More Black people are involved in the majority of homicides
No government ever sought to find out why
Is it too late to save them?
killed in 46 hours. Killed while protecting
dad. Family terrorised. Girl, 12,
These gory newspaper headlines continue to depict the extremely
violent crime spree which has undeniably gripped T&T
in its murderous clutches.
At the time of writing the number of persons murdered for
the year so far stood at a record 183, and counting.
To tell the truth it was not my intention to return to this
very depressing issue of violent crime because the more
we think of it the more sickening it becomes.
And the sad thing is that the state is virtually powerless
to offer the type of safety and security any government
is duty bound to provide.
We just keep hearing and reading about more and more of
these horrendous homicides with no end in sight.
Nobody is saying that this governmentor any other
government for that mattercan ever eradicate serious
crimes such as murders.
But certainly it can use its resources to make life a bit
more comfortable for the law-abiding citizens who are being
picked out at will by these killers, hired or whatever.
This current administration is in the very fortunate position
of having a tremendous amount of financial wealth on its
table, more than any other administration has ever had.
But what do we get by way of this government making everyday
life for its citizens reasonably comfortable?
All kinds of plans and projects which so far have failed
to put a dent in the unbridled bloodletting that has seized
this country with its terrible toll on human life, too often
For every life taken by the killers, I cannot say how many
relatives are traumatised, sometimes permanently, but that
figure surely must be considerable.
They are further pained by the states inability to
protect especially innocent people killed in the course
of going about their legitimate business at home or elsewhere.
One salient factor that we should not ignore in this orgy
of killings is that the vast majority of the victims and
assailants are Afro-Trinis.
I cannot say at this time the exact number but I am almost
certain that the figure could be as high as 90 per cent.
If I am wrong, Mr Minister of National Security Martin Joseph,
please advise the citizenry of the true figure.
The fact is that there must be some underlying reason or
reasons why young Black Trinis are killing themselves at
an alarming rate, very often for trivial and senseless reasons.
It is so bad that some people are grimly forecasting that
very soon young Afro-Trini girls would find it difficult
to find a mate in that ethnic grouping.
Have the authorities done any in-depth study as to why young
Black men are solving their problems with the gun?
I am not speaking here about the obvious gang wars that
are being fuelled by the illegal drug trade.
In that world, the gun is the only law in that operatives
cannot report the theft of their ill-gotten stock in trade
to the place for obvious reasons.
The only person I can readily recall as having done any
meaningful study on this aspect of the crime is Prof Ramesh
Did the authorities seek his help in dealing with this dastardly
phenomenon? I dont know but knowing how our governments
perform, I wouldnt be surprised if the answer was
in the negative.
And even if his study was used it couldnt have cost
on the scale of lets say the millions of dollars being
dished out to people like Prof Matroski, or however that
mans name is spelt.
The issue here is what is the state doing about getting
to the root cause of black-on-black violence? Not that I
am saying that killing of other people is acceptable. Not
If you subtract the number of murders committed by Afro-Trinis
we would see a drastic drop in homicides and perhaps we
would not have this large scale problem that we now have.
That is a fact.
I know that the social scientists would point to the breakdown
in family life as a major contributory factor in the runaway
That too is true.
But has this government or any other for that matter, done
anything to ascertain what is the cause of the deteriorating
family life among Afro-Trinis?
If so what corrective action did they take?
Recently I was speaking with another columnist and the Chief
Executive Officer of Power 102, Lennox Toussaint, and he
said something which had me thinking long and hard.
Some time ago he and some other successful Afro-Trinis decided
to go into Laventille and other depressed areas and give
pep talks to young Blacks.
Mr Toussaint and his friends were motivated by the lack
of proper role models which led young Black people to adopt
negative values which were being expressed their anti-social
Mr Toussaint couldnt be more on the ball and when
you look at what is happening today you must confess that
their values are all in the wrong places.
Unfortunately the idea did not materialise.
Today I want to appeal to Mr Toussaint and others similarly
concerned about the plight of young Black people, that it
is not too late to put that plan into action.
Or, is it?
Next week: More reasons why T&T is a backward place