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Too many young men are turning to criminality – talk show host

- Natalio Wheatley believes their behaviour is linked to how they are raised
Wheatley recommends a massive amount of attention be placed on the youths.
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI – One talk show host is very worried that the young men in the Virgin Islands society is turning more and more to criminality, which could lead to a downward spiral in the community.

Natalio Wheatley one of the hosts on Umoja, a talk show programme, last evening April 19, 2012 said its quite disturbing many of the young men arrested have been making headlines in the Territory’s newspapers and websites.

“...these young men are being picked up for all kinds of offenses cocaine, guns...and I think it is linked directly to how the young men are raised,” Wheatley stated.

He added, “Persons may think that some of the problems were coming from outside of the BVI but we have clear indisputable evidence that the young growing up in the society are becoming criminals, and it speaks to parenting and the education system primarily if you ask me.”

Against this backdrop, the talk show host and youth advocate is recommending that Government place a “massive amount of attention” on the issue or else they can “forget about tourism and financial services if you are not willing to help the young men.”

He pledged his allegiance to Education Minister Hon. Myron Walwyn in moving forward in helping youths.

27 Responses to “Too many young men are turning to criminality – talk show host ”

  • WORDS AND DEEDS (20/04/2012, 09:27) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    another sell out now kissing up looking for something jah
    • ooooo (20/04/2012, 10:14) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      you aint see them done buy shania, cromwell , speak your mind show and gotten rid of edmund?
  • ScaryMary (20/04/2012, 09:40) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    The problem with our young people runs far deeper than just parenting and our educational system. The problem is inherent in our collective attitudes. Our young people are suffering from a deep seated sense of entitlement which our entire society (as a whole) has instilled in them. “I bahn heah” is much more than just a saying, it is a pervasive attitude shared by a frightening majority and that reaches all the way to the heads of government who not only spout the same type of rhetoric, some even preach it! Because we are “bahn heah” and regardless of what we actually might say in public, many DO feel that we are entitled to MORE of everything than anyone else who happens to live amongst us. “More, better, bigger, best” is considered our birthright. If you sit down and speak to some of the young people and ask pertinent questions, you will find that many not only believe they are “better” than someone from “dung island” or other places but they believe they should have the best of everything whether they work for it or not. I was shocked to hear one of my own children say something to the effect that “she deserved” to have something because she was born right here! I put her straight in no uncertain terms, right then and there. She was upset because somebody else at school (who was not from here) got something that she wanted ~ but did not earn. I was shocked and am now deeply concerned that this attitude of entitlement has become ingrained in my own child. She certainly did not get it from either her father or myself! The point I am making is that as a society, WE (collectively) are now reaping that which we have sown. As recently as 20 years ago, children and teens did not display this very unattractive attitude. It is not only self-destructive, it is downright dangerous to our society! My children did not grow up in a house that condones an overblown sense of self worth, entitlement or superiority. We believe in working hard and earning what you receive in life and in treating ALL people with dignity and respect. A person’s birthright does not translate to “entitlement” in ALL things! Until our collective attitudes change, until our newspapers stop printing headlines that clearly promote hate and distrust, until our politicians stop making us all believe that we are better than anyone else ~ the situation we are experiencing with our young people is only going to grow. As it is now, when our young people don’t get what they think they are entitled to, they simply take it! If that involves illegal means and even violence, then so be it. We are a society that does not believe in “accountability” for all, equally! It is blatantly evident in our courts. All anyone has to do is read the papers to see that only some people are held accountable for their misdeeds. Some are given a slap on the wrist, whilst others are given serious jail time. It all depends upon your last name, who you know and who goes to court to speak for you. The only way to change the direction of our young people is to change ourselves. As Michael Jackson said, “If You wanna make the world a better place, take a look at yourself and then make a change”! WE have to stop promoting this sense of entitlement and start promoting pride and and the need for individual accomplishment, kindness towards all people, human dignity and a good solid sense of fairness. Once a child has this foundation, they are highly unlikely to engage in any illegal activities. None of these things have to come at the expense of our birthrights as Virgin Islanders.
    • True Story (20/04/2012, 09:55) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      I couldn't agree with you more Mrs.
