Societal moral decline is on the riseWednesday, September 15, 2021
On Friday evening October 16, 2009, about 7:35 pm a Toyota Coaster bus overtook me on Constant Spring Road going south, just below Mary Brown's Corner in the vicinity of Oaklands, as part of a group of buses racing together.
When the bus got in front of me I could see through its rear window a flat screen monitor, no less than 20 inches in size, located in the front of the bus beside the driver in the place where a rear-view mirror would normally be. On the screen was being shown pornography, purporting to be dancing, at what appeared to be a dancehall setting.
I attempted to get close enough to the bus to read the licence number so that it could be reported to the police. I was not able to do so until we reached in the vicinity of Cargill Avenue because of the speed of the group of buses and their indisciplined weaving through the traffic. I eventually reported the offending bus to a female police officer on duty by calling 119 at 7:45 pm. I trust that there was effective follow-up and prosecution.
I have taken the liberty of openly writing on this because of the destruction it causes to the minds of all those who are exposed to it, whether willingly or unwittingly. Willingly, because there are those in our society who seem to find nothing wrong with the open display of sex, drug use, or violent actions and reactions. Unwittingly, because an innocent boarding of the bus may result in unplanned and undesired exposure to pornography.
I believe, however, that the majority of Jamaicans find displays such as these offensive, and deem it their right to be able to use public transport and public spaces without being subject to sights or sounds that debase the sex act to the level of unrestrained animalistic behaviour. What people wish to do in private is their business. What they do in public is our business and that of the State.
I shudder to think how the mind of a teenager on that bus on his or her way to a young people's meeting at church would be affected. No amount of prayer can erase the impression, however fleeting, made on that still malleable young mind. It is seared in forever.
We may, if we become aware of the experience, be able to mitigate the damage, but the memory will always be there. Where, further, that young mind is devoid of strong positive parental or community guidance, and especially so for our young men for whom strong male role modelling is less likely, the consequences become even more devastating.
Actions, such as seen on that bus, are preventable, and are certainly sanctionable. There are enough good men and women in our society to combat and conquer the declining standards in Jamaica. The real question that needs to be answered, individually and collectively, is whether these men and women are willing to pay the price of standing up for what is good and right for our beloved Jamaica.
The price of the alternative is further decline; ultimate decay of values, respect, and human worth; and the destruction of our society as we know it today.
John A McFarlane
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