Categorized | Editorials

A Small Justice

“…Praise God; justice has been served…”

There it goes: With these poignant words strewn among very many others quite like this heart-cry a grieving Bahamian grand-mother and obviously a praying woman [Veronica Bastian] thanked God when she heard that Donovan Gardiner who had killed her grandson [Desmond Key] would spend the next decade behind bars.

This convicted criminal – as the record attests – was [at the time of his criminal excess] a police corporal; sworn to uphold the law that he broke.

As we also remember, Desmond Key died on January 19, 2008 of pancreatitis at the Princess Margaret Hospital after being at the facility for seven months. He was beaten [by Donavan Gardiner] with a baseball bat in a holding cell at the Grove Police Station on June 17, 2007.

And so today, we are also reminded of some of what his grandmother had to say when she learned about the ten-year sentence.

As Ms. Bastian put it: “…For five years now we’ve been waiting for justice. Praise God justice has been served. It is a small justice, but through God, we will deal with it…”
And so the word remains both true and real: We are called to give thanks in and for all things inclusive of this instance of this “small justice”.

Crime as Menace and Fear

Today we return – as it were – to the scene of a ‘crime’ – with that offense being the alarming extent to which some Bahamians routinely exaggerate the nature of the menace that crime and its incidence have become in our country.

This is not to say that things are not bad enough.

Today the fact remains: Crime and the incidence thereof is deeply rooted in a Bahamas where – as a direct result of long-history of both exploitation and chicanery – some among us [mass and elite alike] routinely turn a blind eye to crime.

And so, barring the soon-coming of that day when Bahamians allow truth to prevail; we are constrained to say that there is every likelihood that things will get worse before they get better.

But happily, there is however another side to this coin; this being the fact that there are occasions in life when the fear of crime is far more damaging than crime itself.

And sad as it might now seem, the recent spate of reported rapes [while bad enough] pales when stacked up against the panic it induced in women throughout the Bahamas.

And yet again, there are all those other times when politicians – for their very own vote-gathering purposes – are tempted to so frame debate that they do their level best to portray themselves as being uniquely qualified to wage so-called ‘war’ against crime.

And so, by verbal diktat – the Progressive Liberal Party on the campaign trail – was able to sell the idea that, The Bahamas was losing the war on crime and that as a consequence some kind of crime tsunami had been unleashed on this land and its people.

They proceeded to suggest that this monster wave was “…due to the indifference and ineffectiveness of the FNM Government to counter crime and criminality…”

Thereafter they concluded: “…The FNM Government does not have a clue as to how to stop the bloodshed of innocent lives…”

Impliedly, they did.

In truth, evidence garnered subsequent to the PLP’s great victory at the polls confirms what most thinking Bahamians know which is that: Crime is an equal opportunity scourge in today’s troubled Bahamas!

Interestingly, Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition has decided to eschew the blame game and as they say: “…The FNM will not blame every criminal act on the new Minister of National Security, Dr Bernard Nottage…”

They also reinforce the obvious when they say that, “…The public is watching the new government…”

So are we.

In addition, we are also quite certain that no one party has any cure-all for the ills that now plague us.

Indeed we also do agree with the Opposition when they say that, they will support any crime fighting initiatives that are constructive and curb the senseless bloodshed.

But as they also rightly point out: “… [They] want to see the logic and tangibles that come with launching such a programme…”

Logic and tangibles are precisely what we all need in the so-called fight against crime in a Bahamas that is so open to the rest of the world.

And then, there remains that vexing issue concerning crime, its reach; its roots – and its’ myriad of implications and ramifications for national development in a small island developing state such as ours.

Evidently, crime is also rooted in the region and throughout the world; thus the fact that some of these groups very often morph and congeal into posses.

And so, the fact remains: Crime is an equal opportunity employer.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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