      • village girl (20/04/2012, 12:47) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
        Blah blah blah blah more of the same!
        • Craziness! (20/04/2012, 15:15) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
          Your response sum up EXACTLY what this lady is saying. This, right here, is the problem. Spoilt kids, who don't want to deal with any harsh truths, disrespecting everyone who points out the problems. Shame on you.
    • Sandman Indy (20/04/2012, 10:44) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      ScaryMary you got a lot of knowledge girl! Big up to you and Mind over matter
    • Real Talk (20/04/2012, 11:21) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      Ah maan, scary mary I couldn't have said it any better even if I tried! I think you should get this printed in the newspapers for next week. This is deep and should make each of us, especially as parents, think about how our kids are thinking.
    • Ditto (20/04/2012, 11:43) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      Perfectly said. I fear things are going to get far worse because no one is willing to take a hard stand to change this attitude.
    • Craziness! (20/04/2012, 13:14) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      Scary Mary, you are absolutely right. This is at the root of SO MANY of the BVI's problems. Somehow, over the years, our small community went from a relatively peaceful respectful place to a free for all based on these crazy notions of entitlement. Heck, even the Minister Pickering was using this as one of the reasons for shouting down anyone who questioned his airport plan – "we BVIslanders should have this airport because it's 'a sovereignty issue'". "If you are against it you are trying to hold back the people of the BVI" etc (those are paraphrased, not quotes). What he's promoting is a lack of reasoned discussion, lack of THOUGHT even, about his idea - if (some) Tortolans want it, they must have it. Full stop. He even made it sound like expats who are against it should hush up because they don't come from here -verging on racism – instead of listening to the points they were making and offering respectful responses. And that's just an example of how deep this goes - from the streets, all the way into govt. Sowande is a thoughtful and wise-beyond-his-years young man and he put his finger on what is blatant to EVERYONE here. Scary Mary, too - you both speaking truth. Thank you for that.
    • Faith (20/04/2012, 20:31) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      There are some very good points in ScaryMary's blog. However, I cannot help but think that it is under the wrong article. Crime is rampant among young people in a number of countries - read the news about places like Jamaica, St Kitts, St Lucia, Antigua, the USVI, the USA. Why would people think that the notion of where one claims or boast to be a citizen of and his/her entitlement has to do with the crime that we are facing in the BVI. I believe that Natalio is partially correct in his statement about parenting. However, I know lots of parents who did their utmost to guide their children in the right direction and those children still chose to do negative things. I think there are a lot of factors to be considered, one being that young men detest rejection more than young ladies and when people are not given certain opportunities they rebel. The leaders of every country is obligated to ensure that the citizens of their country are given opportunites, through education to enable them the independence of adulthood. I think the Government of the BVI has been neglecting to see what our young people need in order to aid them in becoming model citizens of this country because they are selfcentered and only think about being re-elected. When children start acting up in school that is the time to find out the root of the problem and do whatever is necessary to tackle it. Unless I can be convinced that the "bahn heah" mentality has to do with the crime "dung island", then I do not see what it has to do with the crime in the BVI. Some people are so angry with BVI belongers that they fail to look at things objectively, and that is too sad. I believe parents, Government and the social ills of this small territory have to be blamed for the crimes we are facing.
