A lecture by Idakeda's Creative Force, Eintou Springer was recently deliberated taken out of context by one of the daily newspapers of this country. She had been speaking during one of the lectures in the Kwame Ture Lecture Series hosted by the Emancipation Support Committee, of which she is Cultural Chair. Many of the examples she used in her lecture were designed to call for more cultural balance in our education system and for more sensitivity towards the socio-cultural needs of young people of African Heritage who come from at risk populations.
The writer of the story however selectively quoted Ms. Springer's negative examples without balancing these off with the situations where Ms. Springer has employed the culture of Trinidad and Tobago as a source of healing for young black youth. The writer omitted to tell readers of the successes by Ms. Springer in communities in Trinidad and Tobago working with young black youth traumatised by the deaths of family members through gang violence, or who daily deal with the effects of drug abuse and poor parenting.
Instead, the writer insidiously linked the statement by Ms. Springer to the views and comments of the speaker who went before her, thereby giving a completely skewed view of she actually said and diminishing the positive nature of her message.
Indeed, even after Khafra Kambon, Chairman of the Emancipation Support Committee wrote a follow-up article to provide the context of the statements and clear up the inaccuracies, the newspaper indicated that it would ‘stand by its story'. To make it worse, the following day another article appeared repeating and now embellishing on the previous inaccurate report.
What is even worse, an article in July 4th of the same newspaper now quotes a Professor calling for the banning of Louis Farrakhan "after statement by Eintou Springer".
A study of the transcript of the event will completely vindicate Ms. Springer of these absolutely untrue and flagrantly exaggerated reports. Further, a quick perusal of the comments posted after the online version of the story will give an indication of the damage which was done to Ms. Springer's character. It its unacceptable that a media industry so protective of its right to freedom of speech, finds it so easy to be cavalier about the reputation of the people who are the subject of its articles.
We therefore felt it was important to post in our space a more balanced report of what was said by Ms. Springer and the intention behind it and will continue to explore all options open to us regarding this travesty.
Following is her statement on the matter, after which we have included links to the grossly misinformed articles which appeared:
EINTOU SPEAKS OUT
"The Media is an institution of great importance in our community. It has a responsibility to be fair, impartial and truthful. The panel discussion, held under the auspices of the Emancipation Support Committee dealt with the issue of crime and African youth in this country. It was focused on finding solutions. My contribution was heavily centred on the Education system and methodologies that could be put in place to deal with the damaged sense of self that so many young Africans manifest. It dealt with questions of ethnic sensitivity and of relevant cultural interventions so necessary amongst our youth in the so called "hot spots". In communities like Morvant and Laventille, I pointed out, it is insensitive to give a dholak and no African drum; to insist that the only dance on a dance curriculum is Indian Dance. This question of ethnic insensitivity has been, quite rightly, been the focus of concern by the Indian Community. Reference to the tape of that panel discussion will show that in no way did I say, suggest, hint. that Hinduism, and or Christianity is responsible for crime amongst African youth. The article is a cheap and deliberate distortion of an extremely important issue. It is not what our country needs at this point in time.
Panellists at ESC discussion: Christianity and Hindu government pushing black youth to crime
Published: Saturday, June 29, 2013
Published: Wednesday, July 3, 2013
…after statement by Eintou Springer
Published: Thursday, July 4, 2013
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