Dear Hon Stephen Lashley:
As one upon whom the honour to represent this country as a high-ranking Diplomat has been conferred, “Ri-Ri” has not been living up to the standards of the honour that was bestowed upon her as Barbados’ Ambassador for Youth and Culture.
Oh what an honour to be designated as one to raise the Barbados umbrella and have the best wishes and prayers of your countrymen, but what a dishonour to abuse the leverage given to you to promote your country. One of our daughters of the soil has “gone bad” and living a life that is totally out of control. She refuses to take wise counsel so it’s time to take corrective action in the best interest of our country and the youth she influences.
Rihanna’s behaviour is just not cool and unfortunately the one who bestowed the honour on her, the late David Thompson, is not here to witness this debacle. What would he do if he were still alive? Tell me, would he still endorse our “good girl gone bad”?
Rihanna, the official Barbados Tourism Authority spokesperson, has been promoting sexual tourism with her notoriously provocative videos and sexually explicit images. Not only is sex being promoted by Rihanna but use of profane language, abuse of alcohol, use of drugs, occultism, acts of lesbianism to name a few.
Tell me, Mr. Minister, is this the behaviour the Government expects of a person who represents this country at such a high level? Does the Barbados Tourism Authority monitor the conduct of those who they sign-up to promote the Barbados brand to ensure that both remain compatible?
Rihanna’s videos are very popular with downloaders across the world, but is this indicative that the behaviour is condoned all across the globe? Some countries have taken their stand against Rihanna’s suggestive, explicit and inappropriate sexual behaviour, why not you Barbados? Why have you remained silent when others have openly regarded this behaviour as deplorable and offensive?
We, the people of Barbados, continue to write our names on history’s page with expectations great, so hear us Government of Barbados, end your silence on Rihanna’s progressive undignified behaviour. Show zero tolerance for unacceptable behaviour, especially by those who have been designated to represent the land we love. Do not allow this nation to be promoted as one with no moral virtues or spiritual heritage.
The media houses also appear to take pleasure in stimulating the mortifying behaviours that this young female advocates. It is not acceptable for our youth to open a national newspaper and read about or see an ambassador of Barbados promoting full or partial nudity, drug use or reckless living without being reprimanded for such behaviours.
These negative behaviours are not to be affirmed but rather should be used as teaching points to show our youth that there are ramifications for these less than admirable acts. Our Prime Minister, Freundel Stuart, was quoted in the Press during his speech at the Caribbean International Youth Convention at the Church of Christ/Christian Church in Jezreel, St. Philip on July 28 as saying:
“There are many inducements out there in the world to side-track and to ensnare our young people, to divert them from the path of right and from the path of good, into unwholesome, dangerous and soul-destroying activities. A heavy responsibility devolves, therefore, on the shoulders of our adults to ensure that we take proper care of our young people and be examples for them which they can proudly and confidently follow.”
I strongly believe that our media houses can also take a stand against this disgraceful and immoral behaviour and give our youth more positive alternatives to help govern their lives-their future is depending on it.
There is no arguing that Rihanna is very beautiful and talented. As a result it is clear that some Barbadians would not have a problem with the continuous shameful behaviour of the mega star. As a young adult, Rihanna can make her choices since God gave all of us that free will.
However, I will not silently sit by and pretend that this shameful behaviour is acceptable and supported by the majority of (all) Barbadians. So on behalf of the strict guardians of our spiritual heritage, hear us Government of Barbados. Do not continue to condone Robyn Rihanna Fenty’s behaviour with your silence and by rewarding her such a high national honour!
Unfortunately Rihanna has proven that she is not interested in carrying the load that has been placed upon her and that the Government was perhaps too hasty in giving her an ambassadorship title. For this purpose, I am asking that you stand up and make the right decision — revoke Rihanna’s title of Ambassador for Youth and Culture with immediate effect.
In that way Rihanna can continue to choose how she wants to portray and brand herself without the constraints of the title or role she did not ask for. My prayer for her though is that she would choose to get off the road of self-destruction before it’s too late.
Moral virtues, not popularity or money, are still important in the 21st Century. I have all confidence that you can find better (not perfect) unsung stars within our shores that are quite willing and capable of holding high the Barbados banner!
— Pamela P Cumberbatch
* This letter, addressed to Minister of Family, Culture, Sports and Youth, Stephen Lashley yesterday, was also sent to Barbados TODAY as a Letter to the Editor.