In the space of less than a week, our little nation has experienced two murders, with several other persons being injured inflicted with gunshot wounds.
Within fairly recent times, a former police officer, who now resides in The United States, made a public statement to the effect that he had changed his mind about coming home to St. Kitts to spend his vacation, and instead would travel to Grenada.
He indicated that he had changed his mind because we had become ‘a nation of assassins’.
Undoubtedly, he remembers the relatively calm and law-abiding days when he served in the force, a time when there was a still some measure of respect for the law and for the police. How it must grieve him and others to observe and hear about present day goings on. We of this newspaper understand the concerns of that officer and many other nationals.
Events of the past week could only have added to the pain of that former police officer and most of our people, both at home and abroad.
What is becoming even more shocking and revolting is the rising frequency of those dastardly crimes, as well as the increasing wickedness, cruelty and gruesomeness with which they are being committed. One sometimes gets the feeling that the criminals are utterly devoid of anything called a soul.
In the face of all of this, so many of our people seem to be ‘living’ in a most serious state of denial, if living it be at all (as we have previously stated and remarked). Perhaps the most worrying aspect of it all is the attitude of those in government to the matter in its entirety.
Dear people of St.Kitts and Nevis, there are is an old lesson contained in the question ‘If you put a wolf or a fox to be in charge of your hen-house what do you expect?’.
Another source of great concern and anxiety on our part is what appears to be a studied indifference to all of this by those sectors of our various communities who bought the bag of goods which SCHEME UNITY sold before getting into office.
The expression ‘appears to be’ is deliberately used because we are aware that most of them would very much like to make amends and atone for the most grievous mistakes which they have made. However, they are extremely reluctant to speak out because ‘the intimidation factor’ which is in play.
Therefore there should be no doubt as to the emboldening influence which such conduct has on the criminal elements of our society.
It would be foolhardy to ignore certain historical and other related factors when attempting to address these problems and deal with them effectively.
Thus far we have, for the most part, tried to cure the disease by treating the symptoms.
For any effort to have even the tiniest chance of succeeding, as a nation and as a people we MUST be frank and honest with ourselves and each other. We need to go to the very roots of the problem, which started with the introduction of guns and other forms of violence into the politics of our country in the mid-1960s. That is where it must start, and any ignoring of those facts will doom our efforts.
We need to also be quite frank when addressing the deterioration of ALL matters as they relate to the police force, again going back to the mid-1960s and the loud, unrelenting statements from the platforms of the then opposition that they had the police on their side, and the failure of the police to straighten out the matter once and for all.
We need to be aware of the pronouncement by the late William Herbert Jnr to the effect that Bradshaw had the place under too much control, that it was too damn quiet, and that he was going to shake it up, because we needed ‘some excitement’, and follow his actions thereafter. (He made the statement at the counter of the Registry in the old Court House.)
We need to seek for some real answers in the Stafford Grant matter. It is never too late to seek for the truth. The circumstances of his death and the assassination of a Superintendent of Police more likely than not were forerunners of the subsequent and current inclination to murder police officers with impunity. The assassination of police officers is an extremely bad sign for any society anywhere in the world.
If that particular tendency is not curbed then matters will only become worse, and that goes for all members of society.
If we are to be successful in any of this we must first set about restoring in our people our traditional faith-based moral, ethical and law-abiding characteristics. We need to recapture our traditional mores and completely jettison the ‘Americana’ with which we have become so deeply infected. In short, we desperately need to return to our roots and our traditional culture. Nothing else will work for us.
This has nothing to do with ‘old time’ or ‘modern times’. It has to do with common sense and reality.
To start we MUST rid the nation of SCHEME UNITY. For all practical purposes, they are A CLEAR AND PRESENT DANGER.