Categorized | Editorials

Urban Renewal in the Spotlight

As we move through some of our heartland areas – whether by day or by night and whether on foot or by car – we are bombarded by evidence that tells us that a new species of community is being birthed – a type where bands of feral youth do what they must in order to survive.

As a consequence, there are an untold number of people whose only known means of survival is that they sell themselves to each and all regardless.

The strip clubs are booming, they are teeming with men and women crawling from one level of debauch to the other.

Simply put, these people are today’s living expression of what happens when a people is pushed to that point where industry is perverted, when the human person is turned into a commodity and where Consumerism on the rampage is the new god that must be pacified and palliated.

Today in their fervent rush to consume more and more things and in the perfervid drive to find the wherewithal for this kind of mad life-style, we find that more and more of these people are being wasted on altars of greed.

Some of our nation’s schools – public and private alike – are just not working. This is also evidenced by the fact that in any given school year thousands of students come out of schools [say that they have been graduated], but who know it better than anyone else that they are functionally illiterate and woefully innumerate.

This is a national disgrace.

On occasion, this disgrace morphs into families that are run by people who are so incompetent that some of their school attending children sometimes eclipse parents who cannot read or write – or hold down a sensible, well-paying job.

In turn, some of these troubled families disgorge troubled, illiterate children.

Why you might ask is this sad situation allowed to continue.

We would proffer – as explanation and as cry for relief – that having decided that every child in the Bahamas should have access to schooling in an independent Bahamas, this nation’s elite classes saw to it that this was done.

Every child in the Bahamas has access to schooling, with but a few having access to a genuine education.

Predictably, the system did what it was designed to do: it churned out the few who could negotiate the hurdles and thereafter disgorged the many who had presumably ‘failed’.

The fact of the matter was far simpler: The system failed them!

But as night follows day – with will – this matter can be reversed and our country’s social systems can be so re-engineered that they can become – in short order – genuine agencies of social transformation.

Media can also – if allowed – also play a vitally important role in helping to educate the masses of our people and to help inculcate in them an ethos whereby they come to see themselves as nation-building pioneers.

Education and schooling could come to be seen as genuine agencies of social transformation and renewal in the Bahamas and so too could media.

One of the other more interesting social phenomena attendant on daily life – as it is experienced into today’s Nassau-centric Bahamas – has to do with how mass media have been allowed to contribute to the dispersal of fear on a mass scale.

Notwithstanding this sad fact of life, we are today sorely afraid that there are some among us in the media business that clearly could care less.

For our part the pledge is simple: we will continue to speak truth to power.

One crucial example cries out for both critique and attention; namely Urban Renewal 2.0 this current administration’s pet social engineering projects.

This is an initiative that cries out not only for input but also for the engaged involvement of as many – this because of the fact that voluntarism and sacrifice must be given space for doing their thing.

There remains a large role for media to play in this vitally needed project where process is co-requisite to success at that sweet spot where you win or you lose.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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