Submitted by the Mahogany Coconut Think Tank and Watchdog Group
There was a time in the not too distant past, when the dreaded drive by shootings was standard occurrences in the inner cities of America. Black sociologists and criminologists described drives by and other violent crime involving blacks as: Black on Black crime. The graveyards of many inner cities are home to several victims.
In the Caribbean, we are witnessing the drive by and other forms of violent crimes occur with unusual frequency. Unfortunately, youths throughout the region, appear seriously determined to wipe out each other via the bullet. Gone are the days of “throwing big rocks’ or “giving a fellow a cuff” or trying to wrestle your adversary to the ground. Gone are the cuss outs at the standpipe and the often frivolous village rivalry of four or five decades ago. Today, all disagreements among the criminal element are settled with a burst of fire from a gun. Even stabbings are rather obsolete.
We at Mahogany Coconut have warned, from our inception, that the major threats to the real development of our region are our failure to properly manage our fragile environment and the rising levels and sophistication of crime. We can try to correct our environmental problems by: proper garbage disposal, protecting our scarce wildlife and ensuring that old buildings are given a new lease on life. However, when a young citizen’s life is cut short by acts of extreme violence, there is nothing we can do to “bring him or her back”.
The bodies that are identified in our morgues are mainly black youth and the people responsible for getting them there are by and large mainly black. So we have black on black crime, Caribbean style. In our schools, many teachers feel threatened by aggressive youth, many of whom are already using illegal substances. Also, the blatant disrespect for female students and alarmingly high incidences of student on student violence, are now daily experiences in schools throughout our region. When our schools become breeding grounds for criminals, we have to admit that we are travelling on a road that leads to nothing but pain and destruction.
We can no longer afford to turn a blind eye to black on black crime in the Caribbean.