‘Seriously’ Speaking: A week of exemplary parenting
A screengrab from a video of little 'Minty' being robbed of his innocence.
I thought I was beyond being shocked until I saw three videos on social media this week which showed in no uncertain terms, how much danger we are in as a nation.
The first video, that of little ‘Minty’, the cigarette-smoking toddler, went viral early last week and led to his mother being jailed by the cops, and Minty being rightly shipped off to a children’s home under the auspices of the Child Protection and Family Services Agency (CPFSA).
In that video we see the entire playbook from ‘Bad Parenting 101’.
"Puff it, Minty (expletive deleted). See yuh Ice deh. How yuh mean birthday boy? Puff it out again Minty. Tek two pull outta it again... smoke it out!" a male voice off camera incredibly urged.
A female then instructs the bare-chested minor to hold and sip an alcoholic drink in a glass bottle called 'Ice'.
Minty, his chest and hair white from baby powder, squinted his eyes in response to the challenges of the smoke from the cigarette, and then obliged the cheerleading excuses for adults.
Grabbing his cheeks with both hands, the toddler took a gigantic pull on the cigarette, filling his lungs with toxic smoke, and then coughed in a most horrible fashion.
He then appeared to vomit up the substance from the ‘Ice’ bottle prior to the abrupt end of the video as the adults cheered him on and laughed raucously, without any worry or care amid the fun that little Minty could have vomited out his tripe.
We couldn't make this up even if we wanted to... It was simply parental, or at least adult, carelessness at its peak.
One wonders what sort of destiny awaits Minty, aka ‘Mint Ball’ down the road. Other kids his age got birthday cakes, balloons, bounce-about, ice-cream and such delights.
Under his circumstances, Mint Ball should have been wearing a T-shirt with the words: “Today is my third birthday and all I got was a cigarette, a bottle of ‘Ice’, lousy parents and this stupid T-shirt.”
Shame on them. S-H-A-M-E!! And shame on the system for so far arresting only the mother. Why is the father allowed to abdicate his responsibility and get off scot-free (so far)?
I am just sorry for poor Minty. It is clear that neither of his parents is exactly a ball of fire in the brains department. They seemed to be well on their way to raising an apprentice juvenile delinquent, a socially maladjusted toddler who could grow up to be the kind of teenager who would not care about loudly breaking wind during a reading of the Merchant of Venice in Literature class.
A man acts as the land where he grew up taught him to act. Somebody failed Minty's father and someone else failed Minty's father’s father before him. And so the story goes… unfortunately.
This is Jamaica, home of an insidious system where the Government grants meaningless personal freedoms in order to narcotise the pain of class repression. You don't really have to pay your traffic tickets, you don't have to pay child support, and you don't really have to be a great parent, and you can smoke copious amounts of weed, pretend to be a dancehall artiste while being front and centre, a menace to society.
You could say the problem is poverty because to live on less than $1,000 a day is a complicated business, especially when you have lots of noisy, nose-running rug rats (the way some distressed parents seem to view their children) to contend with. Just ask the Jamaican man (let’s call him that for the time-being) who actually expressed relief at the supposed ‘easing of his burden’ of caring for his 11 children which agents of the state took away from his custody.
In another video, that man (take it easy; we agreed on the definition even on an interim basis) who seemed to be in his 30s, appeared smoking marijuana and claiming that he was at his home with the children when personnel from the CPFSA swooped down on his premises and took the children into state care.
Mr 'Ready fi di Road!'
“Right now mi free and can duh road. Free and single and ready to mingle, good father de pon the road, no responsibility, everything up,” the man advertised in the video, and actually invited women to consider hooking up with him.
He even offered to share valuable information with any parents who wanted to similarly “rid themselves of their (parental) responsibilities”.
Why should we pretend to be shocked? Relief was, predictably, his dominant emotion after losing 11 kids.
“Right now me nuh have to a buy no feeding, no pampers; me free from all of dem thing deh... mi get a chance to start over,” he mused while a fat spliff dangled from his lips.
What a fine specimen of a human being! This charming clump of sink hair needs to be chemically castrated and removed from the local gene pool lest he impregnate anyone else. That should be the first priority of the state after the removal of the children.
And the final video, the coup de grace that illuminates the sad condition of this, our tottering state, is a real gem of a kind. Two women (and I use the term loosely here), get into a huge argument in a dialect I can barely understand, while standing at a riverside.
Woman #1 issues a challenge to Woman#2, saying “Then yuh can chat to mi?"
"Put down di baby and mek mi and yuh war," Woman #1 advises and declares in one shot out of her mouth.
Woman#2 promises her a fine beating using a word we cannot repeat here.
Woman#1 then attempts to drag the baby out of the other girl's arms, presumably to give a bystander so the fisticuffs can begin in earnest.
Woman #2 objects and holds on to her baby, declaring: "Don't touch mi baby!"
Woman#1 then escalates the situation, as she slaps Woman#2 in their heads, seemingly also hitting the baby in the process.
Incensed, Woman#2 puts the baby down on some river stones and grabs Woman#1 by the throat and hurls her to the ground like a scene from ‘Monday Night Raw’, and they begin wrestling on the ground.
The baby starts to scream in horror at the scene, but no one attempts to stop the wrestling women.
At one point, the skirt of Woman#2 hikes up over her thick hips, revealing (surprise, surprise) no panties, but amid it all, she proceeds to rain down blows on her rival just before the video ends abruptly.
I would honestly pay good money to see the end of that episode of ‘Riverbed Wars’.
But ‘Seriously’ Speaking, We must applaud these fine exemplars of modern-day parenting. As we head into the third decade of the 21st century, Jamaica's future is indeed in ‘good’, irresponsible hands at some community levels.