Letters & Opinion

Wishful thinking makes old habits live from year to year

Image of Carlton Ishmael
By Carlton Ishmael

At the end of each year, we look forward to and for each other and hope that some of the happenings of the last year do not continue or spill over to the new year. But this is usually wishful thinking, because trends continue, and old habits die hard. We are plagued with certain negatives and doing nothing does not cut it, yet the means to put an end to or curtail such negativity are still questionable and questions remain unanswered.

There have been several views and while new laws have been enacted to suppress such behaviour, to date nothing seems to work. Yet the thinking island-wide is that something just must be done. As to what is the solution, or which module should be used, is still a plan in the making, suggesting that the draftsmen have not concluded the plan. Neither the law makers nor the law enforcers have the answers; and in the meantime, the citizens await some sort of action to quell the situation.

Part of the problem is that the situation of criminality has not been assessed from its roots, little is known about the causes, or what triggered this mind set. We are baffled as what route to take, or deciding what are the solutions, or how to deal with the issues or the problem. The problem worsens and everybody is on edge, because there are no clear-cut solutions, and the criminals are winning the war. Some say the problem stems from greed, others think it happens from neglect of the youth sector, or the marginalization of some people. And some think it is because of lack of employment and economic hardship.

These suggestions all come into the equation, and some also profess it is the giving-up of Christian values — and some put their hands up and say it is the sign of the end of times.

The bottom line is regardless of the reasons, the situation is out of control and if the spate of criminality continues unabated and it will not only ruin more lives, but possibly the whole country. Now is the time for meaningful consultation and if experts on the subject cannot be obtained locally, then it is time to import such expertise. We have to treat our problems as serious enough, just like a pandemic, to take drastic measures and take action, meaning we have to get off our butts and see our reality as it really is.

We cannot remain in our comfort zones and assume it will be alright in the morning. I think that the system has to reform itself to begin to deal with our problem. I have said previously that we need to deal with human development that stems from national education.

The concept of it is only a few thugs who run things is a misguided notion and I would conclude that it is fuelled by the affluent, so to cut-out the problem you need to get to the heads, to those who pay and get paid to keep things as is, until white collar criminals start being identified, and made to pay for their deeds. Until then, we will continue to avoid the source and avoid the solutions. Just like in the times of slavery we only saw the slaves, moaned about their conditions, but never challenged the slave owners or the countries that fuelled slavery.

In the final analysis, they were paid to stop the practice of enslavement and they started a new trend of enslaving minds.

The head of the snake guides the body, so the heads of criminality need to be identified and challenged, as failing to see the truth of this reality will only perpetuate what exists. Those you least suspect are the beneficiaries are also accomplices and those you ignore are the planers and tradesmen in this new gun culture. It takes money to fuel the gun trade and it is clear that the end users are not the ones bringing-in the arms.

So, do our homework, examine the horns, pay attention to our points of entry, our customs, our visitors, those with clout, the Mr This and Mr That, and your folks in high offices, and just maybe you may get to the root of the problem.

Until then, those who should be jailed will all remain sitting on the sidelines, while we jail the same sector we ignored in the first place.

Maybe — just maybe — we are all responsible for their rebellious attitude?  Ask yourself…

1 Comment

  1. Mr. Ishmael, you have hit the bulls eye on every one of your statements on this chronic crime debacle that has now converted our St. Lucia paradise into a burning hell.

    You are right. When children with guns in their hands and thousand dollar blings on their necks begin to rule the nation, it is way past time to find out who is giving it to them.

    And, as you suggest, let us not fool ourselves. We know very well where the nish-sepant is. It’s either the powers that be, themselves, are de-complice, or they do not have enough support to pour gas on the nish sepant and burn it to ashes, and are afraid of sticking out their necks too far for fear of being bitten,

    Remember, we, in St. Lucia have never had to deal with this kind of crime wave. So, we ask, who let the pit bulls in?

    Did we do it to ourselves by being reckless in raising this generation? Did we fail to pass on what our elders taught us about – pas sevir mone chule.

    Pas jalouse bagai mone. Ou pas Savre sa yo fair pour-le.

    Or are we powerless against an enemy well versed in the methods of capitulation that we are now so deep into the snare and cannot extricate ourselves because, again, we forgot what our elders warned us against –

    Belle pawol mone sa un verre larceny- and we got taken by demons bearing million dollar gifts?

    There is a GOD above, Mr. Ishmael, and whatever we may believe, HE has seen this before ( walk the byways of history. Where is the fury of the oppressor ?)

    This, too, will pass.

    May GOD defend our Island Home.

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