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Time to speak out!

When the periphery of society moves centre stage that society could implode.

That’s the view of Minister of Education and Human Resources, Ronald Jones, who told Barbados TODAY that he did not believe that any society was perfect or that it did not have its challenges or its issues.

“Every society has its strengths and its weaknesses. Societies are complex. I am not necessarily advancing a cause which says that a society must be only as I perceive it or as any other individual perceive it. There will be contestation in any given society, but a society has through discussion, through searching for solutions, to decide what it generally wants to be [its] central core…

“You are always going to have elements operating on the periphery. When the periphery starts to move in and begins to engulf the mainstream of society that is where you start to get the implosion. The problems then start to emerge,” he said.

The Minister argued that for a very long time “we were silent while many persons who would have hitherto operated on the periphery started to move towards the centre”.

“They moved towards the centre because of our silence or because of the constancy of their own verbal barrage. Sometimes they are aided and abetted by individuals who are just seeking to make a dollar. I think there are some people in our society who subscribe to neo- liberal views and decide what should be the central views in society,” Jones contended.

He argued that when persons abandon certain value systems and mores and every wind that blew they captured and brought unto themselves, such societies collapse. Jones noted that if we look at other sister territories in the Caribbean we would notice that the level of murders had increased. He maintained that some people might remain silent but they had to come out into the society and interact with these peripheral players who have moved centre stage.

Jones also bemoaned the fact that he was not getting support from his colleagues or others in the society, when he drew attention to such destructive conduct. (NC)

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