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Editorial: The Path That Leads To Crime

SOMETIMES, it is too easy to focus on the statistics.

Every time there is a murder, one more gets added to the count. Already this year the count stands at 16 people murdered.

A few more days pass and another takes place, sometimes more than one, and the count goes on.

Behind each incident, however, are two stories. There is the story of the victim and the friends and family left behind who mourn the loss of their loved one. There is also the lesser told story of the killer, and how they got to the point in their lives where they raised a gun or pulled out a knife.

The story of the victim is often told, as it rightly should be, as people pay tribute to the person taken from them too soon.

The story of the killer is told less often, sometimes in a court of law, but perhaps these are the stories that give the biggest insight into the problems in our society. This is not a question of giving sympathy to perpetrators of the crimes that plague our nation, but rather to look our problems in the face instead of hiding them away.

In our Insight section today, one gang member talks with remarkable honesty to The Tribune about the path that led to where he is. Named Ghost, he says he had a regular family life growing up, going to private schools and church – but said something was missing. As he puts it, “power and belonging”. He kept getting put out of schools until he was recruited by a gang. It started with moving drugs and guns. He started to smoke weed. His family tried to get him back on the right path, but finally his mother “said I had no soul so she told me to get out of her house. I left and moved in with one of the generals. Things were really good after that.”

Things being “good” led to Ghost being asked to kill a man. He tried to escape for a while, but the general made him move back in with him. Ghost wouldn’t answer if he had killed anyone.

His story could be the story of many others. A young man with trouble at school who wouldn’t settle down and got pulled into the wrong lifestyle.

Ghost also said that police “don’t really get involved with gang wars” – and sadly neither does society at large. These gangs are often going about their violent business and neither the root causes nor the immediate effects are truly being tackled.

This man calls the place we live in a “cowboy town” and says there is nothing anyone can do about it.

“We might go quiet for a while but then we bounce back up, lick off some shots to let you’ll know we still here,” he says.

Is he wrong? And more to the point, are we prepared to go on letting him be right?

Bahamasair troubles

How long would your bank go on letting you rack up the bills before it cut you off? How might you wish then to be Bahamasair, which has been given $40m and counting by Bahamian taxpayers in the past seven months to keep going. Even with that, its payroll was late last week.

Even chairman Tommy Turnquest admitted that the situation was “unsustainable”.

What can Bahamasair do about that? Well, obviously COVID-19 has been a hammer blow to the airline, just as it has for airlines and the tourism industry around the world.

Unlike hotels, Bahamasair staff was not furloughed or given temporary lay-offs, and there has been no increase in passenger traffic since the start of the year.

Salaries being late this time around is a sign of the financial firefighting going on – the government must have known the money was needed, but seemingly couldn’t get it there on time. That probably speaks to what is going on behind the scenes as the government tries to put money where it is needed most, but there are so many places where it is needed.

Things won’t be getting better for Bahamasair anytime soon – we’re going to be the ones paying for it to keep going for a while yet.

How long can that go on? We can’t say, but the airline must be thankful indeed that we are the ones footing its bills and not the bank.

Comments

birdiestrachan 2 weeks, 3 days ago

Will, there no longer be comments on Malcom Strachan' Insight articles?

Inquiring minds would like to know.

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John 2 weeks, 2 days ago

How about trying to start the story at the beginning? How about starting back when murder (or crime as you call it) was not a part of Bahamaian culture or an everyday occurrence in The Bahamas? Back in ,shall we say the early 1970’s when, if there was a murder, the entire country came to a standstill. Everyone mourned with the family who lost a loved one and everyone became a ‘police’ an ‘investigator’ until the culprit of this most heinous and unthinkable crime was captured and safely behind bars. And then the community attended the funeral of the victim,some packing the church or it’s grounds, others lining the streets to watchandif participate in the possession to the graveyard and others packing the graveyard’just to see or be seen’. Because someone had been murdered. They had had their lives taken by another and it was everybody’s loss. And then as the trial progressed, many would gather under the big tree near the courts, waiting anxiously for justice to be served. Some would take days off from work or put household chores on hold to there. And they held their own court sessions under the big tree decking the verdict and penalty even before the official courts. ‘He didn’t have to kill him/ her’,or ‘nobody deserves to dislike that.’ Or ‘they have to hang him’. Forward to today and someone is shot dead even in the brightness of day or even under an early morning sunlight. And word gets out. The word on the streets is Chile das them gang boys killing up one another again.’ ‘I don’t know why they don’t hurry up kill one another so all this foolishness could stop. All this killing.’ Then the police gives their statement that will almost always include,’the victim was known to police.’ And nothing else matters after that. He was known to police, so he was a bad boy a criminal. He had to do something to get kill.’And so the family is left alone and lonely in shock, in disbelief, to mourn, and to bury their dead. And the cold hands of bloody murder moves on, in search of it’s next victim.

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GodSpeed 2 weeks, 2 days ago

  1. Breakdown of the family unit = more crime. Too many fatherless homes and women with no shame opening their legs to make babies.

  2. The rotten, subversive US cultural influences... mostly their backwards hip-hop culture that promotes violence, promiscuity and drug use.

  3. Unchecked illegal (mostly Haitian) immigration bringing violent gang culture. Poor immigrants are nothing but trouble. Uneducated and illegal ones even moreso because difficult situations in a foreign land usually encourages participation in crime. The same happens in the US where gangs came along with immigrants of every kind.

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Bobsyeruncle 2 weeks, 2 days ago

Couldn't agree more with #1 & #2. I think #3 is pushing it, although not totally out of the question.

I would add a poor education system to the list. Most of these kids, even if they do graduate high school, are basically unemployable (lacking basic language, writing & arithmetic skills). Add to this a lack of job opportunities and they turn to other avenues to survive and get their fix of succeeding

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John 2 weeks, 2 days ago

One and two are related. Go and check and see who are writing the lyrics that promote, The rotten, subversive US cultural influences... "mostly their backwards hip-hop culture that promotes violence, promiscuity and drug use." it is not the artists bt their promoters..and all of these promoters have one thing in common: They are Satanic Jews!
. Secondly the violent gang culture is not coming from Haiti, but America. The US spent years (under the Bush's and Clintons, developing the gang culture in it's prisons then unleashed these prison-bred animals on society. Black communities in the Us and Caribbean and in Hispanic communities in Central and South America. In fact, at one point, the gangs got so deadly in Colombia and other parts of South America, local residents had to run to the jails and ask to be locked up as protection from them. And as soon as they stepped out of the jail house, they were found in the streets with their necks slit from ear to ear. It is the Haitians that are coming from the US that promote the gang culture and violence, not those coming from Haiti

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