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Empowering evil ones
That the spoken word as a powerful tool which can be used for good or evil is a well known and accepted phenomenon worldwide. Therefore, it is incumbent upon our leaders and those in authority—in whatever field they find themselves—to be extremely judicious in their language, particularly in the context of the horren- dous crime—homicides, to be more precise—which is still plaguing our twin-island republic.
Our leaders have been known in so many instances to make outlandish statements without first thinking of the potential danger they pose for the security of our land, as not all of us are blessed with the gift of a discerning mind. Remember the 1990 attempted coup, when the leader of the Muslim insurrectionists appealed to the people not to loot in the immediate aftermath, when institutions were taken over by the mis- guided brigands?
Those bent on carrying out their nefarious action needed nothing more than that counsel and embarked on the worst form of looting and related mayhem this country has ever seen, beating out the water riots of 1903 and the civil disturbance of the Black Power revolution in the early 1970s, for the level of the ensuing carnage both in terms of lives lost and the financial losses.
More recently some of our leaders have resorted to using a kind of language that most people would find repulsive and dangerously divisive, even though I would wager that they did not mean to create strife and discord among citizens with their utterances. One of those which comes to mind is the boast by an MP along the east-west corridor that she was not afraid of anyone “because I come from Laventille.”
That very MP loses no opportunity to plead the cause of Laventillians whenever anyone dares to paint the whole area with one negative brush. And the parliamentarian is perfectly right in cautioning others not to do so—but what is the message she is sending with that kind of thoughtless statement?
This question is all the more relevant given the high incidence of crime, especially wanton murders, in the corridor. Is she saying, “Don’t mess with me because I from an area where badjohns rule the roost?” The sad thing about these outbursts is that I cannot remember which of those MPs ever goes to their constituents and points out to them the error of their ways, the need to change their anti-social behaviour, which is portraying a very bleak picture of the economically most prosperous country in the English-speaking Caribbean.
A Roman Catholic priest preached last week: what do you expect some people (I read that to mean the armed thugs who are terrorising innocent citizens day and night) to do when they see there is no social justice in the land? Assuming there is no social justice (an argument with which I do not agree), does that give anyone the right to fatally shoot a young man because he simply looked at his assailant’s girlfriend?
I am sure readers can recall many more such gruesome and senseless killings within recent times, and we are left to wonder if there isn’t some kind of competition among these purveyors of death and emotional pain to see who can commit the most heinous, cold-blooded killings.
During the recent state of emergency some of our leaders, most notably the opposition politicians, were accusing the PP Government of “locking up poor black boys” and other stupid allegations based solely on—one got the impression—scoring political points. But if you take a dispassionate (I like that word) look at the situation, who are the ones committing the killings up and down the place? It couldn’t be less than 90 per cent African males.
While the Government was trying something extraordinary to grapple with the equally extraordinarily high incidence of homicides, many of them drug and gang related, we had so-called leaders unable to grasp the bigger picture, and who opted for selfish and political reasons.
Is it that the SoE critics wanted the police to go into the relatively crime-free residential areas such as Westmoorings and simply lock up non-Africans, who are not in any way behind these killings, to balance the racial equation? What claptrap!
I don’t know if any of these “leaders” who are espousing these dangerous positions realise they are empowering, perhaps unwittingly, the evil ones to push full steam ahead with their destructive agendas.
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