Please allow me to respond to a frequent letter writer’s comments regarding Guyana’s crime problem.
First, I must extend that I am sorry to learn that this individual’s family and friends went into crime and so I understand that he is hurting.
However, it does not give him the right to instigate armed robberies by glorifying the poor values of the Jamaican Reggae Artist, Bounty Killer – look into my eyes (lyrics) and also by justifying why poor people, who are gifted with AK-47s, use these weapons to rob. Guyanese must understand that these are precisely the kinds of values that drive the crime problem. Editor, I must point out that AK-47s should never ever be given as gifts. As such, if any Guyanese is an unauthorized holder of an AK-47, then please immediately turn your weapon over to the police. This is the right thing to do. I am shocked by the insane values of this individual. And of course, he can’t be in a position to diagnose the crime problem and to provide solutions.
Further, this writer would like Guyanese to subscribe to the dogma that criminals are impoverished. And that they are also desperate members of society who feel used in some way. So because of this, criminals should be allowed to engage in armed robberies. This is dead wrong. This writer must also know that under no circumstance is armed robbery morally or legally right, no matter if you feel used. I personally feel used by many but does this give me the right to hurt another human being? No way.
In fact, criminals are largely not impoverished. And of course, the writer buries such a fact so as to champion his dysfunction. Editor, we all know that criminals show up at our homes in expensive cars and on expensive motorcycles, dressed in name brand outfits like Nike and Adidas, toting guns and expensive gadgets to rob, rape, and murder. Editor, the poor can’t afford motor cars and motorcycles, but criminals do. Further, even members of the GPF and the GDF and various professionals participate in armed robberies. Moreover, even some of our college graduates holding prestigious jobs participate in armed robberies. How can Guyanese forget the infamous armed robbery by a highly qualified college graduate? Therefore, criminals can hardly be classified as impoverished. In fact, criminals rob the poor and traumatize them. So criminals are simply lawless bullies who are unfortunately influenced by bad moral values championed by folks like this writer and by politicians looking for votes.
Further, the Guyanese people also observe how thousands of dirt poor and starving sugar workers, who are also unemployed admirably steer themselves away from crime because of their values. They work hard like Nakisha Best, an unemployed sugar worker who now provides laundry services for 1,000.00 per day just to survive. So the reality on the ground violates the dogma that poverty drives crime.
The writer of that letter also wants Guyanese to believe that income inequality drives the murderous armed robbery problem. I disagree. In fact, crime drives income inequality and poverty. This can be logically explained. If it were not for the crime problem lots of businesses would open up here. But because of crime, Guyana attracts very few businesses and those that come here can’t survive and they are forced to leave because they are repeatedly robbed and vandalized. And their workers hospitalized or murdered. Just recently, Guyanese saw how the owner of the Real Value Supermarket was brutally beaten and robbed and how a hard working cheese vendor was gunned down for his own sweat by violent criminals. Under these circumstances business can’t survive and as such wealth can’t trickle to the poor through economic activity. So, in large part, crime effectively drives income inequality and poverty. This is a major reason why Guyana remains poor.
The writer of that letter also contends that poverty drives failure in schools but he does not want Guyanese to know that crime produces poverty and this, in turn, contributes to failure in schools. Guyanese deserve the complete truth, not half-truths. And he must know that the majority of children who fail in schools turn out to be admirable human beings where they work hard to put food on the table. We must look up to these people as role models and we must copy their values and use them. There is something special about these people. They know how to avoid a life in crime. And if they are approached, I am not surprised that they will reveal that they live off of their own sweat, they work hard for success, they respect others and they take responsibility for their actions.
Only a fraction of Guyanese drive up the sky-high crime rate. And to advance an argument by invoking the lyrics of Bounty Killer to express that these people are selectively deprived of economic opportunities is nothing but a hoax.
It is folks like you and others that uphold poor values which effectively steer these people into crime. You must take responsibility. You push Guyanese into crime and this cripples them. Where is your heart? To understand what you have done to criminals, you must walk armed robbers up the Maslow’s pyramid and observe if they are able to do so. And you will quickly realize that they can’t simply because crime is immoral, destructive, dangerous, deadly and plain stupid. There is no survival value to it. And the reality is that most criminals will likely remain at the bottom of the pyramid preoccupied with basic needs like hunger and safety. And they may even sadly end their lives there. Just look around you and you will see what I am talking about. Plus you can see this picture if you examine the fate of the 2017 jailbreakers. Remember, they were either recaptured or killed. And you must know that criminals also prevent Guyanese from climbing this pyramid. This translates to a country that will never develop and prosper because folks like you peddle and reinforce poor values which destroy this country. So I hope you understand the destructive impact of your message and allow Guyanese a fair shot at life. Don’t be selfish.
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