      • ScaryMary (21/04/2012, 11:02) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
        Faith, I appreciate the fact that you find it difficult to make the connection between the “bahn heah” attitude and our current crime problems. It is all about a pervasive attitude of “entitlement” amongst our people, which is what I call the “bahn heah” syndrome. For many years now, there has been a growing ground swell of this relatively new attitude and I personally find it very upsetting. Things that people casually say to one another, things that are printed in the paper, things that our politicians, preachers, talk show hosts and community leaders say that instill a sense of entitlement based on the fact that we are BVIslanders. While I agree that some things are certainly our inalienable right as BVIslanders, there are many things that are not. But it seems that ALL things have somehow been lumped into that one category. What is happening elsewhere may or may not be similar to what is happening here. Certainly there are bad influences all over the world from both TV and the Internet. However, why a young man decides to pick up a gun to rob someone here is very likely not the same reason somebody does so in LA. We have a different situation from them. Very few people who have been caught robbing people or businesses here are starving, have life threatening pressure from gangs in their neighbourhood or have parents who are crack heads and live on the street. Sure, we have families that are struggling, but certainly not to the degree of others in other parts of the world. Hunger and desperation drives many to criminal acts. What is our excuse? reason. It is very true that crime happens all over the world, but the reasons behind those crimes are often quite different from one geographic region to the next. Parenting too has a great deal to do with it. I never denied that. I simply said that the problem is deeper than just parenting and/or our education system. It is a mindset of “entitlement” that comes hand in hand with the whole “bahn heah” attitude that many in our entire society seems to be suffering from to one degree or another. There is no doubt that many of us are deeply xenophobic. Just look at some of the replies whenever the work permit situation is mentioned. Yes, more than 10,000 work permits were processed in 2011 and yes, there are 500 young people without jobs. The questions that need to be answered are: How many of those work permits were renewals and how many were new in 2011? What types of jobs were the new permits for? Were they entry level positions? Were they jobs that our young people could have filled? These are the things we simply don’t know! It also means that there are approximately 9,500 jobs for which we have no people to fill – which means we shouldn’t be quite so hard on our Labour department. Are our people being trained for the types of jobs that are available? Do our young people have realistic expectations as to what kind of job they can expect to get or the pay scale they might be paid considering they are fresh out of high school or college? What are our learning institutions doing to correct the fact that we may not be training our children for the jobs available? I was amazed to read in one blog that several people thought $26,000.00 per year was “slave wages”! That’s $500.00 per week! There are entire families living on that amount of money (and much less) all over the world! What exactly are the expectations of our people? What does a high school graduate realistically expect to be paid with zero experience under his or her belt? I went to the classified section of another website and listed jobs that are being advertised. Whether or not these jobs are still available is unknown as some of their dates are pretty old. But, these are “real world” jobs that have been and are being advertised right now. I am guessing that many would not pay more than $26,000.00 per year, while others would – but this is the REAL WORLD we live in and these are the types of jobs (among others) available in the BVI. Are our young people prepared to fill these positions? If not, why not? Would they rather be on the streets breaking into businesses and homes than to take a job for $500.00 per week? These are REAL jobs available to anyone who applies and holds the proper qualifications. Sales Clerk Sales Associate Hair Dresser Payroll/Bookkeeper Gardener Attorney Shop Manager IT Support Technician Hotel Maintenance workers Caretaker/Housekeeper Administrative Officer Nail Technician Legal Secretary Occupational Therapist Compliance Officer and Anti-Money Laundering Reporting Officer Credit Manager Spa Therapist Webmaster Medical Practitioner Mechanic Customer Relations Officer Natural Health Practitioner Accounts Clerk and Hotel Duty Manager Executive Chef Kitchen Assistant Parts Sales Person Barber Office Assistant Plumber Senior Engineer Restaurant Hostess Pet Groomer News Reporters Furniture and Appliance Assembler/Driver Cad Technician Writer PADI Certified & Insured Scuba Instructor Junior Graphic Designer Air Traffic Control Trainee Journalist Cashier Boat Sales Person Auto Body Repairman Courier Air Conditioning Repairman Office Clerk Pastry Chef Human Resources Manager Graphic Artist So you be the judge. Are our people too good for many of these positions? Are they qualified for these positions? If the establishments offering these positions cannot find a BVIslander or belonger to fill them, what are they expected to do? How many government positions can we expect to be available to our children leaving school in the next few years? THIS is what is available in the private sector! What are the expectations of our children? Perhaps more importantly, what are the expectations of their parents? Do we believe our children are entitled to more, bigger, better, best? Are our children qualified? Do they deserve better? What have we done for ourselves in order to EARN the best positions available? Be honest with your answer before you say I am painting a slanted picture of the “entitlement issue”. Many of our young people do not believe that being an air conditioning repairman, pet groomer, gardener, barber or whatever is even an option. They would never consider those positions! So tell me what they do with themselves instead? Natalio mentioned guns, cocaine, etc. Now ask yourself WHY? What is the root cause? It is entitlement! “I ain’t working for no chump change man”. That was the answer I got from one of my son’s, 20 year old unemployed friends who recently had a brush with the law. It’s all in the attitude - and he is not alone! I apologize for the lengthy diatribe.
