Archives for July 2013

Lost for words, but definitely outraged!

Twenty-three year ago in Trinidad and Tobago, a radical Muslim group staged an attempted coup on the democratically elected government of the day. The standoff lasted for six days, during which time the Prime Minister was shot, 24 people were killed and the capital city looted and burnt to the ground.

The criminals, the Jamaat-al-Muslimeen, never paid for that crime against the nation. The amnesty signed under duress was inexplicably upheld by the local courts, although it was thrown out by the Privy council. The criminals were, and still are, free as birds.

Many of the businesses in the capital did not survive. Some took their family members and left for greener pastures, others took loans to rebuild a city that many would say the government and authorities had forgot.

Fast forward to the present: this same criminal organisation held a march yesterday to remind the citizens of their “victory” that day. These criminals, who now hold property and riches, marched through a city that they almost destroyed 23 year ago, when they should either be behind bars, or dead.

They marched through a city that businesses had to struggle to rebuild. A city that is now fraught with crime, poor infrastructure, and smells of piss and shit. A city that is seemingly forsaken by the same authorities who approved that march. Such a slap in our collective faces!

We’ve really reached as a nation haven’t we? The officials who approved this disgrace should be removed. But I shouldn’t have expected any better. The lawlessness that we see take place every day in Port-of-Spain is an indication of the mentality of the T&T population to just take it as we get it.

We as a nation have failed if we can allow the power that they people seemingly wield.

The Trinidad Express had as its headline, “Outrage”. And we should all feel that way.

Why I agree with the Zimmerman verdict

I might be the only one among my friends who agree with the Zimmerman not-guilty verdict. I agree that it’s a travesty that young Trayvon Martin died that fateful night, no one can say whether he truly deserved it, but the verdict was almost guaranteed.

People are turning this into a race crime, but it’s not. Many people would have done the same thing given the circumstances. I will admit, that if I see a young, man of African decent standing outside my house in a hoodie I would feel suspicious. I would do the same if the person was of Indian decent as well. I probably wouldn’t if the person was white or Chinese. Many of us have this in-built stereotyping and can’t help ourselves. We do judge a book by its colour.

If I had a gun, I would probably be more emboldened to confront a suspicious person. And if that person becomes aggressive, I would also like the right to defend myself with force. I’m sure that many other people will want that as well.

We all want to right to protect and take back the community from criminals. But many of us can’t as we have to depend on the Police to protect us. If I see a suspicious person and call the police, will the police actually come? What happens if that person becomes an aggressor, can I protect myself with force?¬†Sometimes the answers to these questions is no.

But if I was able to “stand my ground” I can confront people and use deadly force if necessary if they did pose a threat.

The jury had to find Zimmerman not-guilty. They too want to be able to stop possible criminals. They too want to be bold enough to step up and kill if they had to. A guilty verdict could change all of that.

I don’t know the events of that night, but I know that if I was in the same position, I might have reacted similarly. This was no premeditated act. This was simply Zimmerman wanting to protect the community. Taking away the racial undertones, no jury would have found him guilty.