Apr 08, 2021 Letters
Kaieteur News – Please allow me, via your letter columns, to agonize over the daily and spiralling occurrence of violent crimes saturating Guyana. Lawlessness is consuming Guyana. And within its fold are many who are law enforcers. I have been on record warning about the ease with which firearms are accessible to criminal elements. Only a few months ago it was revealed that a large number of weapons were ‘stolen’ from Police custody. Any surprise that weapons are out there on rental? That caches of weapons are being “provided”?
A similar reality exists as regards narcotics. Is it farfetched to speculate that today’s criminals have handlers in high places? And that some of these handlers are now impotent to rein in their “soldiers” who have now become monsters, manifesting themselves in the daily assault on the citizenry, and more predominantly against a particular ethnic grouping?
Sadly, the easiest way out for many is to lay total responsibility for what is happening at the doorstep of the Administration. Pontius Pilate is certainly alive! These marauding and dangerous youths do not originate in space and neither do they disappear into space. They are not aliens. They live in our villages, in our neighbourhoods. We know them. We know what they do. We helped to raise them, and we excused away the petty wrongs they were doing; we hid them when the law came for them; we shared in the loot they took off others; we tell them it is okay to steal and rob because they are poor.
The petty thief has morphed into a robber, a hijacker, a murderer. And we are now afraid to speak out against his atrocities. Why? Because he is one of our collective? Where is the acceptance of blame by any Administration or by any Agency therein? Where is our own guilt as citizens?
Schools, Churches, Community Centres, etc., etc., were designed to serve a purpose, the primary of which is to develop and guide our young and impressionable to be responsible and productive adults. Have we as teachers, Ministers of (whatever) religion, community leaders succeeded?
Schools today are venues for making extra earnings through extra lessons; many Churches are commercial endeavours; many community centres and playgrounds are pastures for cattle. Did the Administration do this? Are we as Citizens equally culpable? Have we nurtured the monsters who are now devouring us?
Most adults, whether in school, church or the community, whether as parents or neighbour, we as a society have deserted our youths; we have encouraged and widened the disconnect which naturally exists between generations because of our own insecurities as parents, as adults, as leaders. We seem afraid to confront, embrace, guide, correct and empower our youths. Rather, we entangle our youths in a net which offers them rewards for creating mayhem in society. We use them as tools in politically-charged confrontations. We support their resistance against Law and Order. And the indictment goes on.
Today, the lawless net encircles many who are in, or once were in, the Disciplined Services. It is my appeal that our citizenry recognize that crime will overpower us all if we allow it to do so. When the hyena cannot find food away from its lair, it turns on its own. Do we think we are far from that?
As older folks we must accept that the fight against crime must involve our youths themselves. Many of our youths also wish for a peaceful and crime-free society. This combination will work if we want it to work. Any other option is unthinkable.
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