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Opinions of Monday, 29 August 2011

Columnist: Agyei, Williams Kwame

Politics Of Insults “The Origination”

Insult as defined by the Oxford English Dictionary, is to speak or treat someone with disrespect. Usually it could be an attack on the person’s personality, ethnic background, work, or on a deformity on the individual. For sometime now, Ghana’s airwaves have been filled with discussions relating to insults by some radio panelists and high ranking politicians. Many civil and religious organizations have added their voices to this discourse. However what is missing in such discussions is how this came about. Gone were the days when a child could put up an attitude and went scot free without any punishment.
As a concerned citizen I would propose we approach the issue from the root causes so as to reach a solution. Let us start from the child’s home. Children in their formative stages learn very fast, and for that matter are likely to repeat whatever word parents utter. How many times have we not seen or heard parents publicly insult their wards. What we fail to recognize is that, one day our children would reproduce what they have learnt over the years.
Another area where children are also likely to pick insults from is in traffic. It a common scene to see both private and commercial drivers insult each other and sometimes to the extent of getting out from their cars to engage in fights. In these instances, we forget that children in these vehicles might be paying serious attention.
Maybe, as a country we have not taken a critical look at the language in some local movies of late. Protagonists usually use abusive and strong language as a way of amusing viewers. Movie producers forget that some of these movies would be shown on national television for children to watch.
At this juncture, I would want all well meaning Ghanaians including politicians to desist from the blame game of which political party started it, and focus on how this creeping social menace could be curtailed.
I would therefore want to make a passionate appeal to all religious leaders to make it a point in telling their congregation to desist from casting insinuations at their children and other fellows. For life and death, lies in the power of the tongue.
The movie producers association of Ghana should also institute appropriate measures to tone down the derogatory language usually used by some movie stars.
Panelist both on radio and television programmes who have the predilection for making demeaning statements should be banned from partaking in such public discourse. The television stations must remember they have a duty to rate and edit movies.

Delayed broadcast equipments can also be used by radio stations in order to avert some of the awful comments by guest. Above all, political parties should also sanction members who have the penchant of engaging in such acts.
The big question we must always ask ourselves, can one vomit what one has not eaten? The answer you and I know is definitely NO! So let us carefully watch the way we talk to others. For after all, ‘garbage in garbage out’ applies here too.

By: Williams Kwame Agyei,
Coalition for the Development of Ghanaians (CODGHA)