Dr. Kwame Nantambu

Anatomy of Violence in TnT:
Chickens have come home to roost...

By Dr. Kwame Nantambu
May 06, 2006

At the height of the global menace of Soviet communism, on 5 March, 1946, Sir Winston Churchill issued this apocalyptic warning: "an iron curtain has descended across the Continent. Behind that line lie all the capitals of the ancient states of Central and Eastern Europe."

In April 2006, it is most appropriate to conclude that a mighty, self-destructive and debilitating crime infested and violence ridden curtain has descended across TnT.

The purpose of this article is to decode the anatomy of crime and violence in TnT from an Afrocentric perspective.

As such, TnT is a violent country; "crime is part of the mainstream culture of the society." Almost every member of society is committing an act of violence of some sort, including Holy Roman Catholic priests.

This analysis, therefore, suggests the following exist:

1.) Parliamentary violence; that is, total disrespect among supposedly 'well-educated-elected-appointed adult politicians; often "forcing House Speaker Barry Sinanan to appeal for better behaviour in the Parliament".

2.) Domestic violence; that is, brutal, spousal physical abuse; children disrespecting adults; adults cursing each other in front of children; incest which involves rape/sexual violence against babies, children, stepdaughters under legal age limit; and family members colluding with teenagers to murder and bugger very young male siblings.

Thus, the sad reality is that family life in TnT no longer functions in a home, but in a house -- a building. And in this building, the occupants often live like gnawing animals.

3.) Legal violence; that is, police brutality, wrongful arrests, thievery, protection of drug lords and drug involvement/trafficking in the police service, as well as prison officers allegedly violently beating and murdering inmates in the nation's prisons. In addition, police officers, who take a solemn oath "to protect and serve", are also involved in kidnappings and murder.

4.) Civil violence; that is, public civil servants who display an unethical, smug, uncivil attitude when taxpayers (their employers) approach them for assistance at government offices. Some of "these people" act as though they are doing members of the public a big favour by attending to them. They seem to forget that they are members of the Public Service Association and as such are obliged to serve and not disrespect the public.

5.) Public violence; that is when a public servant, as in a minister, colludes with another individual to steal state funds, and when a minister accepts a bribe as a quid pro quo for a political favour.

6.) Capitalist violence; that is, unscrupulous businessmen who raise ('jack up') prices of staple food items in the most anti-consumer fashion.

7.) Educational violence (which embodies a 40 per cent teacher delinquency/absenteeism); rampant teacher disinterest and disregard for the profession; and the presence of gangs, bullies, substance abuse, drug trafficking and "pan-in-school programme". All of this is compounded by the absence of corporal punishment and Afrikan History.

8.) Culinary violence, whereby Trinbagonians sheepishly consume poisonous American fast foods 24/7/365. Parents/adults who give this genre of poison to children and teenagers are guilty and stand indicted for child health abuse and long-term endangerment.

9.) Physical violence; that is, street gang turf war, murder, kidnapping, robbery, drive-by-shooting, contract killing, female abduction, gang rape, car hijacking, etc.

10.) Personal violence, whereby Trinbagonians do not trust each other, do not relate to each other, hate, dislike, and are jealous of each other, possess an omnipresent American-type "get over", "dog-eat-dog", attitude/ mentality/greed towards each other, and have voluntarily adopted a ME way of life and value system.

This phenomenon has led to personal self-destructive behaviour among Trinbagonians.

In this regard, it is insane for educated, mature adults to disrespect each other in Parliament on national television, and then for the Ministry of Education (albeit Ministry of Degradation) to hold "conflict resolution" sessions for young children in schools. "Dis is crazyness."

11.) Political violence; that is, when private citizens and public officials (including politicians), make incendiary, divisive, polarizing, inflammatory, crime-inducing, law-breaking remarks/statements.

12.) Musical/Cultural violence a la America, to the extent that a caricature of "Michael Jackson does the moonwalk at Dimanche Gras" and "Soca Elvis" is an integral feature at Calypso Tents.

The fact of the matter is, that this Afrikan-American entertainer is an alleged pedophile, who has been accused of "committing a lewd act upon; administering alcohol; and conspiracy to commit child abduction", while Euro-American Elvis Presley not only died from a drug overdose, but also never liked Black people. He is reported to have said that, "the only thing a Black person could do for him is to shine his shoes".

The salient questions that immediately come to mind are: Why are Michael Jackson and Elvis Presley needed to legitimize our original musical/cultural art form? Are the organizers and promoters who put on these shows sending the message that these Americans are our musical/cultural role models?

The fact of the matter is that our musical/cultural art form does not need any American props, in any form or fashion. TnT's art form does not need to be diversified nor Americanized. To do so is to bastardize our cultural existence as a proud, historical people. TnT's musical/cultural art form must not embrace enmity, negativity and illegality.

In addition, TnT must cease being an American musical/cultural "pimper's paradise."

Physical slavery was abolished in August 1834 (38); however, mental/psychological slavery and cultural paralysis through the medium of American television's subliminal indoctrination are manifested today in TnT's cultural arena.

The bottom-line is that for any public policy prescription to be successful in denting, combating and challenging the uncontrollable spate of crime and violence in TnT; then it must be tailored not only to win over the heart, mind, values and real life choices of young Trinbagonians; but also, more importantly, it must seek to detour them from that alien subconscious magnetic mind-set for instant gratification by any and all means necessary, and to "get rich or die trying" a la American "50 cent philosophy".

Truth Be Told: TnT retrolifemania must be an essential plank in any such public policy/decision mix to eradicate violence from the landscape of this country's daily life. Trinbagonians were once "poor and polite"; now, they are rich and impolite. Something is definitely wrong with this picture of TnT in 2006.

The fact of the matter is that there has been a massive erosion in all the "social structures" and human value/spirit in TnT - a country well endowed with natural resources.

Ergo, the only conclusion that can be drawn is that the current anatomy of violence in TnT is simply just a case of the violent chickens have finally come home to roost as a result of decades old erosion, neglect and most importantly, denial.

Public policy must, therefore, be conceptualized; formulated and implemented to detoxify, demystify, de-brainwash and de-Americanize the subconscious mind of Trinbagonians away from alien values, way of life and being.

In the final analysis, in order to solve the crisis of multifaceted crime and violence, first and foremost, TnT must cease functioning as a United States sociocultural trusteeship, 24/7/365.

None of us is free until all of us are free!

Shem Hotep ("I go in peace").

Dr. Kwame Nantambu is a part-time lecturer at Cipriani College of Labour and Co-operative Studies and University of the West Indies.

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