How to Turn Jamaican Children into Mindless Sheep

November 4, 2007

and make our educational system into a mockery… 

1. Put people like Esther Tyson in charge of our children’s educational development.

2. Give her a national platform where she uses her status of Principal of a highly regarded high school to promote her religious beliefs, knowing that few will question her.   Jamaicans, after all, are suckers for elitist behavior, and people of such status dictating what we should do. She knows it. We all know it.

3. Allow her to write as if her agenda is inherently more noble, righteous or legitimate than the “homosexual agenda” that she claims is at work simply because American rightwing and religious fundamentalists said so, and that’s what she’s been brainwashed by.  Again, she knows that Jamaicans don’t give a hoot about evidence; why? That’s easy.  We have been educated under regimes governed by Esther Tysons, where we have been taught not to think or question received knowledge.  Esther clearly demonstrates and supports the view that if one thinks it and claims it, then it must be right, valid and sanctioned by God.

4. Allow her to claim that the viewpoint of The Church of God of Jamaica, a fundamentalist denomination that is so reactionary, puritannical and sexist, they rival or come quite close to the Taliban, is representative of Judeo-Christian theology.

5. Accept her logic that since heterosexuality has been normalized as an institution (ie. enforced through law and cultural values) in Jamaica thus far, it would be somehow unthinkable to question that repressive setup at this moment in time.

6. Accept her argument that her particular religious views – as perverted and biased as it is – should be the basis for how our ostensibly democratic society should be governed, and the views that all of us should be held hostage to, no matter how ridiculous, anti-human or intolerant to social justice.

7.  Allow her to use the party line of right-wing fundamentalism and pass it off as her own.  That is, using established rhetorical tricks to demonize human beings by drawing unsavory comparisons between them and animals, helps to show her contempt and to justify their subordination.

8.  Allow her to ignore evidence that does not support her ideological position, to misrepresent historical material, and to pass off her thinking as logical, informed and concern for all of us. 

9.  Allow her to position herself and her argument as “right”, where her plea that “we as a people need to think for ourselves” really means, agree with and accept her point of view, along with its consequences.

10.  Allow her to make claims based on specious comparisons and to use suppositions rather than evidence to support her particular views.

11. Allow her to misuse language (e.g. “ideal”, “spurious”, “objectivity”, “bias”, “morality”,  etc.) and to mangle, misconstrue and misrepresent social scientific knowledge to serve her own political interests.

12.   Allow her to promote her argument on the assumption that the questions that she asks of those “other agendas” should and cannot not be asked of hers.

13.  Allow her to usurp her role as an educator, and to abuse her authority by using the school as her political platform ie. to proselytize our children, and to coerce them to accept her worldview.

14.  Allow her to show her fundamentalist, uninformed, miseducated, anti-intellectual backside in public, and then let her keep her position as Principal, on the basis that “she took a stance for what is right”.

15.  Hire people like her and give her authority to provide a warped, prejudiced, anti-intellectual and moralistic foundation to make sure our children can’t reason their way out of a paper bag.

Our schools should be educating, not indoctrinating, our children.  If only I were the Minister of Education or the Prime Minister…


7 Responses to “How to Turn Jamaican Children into Mindless Sheep”

  1. young student Says:

    wow, I stumbled upon this what ever this is while surfing the net. I am really wondering if an adult wrote this, the hieght of immaturity pouring out of this is truely entertaining. It seems that this writer needs to resolve some deep issues and maybe taking Esther Tysons advice could help.

  2. long bench Says:

    “Young Student” : Your comment belies your own immaturity, my dear. If there is a particular issue or comment with which you quarrel, say your piece. Substantive comments are always welcome here.

  3. shortbench Says:

    I shudder to think what would happen to ‘our children’ if you were the Minister of Education or the Prime Minister. That’s why I have to love God you know 🙂 He knows exactly what He’s doing when He puts people in places of power…. and keeps others out.

  4. Javed Jaghai Says:

    I couldn’t agree with you more. But longbench, “Young Student” bright iihn? Bot a wa dis. If you have an issue with someone’s arguments, you attack the validity of each statement, and the strength of the premises, of said argument, not the writer.

    “Taking Esther Tyson’s advice might help.” Yes, surely, it might help to bury us in the trench of ignorance we have dug for ourselves.

    People should be empowered to constantly challenge the reasoning behind the staus quo (besides saying, Gas se so). Culture is a most powerful influence, but without advocates for change, we will continue to live by obsolete traditions and values that have no place in a modern, intelligent society. Though my generation shows some promise, the influence of the older generations is unmistakable, and nothing will change until they pass away.

    Quasi-intellectuals like Esther Tyson need fi uol dem kaanaz. Jamaica’s development has been stunted for far too long.

    • longbench Says:

      Javed – I remember my religious education classes in high school clearly, as well as the profound differences among the teachers who did those lessons. One say: bible is doctrine; the other say, bible is subject to interpretation; one say everyone needs to learn about the great religions of the world no matter what they choose to believe; the other say, we need to know what is in god’s plan for us so that we can help bring others to christ. If children are not taught how to think their way through a problem from the time they are starting to form sentences, then they can’t help it if when they get to university they are as blind as bats in daylight. Esther is doing her bit for our nation. I think its incumbent on me to do what I can to undo the damage folks of her mindset are wreaking.

  5. Zeech Says:

    come on now, the education is a mockery in the first place be it JA, TT or any caribbean colonial country. In that it’s a mockery to me, but then I am a drop and my hero is Ted Joans, my Life is Jazz – the original superfreak. If the real issue here is sexuality, and so on what to do? I remember going to Gaudaloupe (I tellyou those Francophille islands are really behind!) and our group with our great western college values kept asking, ‘so what about the gay teenagers? how do you make a safe space for gay and bisexual teen’s’. To which the Guaudaope folk went ‘eh? they didn’t get it’.
    Some of our groups was like ‘these ppl are so backward etc etc ‘ and others were like ‘they understand, they know what goes on (the presence of white ol’ men cruising the beach shows so) but they have other priorities. When they can get over those BASIC BASIC priorities like feeding themselves, then the personal issues of pleasure can get dealt with’.
    Isn’t that why so many folk like Rex N. keep their sexuality on the downlow? Until such a time when teh basics get sorted. THe US didn’t get Gay and Serious until AFTER the Civil Rights while they were awash with industrial growth.

    • longbench Says:

      Zeech – Thanks for stopping by. Education is made even more a mockery by using schools as avenues to proselytize rather than opening up students’ minds. I always find the speculation about Rex Nettleford problematic, if only because it says a lot about our narrow views of gender & sexuality that so many of us are so convinced that he is absolutely gay. Why are we so invested in him and his sexual orientation, and not in changing our own fucked up ways of behaving and relating to other people? Maybe if we thought differently, we might not be so concerned about him.

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