We lament the fact that our country has become that kind of place where an angry parent can remonstrate with her one child and say to his face that she will keep his insurance up to date so that – on his demise – she would have money sufficient to the challenge of burying his remains.
And so, the bloody beat continues.
Sadder still is the fact that as crime and the fear it has spawned continue their hurly-burly – there is a sense we are today getting that tells us that, this mess has been brewing for quite some time now; that the proverbial chickens are coming home to roost; and that, things may well spiral from bad to worse.
The question that should today be germane has to do with finding out whether there is a way out of this quagmire; whether we can – if we willed so – exit lives that seem to thrive on a bacchanalian dalliance with disaster and on death.
That real break with business as usual can and will come once we realize that it is in the interest of all that we put in place educational and health systems that provide the best for all and that we diversify the Bahamian economy.
By so doing, we would then be set on a path that will lead to higher levels of social cohesion, welfare and economic growth –and to a lower level of inequality.
One of the immediate benefits of such a set of moves would be that, less money would have to be spent on courts, guns, jails and bullets – and money sent off to lawyers and others such in the business of processing and finessing the so-called ‘criminal’ elements.
And so, whether those in command realize it or not, the fact of the matter is that we have collectively lost our way in the world. Having done so, many among us have also lost sight of the fact that there was once a time when many among us dared think that – as Bahamians united in service and love – we had a part to play as nation-builders.
Even more crucially, many who were called to lead – and who did lead – quickly lost sight of the fact that, without huge resources and readily exploitable natural resources, it was the people who constituted our greatest asset.
Sadly, this resource is being squandered; thus the tears and cries of so very many mothers and too the sullen despair of so very many of this nation’s men who would – if they could – assume their roles as fathers.
And thus also, the ongoing tension between workers, government, and employers.
One of the more perplexing aspects of social life in today’s crime-ridden Bahamas has to do with the extent to which elite-level Bahamians can and do talk so very much about how they can solve this problem while all the while neglecting to admit their complicity in the genesis of the challenge they say they see.
Here reference need only be made to any of the really shady antics and tactics of so very many among us who so blithely wring their hands in despair as they self-righteously condemn the destruction wrought by what they sometimes describe as ‘criminal elements’.
To hear these people talk about ‘the problem’ and to see them as they gnash their teeth seems on occasion such ribald theatre.
Today we reap as we have sown.
Having failed to create a public school system that actually works; we now treat public schools as if they were training grounds for the production of thugs; thus the deployment of policemen in schools; thus the morning ritual of the pat-down for weapons as these mini-criminals enter the precincts of this or that so-called ‘school’.
This is nothing short of a massive social disaster; this so, because Bahamians – like all other right-thinking people around the world – want lives for themselves and their loved ones that are commodious and that allow them to aspire and achieve some of their goals.
Like other people around the world, the vast majority of our people are terrified of living in a world where fear rules and a world where life seems on the way to becoming nastier, more brutish and shorter by the day.
Put simply, Bahamians and their neighbors in the wider region do wish – more than anything in the world – to live in societies that make life seem worthwhile.
Sadly, today’s Bahamas is fast becoming a kind of place where gun-fire and gun-talk and gun-related violence are all the rage. It is also a sad fact of life that The Bahamas is fast-becoming that kind of bloody-brutal place where morticians can –on any given day- rest assured that, demand for their work is on the up and up.
We lament this sad fact of life in today’s crime-ridden Bahamas.