Sunday, September 1, 2013

Of parasite and Handouts - the Peter O'Connor commentary

You cannot get rid of weeds and strangler vines in your garden by continuously trimming them back. They just get stronger. If you want to have a healthy, fruitful garden, you need to deal with these problems at their source.

It will take a little longer to dig out the weeds and strangler vines at their roots, but we never want to think about, far less deal with our problems at the source—where they start. We like to pave over roads which have no base, put plasters on septic wounds, and try to hurry-hurry patch and paint over all of our problems. But we seem to care naught about preventing issues from becoming problems.

As I watch the government, opposition, media and commentators contort themselves over the crime situation, painting, patching and threatening to hang the very people whom they pander to, I cringe at the futility of it all. “Zero tolerances”, raids of futility and appalling grandcharge mixed with tears, fears and pathetic temporary handouts will never deal with the crime we have in this country. 

We are just trimming back the weeds to achieve a slightly better statistic next week, while we continue to nourish the roots. And the weeds grow stronger from their roots upwards to continue to strangle us.

And this is not just happening in the areas of crime which trumpets
their “successes” at us—the gang shootings, open banditry and the clearly paid assassinations that occur in public every few weeks. This feeding of the roots of crime is taking place at every level of our lives, as corruption in one form or another eats away at our society, we pretending we only know of it when we see blood or hear gunshots. 

It starts at the base, or within the roots of the impoverished communities, but is watered and fertilized all the way up to big businesses and their cozy pandering to the governments which in turn pander to the violent criminal elements. 

The corporate sector and successive cabinets and parliaments cannot pretend, as they hide behind their pretended horror at the killings taking place from the ghettos to within fancy malls, that they are not part of it all. Any business—big or small—which makes financial contributions to political parties for the purpose of financial gain or favours, but refuses to try to influence governments to act honestly and in the interest of the country, is part of the criminal problem in this place. 

I remain appalled that no one will support my calls, ten years now, to organize a full and meaningful Consultation on Crime. Everyone has “a solution”, from hanging and licks in school to prayers and obeah. But because we all so totally embrace our opinions, to the exclusion of everyone else’s, everyone is beating their own drum and no one is listening to anyone. 

So we have a discordant cacophony at which the violent criminals merely laugh, and the non-violent criminals—the white-collar people—appreciate, for that cacophony drowns out their own growing illicit deals and businesses. 

The issues are so all-embracing, so deeply embedded in our psyches, that most of us no longer even know where the borders are between right and wrong. So let me clarify: “Right” is what I, or we, do, and “Wrong” is what others do. A whole generation has been raised without learning the basic tenets of civilization: basic ethics, understanding the needs of others, compassion, sympathy, loyalty, truth, generosity and the like. And this collapse of civilization as we know it, is what we are witnessing.

People are involved in crime, from banditry and assassinations, to buying contracts via political donations, because it is an easy way of life, and they know they will never be punished. So we all encourage it, notwithstanding those of us who bleat impotently against it from the sidelines. We pander to the criminal elements in the ghettoes with URP and CEPEP, and Colour me Orange and Basketball, and we pander to the rich by repaying their political support by refunding their losses, and awarding them contracts and positions they do not deserve.

From T-shirts and school bags—did you see the vulgar pictures of people screaming and clambering over each other to get a schoolbag—to contracts and big deals, people are being given everything and they are not working to acquire these things. 

All of these undeserved handouts, all the pandering to every whim, represent the fertilizer we pour on to the roots of crime in our country. And while the roots of big corruption and petty violence may be separate in the ground, the vines of evil combine and wrap around each other and ourselves to destroy what could well be our unique Garden of Eden.

But who really cares?

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Jai & Sero

Jai & Sero

Our family at home in Toronto 2008

Our family at home in Toronto 2008
Amit, Heather, Fuzz, Aj, Jiv, Shiva, Rampa, Sero, Jai