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Bad call

Ex-national footballer tells Baird dismantling blocks not the answer

A former national footballer is knocking down the call by one evangelical leader to dismantle every block in Barbados as a shallow and pedantic interpretation of the issues affecting today’s youths.

Former Barbados goalkeeper Horace Stoute said blocks only filled the void left by the absence of sporting and social programmes.

Former Barbados goalkeeper Horace Stoute has suggested the creation of more social outlets  for the youth as opposed to dismantling blocks.

Former Barbados goalkeeper Horace Stoute has suggested the creation of more social outlets
for the youth as opposed to dismantling blocks.

Reverend Dr Lucille Baird declared at a church service on Sunday at her Mount Zion’s Missions Church in Rock Dundo, St James to mark Crime Awareness Month that the authorities should dismantle every block if they wanted to put a dent in crime.

Baird described these gatherings of young people as breeding grounds for criminal activity, and called for those who frequent blocks to be engaged in more productive activities.

However, Stoute fired back at the religious leader, stating that instead of advocating for a rigid law and order approach to the block culture, community leaders should stand up and assist in providing alternative positive social outlets.

“We just need a group of people that has the time that put a structure in place, then along with the structure comes the discipline. The fact is that the talent is out there but you just need a collective group of people to channel that talent in a positive manner. I used to do it before but as time goes on and you have your family to deal with and a business to run, it becomes harder to keep up,” the Bagatelle coach told Barbados TODAY while going through his paces at his Haynesville barbershop.   

Stoute, whose professional football career in Scotland was cut short by injury, drew a direct connection between the failed sports programme in Haynesville and the rise of the block culture there.

Haynesville, once a powerhouse in the Barbados Football Association’s Premier League, is now languishing in the second division.

“Blocks have always been around. In my time liming on the block meant playing dominoes or backgammon. You might find one or two fellas smoking a little weed but nothing serious because we all had sports to keep our focus. So really there was so much positive things going on at the time that the negative things couldn’t get through,” he stressed.

Fellow son of Haynesville and former BFA Premier League footballer Wayne Ward echoed Stoute’s sentiments. However, Ward went a step further by adding that there was need to strengthen the home structure.

BFA Premier League footballer Wayne Ward

BFA Premier League footballer Wayne Ward

“We don’t have proper home structures anymore, so the young men move towards the blocks and they are finding the love on the blocks and they are finding the love the wrong place. Everybody going to go on the block because they got brethren out there and that is where fathers come in. We have a lot of fathers lacking in their sons’ lives and daughters because, believe it or not, a lot of women now on the blocks. So fathers really have to play their part in this because mothers can’t do it alone,” Ward said.

Even as the men discussed the subject with Barbados TODAY, a number of youngsters were making themselves comfortable on roughly constructed shaded seats close to the Haynesville playing field.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, the young men said most of their day was spent socializing; and they argued that the block culture was not always negative.

“There are times that we’re just out here discussing ideas. People may not know this but right here we have the combined skills of a small construction company. I am plumber, he does electrical work and he could do carpentry,” one member of the group said.

“It is youngsters that society has failed to educate or equip with a skill that bring the negative things down here [on the block]. Blocks have always been here but now you have some youngsters who can’t read properly but know everything about a gun that bring that nonsense here. Blocks don’t breed criminals, young criminals are changing the blocks,” the group’s spokesman added.

Meanwhile, another group of young men from The Pine simply stated that they would much rather be gainfully employed than liming on the block. They also challenged those who criticized their means of socialization to direct them to viable alternatives.

Yet, some readily admitted that while their lifestyle involved some illegal activity, the block represented a financial and security structure.

colvillemounsey@barbadostoday.bb

8 Responses to Bad call

  1. Lennox hewitt October 14, 2016 at 12:18 am

    So de Rev want de blocks go but some blocks n bad majority n bad justmen does do foolishness on some blocks so she wan say she in got bad people n she church some people n like she ida i no dat nufg don’t like she all churches got bad people hers 2 i no people go church but u cannot get in dum car i no church people buy lotto tickets and i feel some got illegal gun i say i feel i never say i KNOW some steal n do bad things some does be big liers more liers dan block men i no block men save people lives like n accidents n house fires .

