The Windrush generation parents would never tolerate Gangster Pickney in their homes

May 19, 2017

When you think the Windrush generation and of Ms Lou, the famous Jamaican poet generations, as Old School Parents, they would not be tolerating any “Gangster Pickney” living under their roof or carrying any type of weapon on the streets, in order to take somebody else's life.

And as a young person, if you thought you were a gangster, you had better keep it to yourself because any back talking to that generation as big as you were, not even Childline, a Social Worker or a Policeman or any False God was going to save you from a box or the belt.

That generation was not perfect, but one thing for sure discipline was part of their spiritual journey with their kids, and from infancy, many of us would know that it was not in our own interest to have our parents talk to us more than twice about a certain matter in the house.

The amount of time my Jamaican mother would remind me, that she carried me here and not me carry her, and for 9 months she carried me and out of her stomach they had to cut me from, and that it was she who gave life to me.

I can only imagine that other kids in my age group had a similar conversation with their parents, especially their mom since many of us had only a mother that played the role as a mother and a father to us, and even those who had a father, the mother still played both parenting roles, for may that was the way it was.

For that reason, in many cases, a parent looks at us and the threat of the belt was enough to keep many of us in line.

Also because many of us experience going to Sunday School or Church, the last thing many of us wanted was to bring any shame to our parents front door, even a visit from a policeman was too much pressure for many of us.

And if any of us experience any discipline at school, you know we would probably get it again from our parents.

From the days of the Windrush Generation, many parenting values have changed, with the influence of central government and the law, and society saying that the type of disciplining that many Caribbean parents were used to giving was wrong.

I can still remember my daughter coming home and informing me about a presentation in a school assembly about a new organisation called Child Line, that was set up to promote children rights and to protects them from abuse from their parents.

The good intention of Child Line also gave many kids power over their parents, because even I was well aware that when my own daughter needed to be discipline, had I gone over the top, I would be expecting trouble at my front door, for that reason me and I am sure many other parents would just let something slide.

When you think of some of the current behaviour of some of the kids who are involved in street gang activity today, one thing is sure compared to when I was a child, and that is the lack of respect for any type of authority.

Especially starting from within the home, if a mother can not pull her kids up in fear of their kids talking back to them, then there is a major problem for any parent or a single mother on her own.

If a mother sees her kids dressing in colours of street gangs, or having certain material things they should not be able to afford, and if she cannot talk to her child that she carried for 9 months, then there is something wrong.

If a mother sees certain conversation and activities on her child social media page, about the type of company or association he or she is keeping that could contribute to a police visit or even worse, be killed on the streets, then there is something wrong.

My mother is black woman, my sister is a black woman, my nieces and cousins are black women, but sadly I have to say, that there is sector of the female black community of women who are not doing themselves or their kids any favors, when they have worked hard to keep away a baby father from his child life, who wants to be father to his kids.

There is a big difference in a deadbeat father or as some may say a “waste man”, who does not want the responsibility of being a father to his kids, or the responsibility of being a father with a certain baby mother, who he may have issues with.

So as a big man, I can understand the frustrating tearful words from those mothers who have struggled in some cases to make sure their baby father plays a positive role of a father in their kid's life.

Guys like me feel your pain, however, thinking of ourselves, selfish it might be, we only can talk about our own personal journey in wanting to be a positive role model to our own kids.

So imagine how a father feels when the day comes and he is informed that the child he was not allowed to see, is in bad company, has no manners or respect for any type of authority, or that they have been arrested by the police or dead because of a street gang activity.

The solution that many are talking about may not be easy because the problem of unruly kids in some Black community appears to be very cancerous.

For me, it is so important for parents to start to support those in the community who are trying to make a difference as well as to save a child's life from prison or a premature death.

And that more like-minded organisation should start to share good practices, of ideas and processes and networks that can save a child from being another statistic.

For too long many have been playing the blame game, and being very selective who they support, when it comes to Black families issues in the community. 

Along with central government requesting pages and pages of written reports, of why there is such a problem of “Black on Black Crime” on the streets of Britain.

I am unsure if some of the personalities behind some of the reports were truthful or not, especially when it comes to attaching blame, or the right agencies or organisations were used to deal with many issues in the black community or why we have so many killings of so many young black lives, considering how much money has been spent over the years.

Because of the money already spent on failed government projects over the years, I can imagine that central Government will be looking to the Black Community to be the solution to their own problems.

And that they will be looking to more parents to be more of a concerned parent, especially single mothers in knowing where their kids are,  and even more so at night, since many out of control young kids seem to be out too late at night and many parents seem to be in the dark what their kids are up to.

One thing for sure, “it has to stop”, and if it means going back to Old School Parenting, then so be it, when community responsibility was just the norm since many of our parent's generation realised that it took a “village to bring up a child”.

Walter JamesWalter JamesWalter James Photography

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