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Keep race out of criminal behaviour
Posted: Friday, September 2, 2011

By Dr. Kwame Nantambu
September 02, 2011

It is ridiculous for some public officials to opine/conclude that "the only reason (Trinbagonians) were charged under the Anti-Gang legislation was because they are black."

Such public insanity was further compounded when the leadership of the Emancipation Support Committee (ESC) also publicly contended that the People's Partnership (PP) government's anti-crime policy was "treading on slippery slopes" in regard to the targeting of African communities in T&T.

The stark reality is that 99.9 per cent of the prison population is made up of African-Trinbagonians. In addition, 99.9 per cent of the gang population/membership is also made up of African-Trinbagonians.

However. the salient points that are being totally missed are that the afore-mentioned has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with the policies of the PP government. And, moreover, the current crime infested "hot spots" existed before 24 May 2010.

The fact of the matter is that the afore-mentioned is just the hard core facts about crime and criminal behaviour in T&T.

The significant policy reality is that the PP government took the bold step and bit the bullet by declaring the State of Emergency and curfew. That's the crucial issue--- not the ethnicity of the perpetrators of crime.

And if such a national crime policy severely impacts a certain ethnic segment of society, then, so be it--- such is the reality of dealing with the exponential surge in crime in T&T.

This writer asserts that racial sentiments/remarks should not be used to trivialize criminal behaviour, lawlessness and societal mayhem in T&T.

Furthermore, it is Euro-centric for public officials to utilize an alien paradigm to analyze the crime situation in T&T.

Sanity suggests that the population dynamics in T&T are totally different from the United States; ergo, the pronouncement by these public officials tantamount to an attempt to fit square pegs into round holes.

In the final analysis, the only modus operandi to analyze the crime situation in T&T is "to localize it"; any other method would overtly represent an exercise in futility.

Shem Hotep (" I go in peace")

Dr. Kwame Nantambu is a part-time lecturer at Cipriani College of labour and Co-operative Studies.

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