The scourge of violent crime

Dear Editor,

“It takes a village” is a metaphor for cooperation.

A fervent prayer almost. Many people must learn to cooperate peacefully, respectfully and with care, over generations, so that a community may thrive and strive. Simple enough, but we must acknowledge often difficult in practice.

After I had the distinct pleasure of a dinner with prominent friends, during a much needed visit to Nassau, I was forced to visit the above question and wonder what has happened to our Bahamian village.

True, we have to acknowledge the scars of two natural disasters – Dorian and COVID-19 – and a dysfunctional FNM administration during these perilous moments, but, still, where has our sense of “village” gone?

Violent crime – a new village culture,

Violent crime is out of control.

We sit and view it via the optics that these are internecine and only affecting gangs. This could not be further from sociological truth.

Violence has a domino effect, both preceding, and subsequent to every violent act.

Violence is but a single product of the equation, there are others — environmental dysfunction, contributory crime, opportunistic crime, inflation, reduced socioeconomic outcomes, family disruption, mental illness, fear, community degradation, further community separation and negative generational impact.

Can we be that anesthetized that we are dismissive to the fact that what affects one, invariably affects us all? Have we lost our sense of village?

The book, “Further Studies in a Dying Culture”, discusses how man and environment act upon each other to eventually create a “humanized environment” and an “environmentalized man”.

In other words, each acts upon the other. Each feeds on the other. Each soon becomes the other.

The environment begins to shape those living in it; and those shaped by it continue to perpetuate the culture created from it. A village or community lives and exists in a cycle. Whether that cycle is good or bad, positive or negative is a matter of its inherent practices. What has happened to the Bahamian village?

We commend the “new day” government on novel approaches to old problems. But have we gone or are truly prepared to go the needed distance to address the problem?

Social services and other community-related ministries are handicapped by resources; this has always been so.

However, we must not become complacent. We must not become so jaded from looking at the enormity of the forest that we miss trees of opportunity and indeed weeds that must be taken out, lest they continue to impede good progress.

We must continue to pray and evangelize the Christian word.

Bahamians are, as a collective, all affected by the scourge of violent crime.

 Dr. C.A. Clarke

London, UK

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