Our Readers' Opinions
August 11, 2017
Free our homes; free our land

EDITOR: Nothing in life comes free, not even freedom.

For too long we have been chained. Trained to think that we are still enslaved and the only way of escape is to complain; to complain about these chains.

Some have been held captive physically, some have been stapled to their past and some have been locked up in their mind. We are, for too long, strangers to emancipation.

The light of freedom is there, and it is in our homes.

How often do we wonder why things are the way they are? How often do we observe the men and women who are trapped in social ills, with the mindset that they cannot do better? Why is it we grow up, afraid to think, speak or act as responsible, independent men? The way we train our children will determine the number of chains we eliminate, or we occupy.

In many homes, children are told to “shut up”. Not shut up because they’re being rude, or because the forum is inappropriate. But shut up, because “your thoughts are invalid”, “you’re not bright enough to converse with us”. Shut up, because “you are nobody”. Then we expect these children to grow up and be critical thinkers, to contribute to nationwide issues, to understand what “freedom of speech” is and to be men and women who’d make great choices. All of a sudden, they’re adults and should be able to think, to speak, to choose, to impact a nation.

In many homes, children are “independent”. They’re old enough to “go in deh book”. They’re big enough to prepare their meals. They have enough sense to “fend for themselves”. And then, we wonder why so many of us think we’re an island. We wonder why everyone feels the need to suffer their own pain and not ask for help, not cry out. We see them wanting to “hustle their own dollar”, make a life for themselves, get what they need, whether legally or illegally…all because “we’re independent”.

In our homes, sex is just another activity. Our children are abused and we say nothing. We believe it’d get better. She/he would grow out of it. “It’s only for a time; it will get better.” Why don’t we just deal with it NOW?

In our homes, we teach them to go to Sunday school. We tell them about God and how it is good to live for him. But, of course, we can do otherwise. “We’re big.” We tell them to forgive, but we are not ready for that. “I will deal with it in my way.” But oh, don’t forget kids, always forgive. Ha!

Still, in our homes, the boys are allowed to go anywhere and to be boys, forgetting that eventually they must be taught how to be a man. Our boys are allowed to roam the streets, failing to realize that they are at the same risks of danger as our girls. But no, let them go. Let the girls stick around and clean the house, cook the food and “be a woman”.

In our homes we preach that this is how you should grow, this is what you are expected to do, and forgetting that we are mirrors and our children’s future are reflected in “them”. “Drinking is not for you,” but of course the parents can. “Cigarettes mash up yuh lungs,” but the parents’ lungs and liver are mature enough to survive. “Never hit a woman or allow a man to hit you”, but we show them what it’s like and how it should be done.

We fail to love our children, tell them how wonderful they are, build their self-esteem. But, of course, we expect they should be loving! Why do you think they are fighting in schools?

So, in our homes, there must be change. End violence, hatred, depression, silence, sexual abuse and the many other things that stifle us. We have to make the difference. We have to be the ones to reach out and grab emancipation, by putting an end to everything that has kept us in bondage.

Vakeesha John