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Family can be society’s most effective ally

Dear Sir,

How extremely painful and gut-wrenching it is to hear in a routine fashion of the slaying of another young black man in what might be termed conflict resolution gone mad. What is so regrettable is that the shock factor for murder in the community has gone the way of the small screen in black-and-white television.

I do not see this primarily as an issue of self-race hatred, but more of disrespect for the rule of law and the sanctity of life.

It is troubling that this behaviour has its general practice among young people, for the most part, of one racial group.

There are those who posit with passion that the problem is in the lack of historical perspective and knowledge of the historical contributions of a great people.

I do not agree with this thinking or the intense teaching that it is a way to provide redemption of any race.

What can be observed in many areas of Bermuda life is the resentment for regulation, rules and authority for an orderly society.

Our roads are the domain of two-wheeled missiles that refuse to follow to the rear of any four-wheeled vehicle and will accelerate at any speed to be at the lead in traffic.

Rules are made to be broken is the new thinking and are questioned why are they there in the first place.

We have a culture where many do not want to be spoken to when they breach the rules and become belligerent and react with loud and vile profanity, never mind they may be addressing a policeman. In the black community, I believe we can save individuals and not the race, but this would include any race. I do believe, however, we can save the black family and take some ownership of the present dilemma.

We need stronger families where tobacco, alcohol and drugs are eschewed and values based on biblical morality are taught and modelled by parents.

Material possessions come second to respect for elders and other people’s property. The use of profanity should not be used in the home, thereby teaching proper speaking skills.

The family is society’s most effective ally or its most damning enemy against all that is good and decent for a life on the right side of the law.

In the black experience, we have lost too many battles, but all is not lost if we return to the root cause of our difficulties - senseless murders and far too many of our people being incarcerated for serious crimes - if we raise our children to love righteousness and each other with an intense desire to make right life choices, which will lead to fewer mistakes!

Of course, there are several components to this very large and complex issue, but people need to be empowered to make those critical choices early in life before making the choice to kill someone.


Stabbing aftermath: Dwayne Caines, police media manager, addressed the media after Saturday's murder (Photograph by Akil Simmons)