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Do Something Now?
Posted: Tuesday, June 14, 2005

By A. H. Hotep

Since whites started calling on the government to "Do Something Now" about the crime situation, I said that Prime Minister Patrick Manning was going to announce the resumption of hangings.

The Prime Minister and the rest of his party do not have a clue how to address the crime problem, except that they have always ensured that whites get their way. The white 'code' for calling on the government to resume hanging is "Do Something Now." Whites are not spelling out what that something is, but they are appealing to the government, the opposition and the President to "Do Something Now." When the government announced they will resume hanging, whites praised the government for taking steps to address crime. Of course, by crime they mean crime committed by Africans and Indians that can endanger the lives of white people and threaten their businesses.

"Do Something Now" does not include auditing most white owned or controlled businesses to see if their earnings are legitimate. It does not mean investigating the reports that members of the Syrian business community have been the head of the cocaine trade in Trinidad and Tobago for decades. It certainly will not lead to an investigation of those who have held the monopoly on the illegal gun trade for decades.

In this country, most people do not trust these politicians, so it is mind-boggling that a majority of the people will trust politicians and the legal system (a legal system that they also do not trust) with the power of life and death over them. Am I to believe that the majority of Indians in Trinidad and Tobago who do not trust the PNM government, have accused PNM of racism, corruption and nepotism, want the PNM government wielding the power of life and death over them? Former Prime Minister now Opposition Leader Basdeo Panday said that there is no way that he can get a fair trial in Trinidad. He insisted that the PNM will even commit murder to stay in power. Are we to believe that PNM members feel the same about the death penalty when UNC is the government? What about the people who do not support either political party, with their divisiveness, corruption and cronyism? Do these people trust the PNM and UNC with the power of life and death over them?

I am certain that there has not been a healthy debate of the death penalty. The media has projected their desire for the death penalty on the population, and then claim the people want it. Each time I have had the opportunity to explain to a group of people how the death penalty can and has been abused, many in the group then oppose it. Each time I have shown how the government uses the death penalty to appease mostly whites and as a cover for their inability and/or unwillingness to deal with root causes of our problems, they oppose the death penalty. When they learn how our present death penalty is directly tied to lynching during and after Slavery, they oppose it.

Have the majority of Africans and Indians thought out how the death penalty is used and abused? I am of the view that they have not. Until the media allows for a broader debate on our legal system and history of our country from an informed African perspective, results of media polls on the death penalty are simply projections of their owners' racist views. The government will continue to act in a manner that appeases whites and protects their economic interest. If Blacks are simply killing each other, that is no big thing, but if they threaten or hurt white people and their businesses, the government would "Do Something Now."

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