largely because of the fact that we feel that crumb that dropped off the table we will not get it”, or that people did not want to offend.
Paul went on to say that fathers were failing their sons, the grounding in the home was gone, and he called for a reintroduction of values.
The St Michael West Central representative further said that the CCCP’s launch was timely and extremely important.
“We have got to have an honest debate and people have got to start accepting responsibility for the young people we are producing,” Paul said, adding that society tended to write off people “too readily and too early”.
Also speaking was Guyana’s Opposition Leader David Granger who compared the launch of the CCCP to the fourth greatest movement in the Caribbean.
He said the first three were Emancipation, integration and independence, but they, “despite their grand intentions”, had excluded the grass roots communities.
“This movement that is being launched today has to review how much ground we have covered over the last 50 years,” he said.
Meanwhile, the brains behind the CCCP, Government’s Advisor on Social Policy Hamilton Lashley told the participants they were part of a pioneering effort in the region.
“This journey that we are going on is one that will bring the communities across the region together. This mission that we are on will see what has been a long, fleeting illusion across the region of bringing regional harmony and integration,” he said. (HLE)