The cries of our people


By Dr. Selwyn R. Cudjoe
August 29, 2022

“The Crying Man Horner; Someone horn horn man…”

—Anil Roberts on Keith Rowley

“I could take a horn if I got one. I don’t send anyone to kill anyone.

—Dr. Keith Rowley’s response to Roberts

Such are the sentiments of two of our leaders on the eve of the Diamond Jubilee of our independence. Serious people treated Roberts’ characterization of Sharon Clark-Rowley, the prime minister’s wife, with the disdain she deserved. There was no reason to drag her down the drain, for there was no need to elevate such spurious nonsense to the level of serious national discourse. As they say, if you play with the dog, you get bitten by fleas.

Many larger issues confront our people as we enter the next 60 years after our independence. While meeting our material needs is important, we should be more concerned about the diminishing value we as citizens place on our spiritual and cultural lives.

Many of the challenges facing our nation can be discerned in the headlines and articles that appear daily in our newspapers. A few examples should suffice:

Guardian: “Horror in Palo Seco as girl, seven, strangled”. The story continued: “Horror struck the [Palo Seco] community yesterday morning as visions of McKenzie [Hope Rechier] a frail, lifeless body now haunts the minds of relatives and police who found her on a soiled mattress inside the 10×10ft wooden shack that she and the suspect [her mother, Michelle Alexander] called home.

“In a dirty room, they found McKenzie lying in a fetal position with a reddish mark on her neck and swollen face.” The suspect may be “struggling with mental issues”. (21st of August.)

Express: “After finding a newborn baby in a garbage bag at the hospital, a shaken job seeker says, ‘It was moving, sounds came out of the bag like a child’s.’ ABANDONED GIRL.

Emanuel Pierre, who found the abandoned child, said: “The child was wrapped in a yellow blanket and there was a hat on his head. He added: “We cannot judge anyone’s situation. They probably feel like they can’t take care of the child, but they could have done it in a more humane way than putting the child back in a bag. (August 23.)

Last week, the Express reported that five people were shot dead in separate incidents along the East-West Corridor over two nights. The victims were Darryl Jessop, 30, Dennis Nero, 43, Brian Carter, 57, Avery Weekes, 27, and Delano, age unknown.

Weekes was hanging out in Observatory Street, when he was confronted by a masked man who shot him and left him to die. Jessop was confronted by an unknown man who shot him repeatedly across his body. Delano, who was employed by the Port of Spain City Corporation, was also shot several times. He died instantly.

Nero’s mother seemed resigned to her son’s death. When asked why someone would kill her son, she replied, “When you don’t hear, you feel. And God knows best and God knows the reason. May God rest his soul in peace. (August 24.)

His grief was palpable; his absolute resignation. God was her only savior and redeemer, but her grief heightened the despair she felt.

Similar grief gripped Hope’s grandmother when she learned that her granddaughter had been strangled. She ran to the suspect’s house. She said, “I call my granddaughter and she doesn’t answer me. I did not know what to do.

Hope loved having her hair and nails done and spending time at the beach with her grandmother. Her grandmother mourned her loss: “All I know is that my princess is gone. She will never come back.

Express: “Mother of 8-year-old boy shot dead in Morvant attack pleads with God: LET MY SON LIVE…two men murdered; An 11-year-old boy was also fired. The boy, it seems, was preparing for a football match. Speaking of the gunmen who carried out the attack, the boy’s mother said: “They just breed hatred and they don’t care. I’ve lived here all my life and in our growing days it was nothing like that…

“At the moment, the young people are traumatized… No one is walking around the neighborhood as usual. Everyone is at home. (August 18.)

The nation has reached a point where nihilism is beginning to make inroads into people’s lives. They are traumatized and scared. Eugene Rivers III, a friend of mine, speaking about the murder of 13 black people in Boston over the July 4th weekend, America’s Independence Day celebration, said the growing violence in Boston is “a statement on the growing uselessness of black political leadership in Boston”.

He continues: “In the long term, the violence is an expression of the nihilism and decadence of a politically orphaned underclass of young people who have been largely ignored. Public health models of violence prevention are necessary but insufficient to address the spiritual and political sources of violence. (Boston Globe, July 22.)

Nihilism, a philosophy that suggests that all values ​​are baseless and that life has little meaning, tends to debase the meaning of life. We may not be there yet, but we need to give serious consideration to what we want to do as a nation over the next 60 years.

Faced with such daily threats against our humanity, who “honks who” and who could honk, is useless and out of time. Instead, we should be more careful about what we do and say about each other. Verbal abuse is not the answer. Desperation and nihilism are making inroads into people’s lives, and that’s not good for our country.

We must be extremely careful with our words and our actions on the occasion of the anniversary of our republic.

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