    • youch (22/04/2012, 03:49) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      There is an inherent entitlement when you are born in a country [and it is the same anywhere in the world] The indigenous people of a country should be given first preference once they meet the basic qualifications even if there is an expat more qualified. For example if the valedictorian of our school is an expat, they are not entitled to the scholarship prize it is given to the top BVI student. A country has an obligation to first build up its own people. A lot of the born here mentality that you see in our children is incited from the attitudes of people who are not from here and who behave as if they are the upper crust of our society and are trying to push BVIslanders out and take over our country. The behaviour our young people are displaying is survival behaviour. To the issue of crime in our country: we have become such a materialistic community that our self worth and status appears to be tied to what we drive, wear our type of house we live in. Some of our young people have turn to a life of crime in order to get stuff to try and fit in. In addition, many of them are bored and the devil do find work for idle hands. We have to engage our young people in activities that interest to occupy all the time they seem to have on their hands. In addition, the adults in our community have made illegal activities look glamourous so they are just copying what they see in society.
      • Faith (22/04/2012, 15:38) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
        Yep. These are facts. I lost my long post in response to one above, and cannot find the time to rewrite it, but I will at some point because I disagree that the bahn heah attitude has anything to do with the crime. Perhaps we need to address the discrimination BVI belongers face on a daily basis as well.
      • ScaryMary (22/04/2012, 16:52) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
        To Youch, Well if the youth of the territory are BORED, poor them! There has never been a time IN HISTORY when people of all ages have ever had more available to us to keep us occupied! Being "BORED" is absolutely inconceivable to me! To be bored in today's society, one must be incapable of broadening their mind. How many youths have no access to the internet these days? How many have no access to a computer? How many have no access to books or TV or a million other things that we didn't have growing up? Naturally, BVIslanders should have preference over expats pertaining to certain things. That goes without saying. But I am interested to know why you believe that anyone (not from here) is able to push us out of anything? Unless they have managed to acquire belonger status, outsiders have no vote, they can’t intrude on our politics, they virtually have no voice or representation within government - on any level. So how are they able to PUSH us out of anything? If robbing people and businesses is considered “survival behaviour”, then we are in serious trouble. What exactly are the threats our youth are facing that threaten there very survival? Are they starving? Are they homeless with nowhere to go and with nobody to turn to? What is it? There ARE jobs out there! But are they willing and able to take those jobs on? THAT is the REAL question! WHAT is it that the youth in our society REALLY want – aside from a race track? Please keep in mind that every single generation of BVIslanders (before the current generation) managed to do without a race track! Many of us didn’t become familiar with the internet until just recently, NONE of us had cell phones or computers and many of us grew up in homes without the benefit of electricity or indoor toilets. Yet we were happy and content with what we had. We always found ways to keep ourselves “happily” occupied. Considering just how much our society has advanced in recent times, WHY in heaven’s name are the youth of our society so darned BORED, demanding, violent and out of control? Every couple of months, we hear from those young men who want a race track. Do they have a CLUE that there is a worldwide recession in progress? Do they care about anyone but themselves? When will they start to put their country first and their "wish list" second? It is an overwhelming sense of ENTITLEMENT that our youth suffer from. They have no idea what it means to work HARD for a living. When I say HARD, I mean HARD! I mean until your hands bleed from tilling the soil, fishing until you can’t move a muscle and you fall into bed at 7:00 pm, too tired to even eat a bight! Our youth are spoiled rotten and even TOO MUCH doesn't seem to be enough for them! The youth of our society have the world by the tail but STILL they complain! It is simply unbelievable to me! How much is enough for the younger generation? Do they all expect to drive BMW's or perhaps a Rolls Royce? Do they all expect to own a private plane and own a mansion? WHAT is "good enough" for our younger generation - if anything? It is time for the young people in our society to dial it back a LOT and realize that their expectations are over the moon! Real life is not all fun and games. A lot of life it is just day to day drudgery. Get used to it because more than 99% of all of human beings have had to accept that reality. The sooner our young people become adjusted to real life, the happier they will be! STOP EXPECTING SO MUCH!
