At the root of the male youth crisis in the Virgin Islands are adults who inadvertently support their misdemeanors and poor behaviours.

The issue of poor male behaviours in the VI lies at the feet of the adult community. Tolerance for poor male behaviours is sadly part of the wider culture. Where did it come from? That is impossible to tell. One assumption is the failure to inculcate the values of a VI of yesteryear into the present generation. Respect for life and limb, fear of God, and respect for elders and community is no longer part of the community fabric.

Meanwhile, the importation of a toxic Americana with the subtype of black hubris and black-on-black violence is at the root of the drug and gun crime in the society.

There is more. Materialism and a keeping-up-with-the-Joneses has become a subculture in the VI. Debt is driving the society. Families are increasingly in debt because of the preceding, and the focus is on earning a living over raising a wholesome family.

The political and social leadership in the VI has failed the younger generation. There is a disconnect. How often do we hear pastors and social and political leaders on the airwaves condemning immorality in the community? Never! The culture of wrong and strong is dominant. It is always someone else’s fault.


Antisocial behaviour

Consequently, male youth especially see nothing wrong in antisocial behaviour. If adults ride around without helmets on motorbikes, why should I bother? If a politician has made great wealth from dishonesty, why should I not do the same? If Jack the Old Stud boasts of his string of “side chicks,” why should Younger Jack not become the “village ram?” If easy money comes through drug dealing and is the way to great wealth and power, why should Little Johnny not aim to become a “gangsta”?

The fact is that poor male behaviour is a simple reflection of the behaviour of adults. Children are a product of their culture. As the culture goes, so does the younger generation.

A culture that fosters honesty, responsibility and restraint will produce children who are honest, responsible and restrained. On the other hand, one that fosters easy money, tolerance for crime and materialism will produce that type.

So when we see youth performing poorly and behaving badly, best we look in the mirror.



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