By Dr. Kwame Nantambu
February 11, 2012
The most intractable, vexing and perplexing problem in T&T is crime. And the raison d’etre successive governments have been unable and unsuccessful in dealing with this problem is primarily because they have all adopted a Euro-centric approach instead of an Afri-centric approach.
The Euro-centric approach focuses on the results/effects of a problem while the Afri-centric deals with the causes.
This writer strongly contends that the endemic causes of crime in T&T are three-fold, viz, the 18th century imposed Euro-centric British education system, the abolition of corporal punishment in schools in February 2001 and the subliminal Americanization of all aspects of life in T&T, 24-7-365.
The fact of the matter is that the current Euro-centric education system produces young people who are unemployable, devoid of the vital life-survival-empowerment skills and any sense of direction plus low esteem.
As a result of all this societal baggage on their shoulders, these young people have no other choice but to resort to a life of crime to survive, And this mind-set makes sense to them, period.
The Euro-centric education system continues to imbue in these young people a sense of worthlessness, nothingness and unpreparedness.
At the end of their matriculation, these young people seriously and disgracefully lack the “3rs”— Reading, Writing and Arithmetic. They are doomed, period.
They are totally convinced (rightly or wrongly) that society as in the System, has failed them. They feel betrayed by society. Ipso facto, they not only internalize their accepted truism that they are failures but more self-destructively, they also publicly act out Bob Marley’s lyrical dictum that the “Babylon system is a vampire.”
Ergo, they are now totally convinced that they have the right to turn on society— crime, therefore, becomes their magnetic force just to survive.
On the thorny issue of corporal punishment, this writer vociferously rejects the Euro- centric notion that the decision to abolish was based on “research carried out in North America and Europe.” That’s the problem.
Again, this is exactly what the renowned Euro-centric psychologist Sigmund Freud did centuries ago, namely, using the European behaviour/experience as the norm, standard and model for all people ( including governments) to accept and follow— total, unabashed rejection by this Afri-centric scholar/professor, period.
This decision not only represents a direct correlation with but also a very dangerous embrace of the Euro-centric world view and policy-making modus operandi. And that’s the problem with solving crime in T&T.
The stark reality is that the historical experience/behaviour of the European colonizer is totally different from that of the colonized. Ergo, what is good and works for the European colonizer is not necessarily good and works for the colonized. That must be clearly understood by public policy-makers in T&T.
The truth be told: As a direct result of the Euro-centric decision made in 2001, today (2012) the “chickens (have finally) come home to roost” in T&T, period.
The subliminal Americanization of life in T&T is overtly reflected in the proclivity for crass materialism, “instant gratification”, “50 Cent” philosophy, disgusting ghetto attire, slangs, body antics and mannerisms of young people, gang turf warfare, just to cite a few.
Indeed, judging the daily attire of young, mature and older Trinbagonians one can correctly conclude that just maybe T&T has been re-assigned, albeit re-located, from the tropical (hot) zone to the temperate (cold) zone.
The truth be told: The failed Euro-centric education system in T&T compels young people to gravitate and mimic only the most self-destructive aspects of American ghetto life styles.
In the final analysis, this writer offers the following Afri-centric solutions to deal with crime in T&T- (i) radical surgery on the current dependency Euro-centric education system (ii) re-introduction of corporal punishment in schools so that young people will respect/obey adult authority/discipline and (iii) immediate deletion of the BET and BET J channels on T&T’s daily television schedule.
Shem Hotep (“I go in peace”).
6 thoughts on “Crime in T&T – Afri-centric Analysis”
I AM IN TOTAL AGREEMENT WITH YOUR ARTICLE, BUT MAYBE YOU ARE IN THE PROCESS OF STARTING SOME KIND OF REVOLUTION IN THE SCHOOLS.MY GUT FEELING IS THE KIDS ARE NOT GOING TO GO FOR THIS CORPORAL PUNISHMENT BEING HANDED OUT.
Respect and how to treat others begins at home.
I think putting the responsibility on the kids is clearly backwards. Kids are a blank slate when they are born and learn by their environment. Their personalities are very developed by the age of 5. If they grow up around fighting parents or those who do not spend quality time with their kids, or parents that tell their kids they are stupid how would they naturally think, feel and act?
If the parents do not encourage and love their kids and give credit where credit is due then kids grow up not feeling worthy. It all begins at home.
Maybe we need to make parents responsible for the actions of their gangster kids?
The children of today are a product of their environment and it started at home.
Any well-adjusted person would not be influenced by BET so removing and hiding all that is gross and ugly in this world is clearly not the solution.
How about parents monitor their kids’ TV time or get rid of TV all together and teach them to survive without it. Maybe the parents need to read to their kids at a early age and not rely on the school system to instill values and all the education. Get rid of TV kids don’t need it!
Raise your kid’s right and show an interest and maybe they won’t pick watching BET because they will realize it’s foolish and immature and they instead will pick up a book because that’s what they were taught from day one. Would you not rather spend time with your parents then a TV or are they not worth spending time with? Maybe that’s the problem?
Parents have failed society not the kids! Parents need to “also” take responsibility for their kids. I don’t see that happening. It’s easy to blame a kid because what repercussions would you give to a tax paying adult?
So where is the root cause again a TV show called BET or PARENTS?
i.e. Kid robs or kill a person maybe parents also share the penalty to a lesser degree? Uummm… naw impossible to enforce parents won’t go for it and will vote against any politician who proposes that stupid law. Hey, let’s lock the kids up and blame TV and bring back punishment at school you know the place that should enforce punishment it’s easier than making the parents who had the kids have any responsibility what so ever.
Is that what you are saying? I don’t need a Phd to know you only got it half right.
A more Afrocentric view was taking shape in T’dad WITHIN a Caribbean perspective a few years back, so wey happen to all of dat?? I guess it lost out on the inability to gratify instantly ala amerikkka. Shame that, because good things take time.
Do you have a proven Afri-centric model? How would it work, and which African countries follow it? And what is their crime rate, life expectancy, and AIDS rate (or at least 2 of the 3 rates)?
I think you don’t know much facts about Africa. While Europe has made many bad things, you don’t have to keep blaming them for everything. Europe has shown success in many areas, to just deny that cause some white people are evil is foolish. Not everything Africa has come up with is good, and not everything Europe has come up with is bad. Before inventing some technique of your own that is unproven and then calling it Afri-centric .. first let us have undeniable evidence that a particular method works .. no matter who invented it .. and go with that. That is what the Singaporeans, Japanese, South Koreans, and Chinese did .. and they are very successful.
good article ,all above comments are right and give food for thought … where do we go from here ? how do we begin to incorporate all this into daily living ? do we start with the kids ? or do we start with the parents ? or the schools ? could we start with all the above at the same time? Should we create a road map that includes all the above not forgetting or excluding any religion of choice,AND the politicians ,oh no we cant forget them,we MUST make them listen to our crys, concerns and fears for the furture generations,clearly we cant go backwards but we can do much better if we ALL take responsibility for these kidds.Have a great day …
There is always a choice in life and the problem is that absent or absent minded parents keep allowing their children to make choices that grown ups should be making. You can’t blame education for not getting an edducation. Not having is no excuse for not getting.
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