        • Craziness!! (24/04/2012, 12:33) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
          Scary Mary you're absolutely right ... and look what happens when you say something that's painful, true and just plain obvious - some people manage to turn it around - Youch - to paint a picture of BVIslanders BEING OPPRESSED??? It would be funny if it wasn't one of our biggest threats to a successful, peaceful future. Seriously, I fear this island going go like Rwanda one if these bloggers and radio people keep spreading this hate. People - this is one of the richest societies on Earth. These youth have so much that, unlike they grandparents, they CAN AFFORD to be BORED. AndY ouch talking bout expats behaving "as if they are the upper crust of our society and are trying to push BVIslanders out and take over our country." WHAT? You looking through the looking glass the wrong way, my friend. If someone from foreign comes here and makes something of the opportunities that are available - does that seriously mean they are being "upper crust" and "trying to push BVIslanders out ... "? Or does it mean they are motivated, and too many BVIslanders are not. Many BVIslanders have no motivation, so they sit around complaining about every one and everything that doing well as if they are oppressed. Instead of get up and work to make themselves a good, honest life for their family. Too disgusting how these people turn the story around to make themselves victim all the time. Disgusting and in the long run - dangerous.
  • Mind over matter (20/04/2012, 09:50) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Our attitude determines our altitude in life. We have to get away from this attitude that the government owes us something, we need to get off our rear ends and make something meaningful of our lives and stop thinking others owe us something.
    • CeCe (20/04/2012, 15:15) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      Of course Government owes the citizens of its country SOMETHINGS. I do not have the time to elaborate right now, but I will later.
  • talk girl talk (20/04/2012, 10:46) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    "He pledged his allegiance to Education Minister Hon. Myron Walwyn in moving forward in helping youths"....another fake cowbird looking promotion at the collge! BAM hit the right spot.
    • Real Talk (20/04/2012, 11:23) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      This is exactly the problem. Natalio is a BVIslander and he's not afraid to stand up and stand out. This is a young man trying to do something to benefit his country and all your simple minded dumb a$$ could talk about is politics. It's attitudes like yours killing this poor country!!! You might be posting on here for fun, which I think is the case because nobody can be this stupid in real life and still be alive. But think about the consequences of posting such drivel every minute. THINK if you can!
      • small minded (20/04/2012, 12:40) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
        Funny man aka real talk the campaign is over man stop the 24/7 politics you are almost crazy and obsess with self. Time to govern and run the country bossman.
        • Real Talk (20/04/2012, 13:50) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
          Your are funny. You don't know who I am, I wish you would come in my face and say that let me deal with you!! You think I'm one of those little smelly rats waiting on a govt. check or freebs? I'm a working man boss, I don't have time with your small time BS! I keep telling you, the moderator of this site should know who I am by now, it's not hard, and they can tell you its not Myron!
          • under the bus (20/04/2012, 18:14) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
            i just heard that REAL TALK is funny man Myron boo boo you should be ashame go run the Ministry
  • Give them a Future (20/04/2012, 14:36) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    It's simple, when you are young and don't have clear goals and desires it is hard to resist temptations. Temptation to run the street, hang with the boys are strong, and with the boys its always about how big your ego/manhood is. Before having the opportunity to further myself, it was much easier for me to be influence, influence into negative behavior. However, as I was given the opportunity to better my life and saw how bright my future could be, that became my focus. It became much easier for me to avoid negative influences and when confronted with trouble or oppotunity to get into trouble my mind reflected on what was at risk. "My Bright Future"!!! Give the boys on the block a purpose!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! For those boys on the block whose goals are the destruction of their society Don't Spare The ROD!!!!!!!!!!!
  • Platinum (22/04/2012, 17:34) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Maybe is just the picture but the good minister Walwn look either stressed out or tired. It could have been a long day.You got to pace yourself honorable eat right, exercise, and get some rest. Its a marathon job not a sprint to the finish don't let them drop you down so quick.
  • Alexandra (14/08/2012, 07:22) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
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