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”).