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“The idea that sex is something a woman gives a man, and she loses something when she does that, which again for me is nonsense. I want us to raise girls differently where boys and girls start to see sexuality as something that they own, rather than something that a boy takes from a girl.”

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Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Jamaicans intervening in brawls before they become violent

When I was a child, a young lady was stabbed and killed before my eyes. A confrontation escalated between two teenage girls in the presence of several of their peers and none of the spectators sought to defuse the argument but were standing in amusement taking in the scene like a night at a cinema. 

Their expressions did not change until one girl repeated landed stabs to the upper torso of the other. My father ran to the girl, tore his shirt off and wrapped her wounds so as to prevent the bleeding. He placed her drooping body, weak from exsanguination on his bicycle, took her to the police station and they carried her to the hospital where she died. I thought even at my pubescent age that if one of the friends had intervened instead of treating the altercation with amused indifference then that little girl would be alive today. 

It is not only unique to our culture where people make light of others' tragedies and find malicious satisfaction in the failure of others. We have become an insensitive people quite apparent in how our children react to acts of violence in school, I am referring to a video that when viral of the stabbing death of a teenage girl at Anchovy High School.  We see it in the policeman and cabby shooting video of this week where everyone was laughing when the cabby and the police officer were tumbling on the ground like torrential lovers but everyone got angry and outraged when the officer shot at the   Cab driver in order to stunt his advances. Why didn't they intervene before the matter at hand escalated? 


Are our lives so out of sync? Are we a fatalistic people with nothing to do with our short existence that we would find happiness and fulfillment watching others fail or die? What does that say about what we are teaching our children? We have allowed cable television to brainwash us into thinking that conflicts and violence are entertainment, death in these incidents reminds us that any disagreement, no matter how small can result in serious consequences. We cannot find amusement in violence. We are not going to sit aside and allow people to kill themselves over foolishness, we must learn better conflict resolution skills. Violence is not entertainment. We must be committed to changing our reactions to fights before they escalate. We must quash a quarrel before weapons are introduced, not fuel the fire with laughter and spectatorship. 

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