We are spineless and incompetent

October 28, 2016
Jermaine Barnaby/Freelance Photographer Tears flow down the cheek of Jaheal Powell as he grieve the death of a friend, Nicholas Francis, at the Jamaica College yesterday.

"On another note, a bus filled with people watched a thief rob and kill a schoolboy and did nothing. Sad state of affairs."

Those were the words my former colleague, Leighton Williams, posted on his Facebook page following news of the incident in which a 14-year-old Jamaica College student was robbed of his phone and stabbed to death on a bus full of passengers on Wednesday.

This is the same week when a man accused of killing a teenager nearly five years ago walked away from the charge because of a lack of evidence.

These two tragic occurrences send a message that is loud and clear for all the world to see: We are a spineless and incompetent people.

I get that we are a young democracy only 54 years into our - to use a term very loosely - independence. However, there are certain things that we don't need 500 years to get right.

Having an efficient justice system and standing up for what is right are things that we should be getting right because these are the low-hanging fruit.

Tell me, for example, how a bus full of people can be so immobilised by a man weilding a knife, preying on a 14-year-old student? Am I to believe that there was not one person on that bus who was willing to stand up for what is right?

If this is actually the case, then we cannot then turn around and blame the police, or the authorities in general, for the state we find ourselves in with regard to the manner in which criminals have and are overrunning this country.

As much as we believe these to be two separate cases, they are instrinsically linked and it is why we suffer so much.

As I have said on so many other occasions in this space, we are our own worst enemy. We sit on our hands and expect the world to change and then complain that it doesn't.

What kind of fools are we when we fail to recognise that we are the problem!

These past few months, we have been looking on at the United States and wondering what kind of fools believe Donald Trump would make a great president.




But how are we different?

We stare reality in the face and completely ignore the potential disaster staring right back at us.

The police have asked that anyone who was a witness to this heinous crime against Nicholas Francis, who was not only stabbed but also thrown from the bus and later died in hospital, to pass on what they know to the police. I am willing to take bets that their wait will be long and futile.

"We must stand together against crimes against our children and our citizens," declared Ruel Reid, education minister and former JC principal when news of the incident reached his ears.

He will also have another long and frustrating wait before that ever becomes a reality in this country.

Paul Bogle and Sir Alexander Bustamante must be rolling in their graves because this is not about to change anytime soon.

Just recently, radio talk-show host and attorney Emily Shields called for tertiary students to protest the spiralling crime rate. The consensus among the students was, what was protest going to do?

They claimed that they were busy studying for exams and such.

I wonder if they would have even had the opportunity to study for first degrees if Bogle, Bustamante, George William Gordon, and Garvey had taken similar stances.

Clearly, they need to be reminded that a country that ignores its past has no future.

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