This weekend a video recorded in a Fe y Alegría Educational Center went viral in which a man was talking with a series of boys and girls asking them what they wanted to be as adults.
Everything was going well since most of them were answering what you normally expect to hear from a child: a doctor, one said that a fireman and so on until a child said that he wanted to be a robber.
The adult who was interviewing them told him that he did not understand what he meant and continued to ask other children. I think that he missed a good opportunity and it is clear that he is not a teacher, since there he should have started a dialogue with the boy to see to what extent he was aware of what he had said, if he had full knowledge of what it means to be a robber.
Since he did not contribute my reflection on the matter. It seems to me that the most delicate thing is not that the child said that he wanted to be a robber (possibly he is not aware of the magnitude of his words and perhaps as he grows up that idea will go away), what is truly worrying is the delinquency it has been normalized in society to such a way that today a child says he wants to be a robber.
Apart from the fact that the same reality has been imposed with a disproportionate increase in violence and crime in the country, another phenomenon should also be pointed out, and that is how the urban movement has been modifying the language, attributing another interpretation to concepts that we previously considered negative. and I will give two examples:
The urban artist Bullin 47 was interviewed by Nelson Javier, (the Crocodile) and at the beginning of the interview he tells the interviewer: “I want to thank you because when I was nobody in music you opened the doors of this program for me and treated me like a true gangster.”
In this artist’s vocabulary, a gangster is something positive when we all know it isn’t.
I place the second example on an occasion that they were going to present Silvio Rodríguez for free at the Quisqueya Stadium and I attended. In the stands I see some youngsters who were enjoying the concert and it caught my attention to see such young boys in a trova concert. I went up to them and asked them what caught their attention about that artist and they answered me: “Ohhhh, that guy has cool lyrics, he’s a real hitman.”
I didn’t go into too much detail about what it meant to be a hit man in their language because in mine it’s the complete opposite of theirs. A hitman is a person who has great gifts, qualities, who does good and well things.
Finally, I was talking to a young man from Cancino and he told me that he was in a cafeteria and ate a sandwich that was pretty psycho. In my language I am clear about what a psychopath is, but in his it was evident that it meant the opposite.
In short, possibly two things happened: either the child has been observing the phenomenon of violence and delinquency to such an extent that it has been normalizing it in his life, or he will be influenced by these new language modifications that whitewash words that until recently they were totally negative, but the urban phenomenon transformed them.
If the person interviewing these children had had this reference, perhaps the video would not have gone as viral as it did.