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Rehabilitation of our males is a fundamental priority


Published: Jul 14, 2017

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Dear Editor,

 

The single most pressing societal problem facing The Bahamas today, as we celebrate 44 years of so-called independence is the self destruction and demise of the younger black males and the apparent abandonment of responsibilities by the mature and older ones. Statistics will show that more than 75 percent of the male inmates at The Bahamas Correctional Center are there for drug running and usage; petty stealing; alleged homicides and, of course, domestic violence. In the main, most of them are under 30 years of age with multiple previous convictions in what is clearly a revolving door system. The older ones are there for white collar crime; debt; domestic violence; drug usage and sales; fraud and, of course, crimes against the person.

It has been opined that more than half of the males in the wider society did not graduate from high school and many of those who did are functionally illiterate. 80 percent of them have no marketable skills and little or no vocational training. The bulk of them are from so-called single parent homes (headed by a hapless female in most cases) where they were reared/ are being reared with no social or communication skills. They are products of the inner city or slum areas of New Providence and Grand Bahama (the two largest population centers) who seek acceptance and cohesion within what we term 'the gang syndrome'.

On a daily basis, it seems, the nation watches in abject horror while scores of our young men are slaughtering each other without regard or remorse. The powers that be wring their collective hands and cry crocodile-sized fake tears until the next anticipated carnage. The church, collectively, does what it is capable of doing, but can it do more? Civil society and non-governmental organizations, I submit, while appearing to do a good job of rescuing a handful of our wayward males, have all failed, big time, to conceptualize and implement real and constructive programs to arrest the downward spiral of the younger and not-so-young Bahamian males. This cannot go on ad nauseum if we are to move this wonderful nation forward.

Too many of us adopt the attitude that if the relevant male is not related or known to us then he is 'on his own' and we demonstrate an attitude of 'to hell with you'. This, of course, is dangerous in the extreme as the nation, collectively, is debilitated by the antisocial behavior of just a single Bahamian. Not only do we place undue pressure on our medical/trauma systems but lost productivity and increased criminal activities negatively impact our wonderful country. The collective 'in your face' attitude of many of our males, young and old, does not bode well for sustainable national development.

I, like so many other right-thinking Bahamians, have had enough of this perpetual shaving cream and have resolved to immediately do something about this societal cancer. The time for endless bogus talk and mindless chatter is over. Effective the 17th instant, I will incorporate: 'The Nation of Yahweh' as a nonprofit, non-governmental organization, catering exclusively to the rescuing, reconstruction and motivation of our males, especially the younger ones, who by circumstances or by poor choices have fallen through the societal cracks. What will be the mission statement; what will be the objectives and what will the proposed organization do, on the ground, to bring about a revolution for the better within our society?

The Nation of Yahweh, first and foremost, will be a non-religious and non-denominational organization. The mission statement will be: To provide a platform for Bahamian males to dialogue and interact with each other in a strictly non-political manner. We will teach and mentor males from ages 18 years and upwards to become productive and useful members of society. We will mentor them, one-on-one, and teach them proper grooming and dress codes. We will also ensure that each member of The Nation of Yahweh acquires marketable job and vocational skills so as to financially provide for himself as well as his family. It is mandatory that we preach and practice our Christian faith and the same will apply to all that we do as we continue to build our wonderful country.

The Nation of Yahweh means precisely that. The organization, while not a religious one, will seek to instill discipline and a sense of societal and personal responsibility. Members will be taught to love and respect all of our fellow Bahamians, especially the female of the species. This sick and slack culture whereby Bahamian men, across the board, indiscriminately father multiple children out of wedlock, only to abandon them and the mother(s) at whim, must be reduced to the irreducible minimum. The worship of the ingrained drug culture, either by distribution and/or usage, must come to an end. While illicit and other drugs might provide the instant and fleeting high, their usage and distribution are wrecking havoc in our country.

Bahamian males who get caught up in the drug trade might appear to be 'successful' initially, but death and destruction are just around the corner, and the news headlines continue to blare out yet another homicide, rape and/or armed robbery. Those who are fathers set a terrible personal example for their children and, indeed, themselves. The attraction of a conviction for illegal matters is not just a possible sentencing to jail, but could be a life-long ban from traveling abroad or seeking higher education and a well-paying job. This could lead to a perpetual life of crime and societal mayhem.

Many of the males of the species do not know how to dress or how to groom themselves in an acceptable manner. This foolishness of having your trousers hanging down to one's ankles and having dreadlocks (unkempt) and all sorts of unusual hair styles, while perhaps fashionable, will not cut it with obtaining gainful employment or societal respectability in most cases. The display of public alcoholic consumption and the sexual harassment of the female of the species must come to an ignoble end, sooner rather than later.

We will teach and encourage a strict public dress code and nation building attitude. Where possible, The Nation of Yahweh will encourage the start up of assorted businesses and economic ventures to empower all of our members. While we will be a vital part of Bahamian society, we in The Nation of Yahweh will separate ourselves from the trivial, crude and mundane behavioral patterns which have come to dominate our society. No, we will not adopt the racist’s philosophy of the USA-based Nation of Islam, but we will adopt and inculcate many of its core principles.

Any Bahamian male from age 18 years and upwards is invited to become a part of this proposed organization. It must be clearly appreciated and understood that the rescuing and rehabilitation of our males is a fundamental priority and must not fail. The appropriate public notice of the venue and time for the inaugural meeting of The Nation of Yahweh will be published within days. All Bahamian males are invited to attend and become members of a movement which will shake the very foundation of our country. To God (Yahweh) then, in all things, be the glory.

 

– Ortland H. Bodie, Jr.

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