    Reply
  2. Lennox hewitt October 14, 2016 at 12:33 am

    I no a man does go church nearly every sunday he no block man de man tell a big LIE on me few weeks ago dat i had to pully up bout it a real serious lie and see he in he suite it was a 100 percent lie he even say i mec he shame so wenmMiss L B talking bout blocks check de churches no i don’t mean nothing bad bout churches i mean individual church members cause some ga church to show off dum gears so bottom line it’s no different between a block man and a church going man or woman i say a church going i never say Christian person a Christian person and a church goer a very far difference .

    Reply
  3. Lennox hewitt October 14, 2016 at 12:43 am

    About 80 percent of block men does work doe some self employ cutting lawns n different jobs steel benders mechanics etc i can carry anyone up to 10 pm on a block nuff men dey buy go in de day a bare ghost town now if de Rev see dum she say dum want work but dum working and if she want challenge me she could reply i like argue on things contructive things doe nothing illegal i bout .

    Reply
  4. Mac October 14, 2016 at 1:05 am

    Many of the so called blocks (which are very often located in or very near play parks) in Barbados are meeting places for those involved in illegal activities, mainly selling drugs and gambling,
    the obstruction of the free flow of traffic. the building of illegal structures.
    It is time that we stop burying or heads in the sand and face reality.
    The authorities should take whatever steps are needed to preserve our society but I don’t think that dismantling the blocks would solve the root problem.

    Reply
  5. Mac October 14, 2016 at 1:08 am

    Lennox Tell me where is your block.

    Reply
  6. Phil October 14, 2016 at 8:54 am

    Hypocrisy within our churches and religions are so blatant in Barbados and worldwide that is no surprise that lots of people especially the young ones are accepting the fact that there is no God, and that the bible was written by man just 3500 years ago, to entrap, enslave and control the minds of humanity. Research has reviled that 90% of all Graduates and university students worldwide do not believe in God. Church is now a “Best dressed on Sundays event” where people network and where the churches make money from collections. Visit YouTube, type in Nibiru and Planet X. you’llget some startling facts. All the developed countries are accepting this. Even the Vaticsn.

    Reply
  7. Phil October 14, 2016 at 8:55 am

    Hypocrisy within our churches and religions are so blatant in Barbados and worldwide that is no surprise that lots of people especially the young ones are accepting the fact that there is no God, and that the bible was written by man just 3500 years ago, to entrap, enslave and control the minds of humanity. Research has reviled that 90% of all Graduates and university students worldwide do not believe in God. Church is now a “Best dressed on Sundays event” where people network and where the churches make money from collections. Visit YouTube, type in Nibiru and Planet X. you’llget some startling facts. All the developed countries are accepting this. Even the Vatican.

    Reply
  8. ch October 14, 2016 at 11:47 am

    Both Dr. Baird and Mr. Stoute have valid points but there is no excuse for young men idling in our communities. And, let’s be clear- they are the minority in a nation of mostly good, positive young people.
    Why does someone else always have to provide an outlet for them? In this country, our taxpayers provide the most important opportunity for education, including non-academic areas and skills training. Many of our young people make use of that opportunity and many of them also try to create their own small businesses. They try. So why should able-bodied young men be unemployed?
    Why can’t they be pro-active in organizing their own sporting programs?
    And is sports the only thing?
    How many of them volunteer to do community work, help an elderly neighbor or a disabled person or contribute their time and energy to a charitable cause?
    The real ” block” is their negative mentality. So they are not living up to their own capacity to do great things.And they will never do it until they free their own minds and lift their thinking.
    As for the church critics, stop hiding behind the perceived hypocrisy in the church.
    You find what you look for and what you are prepared to receive and another man’s failings is no justification for yours.

    Reply

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