‘Lure of money’ blamed for rising crime
Well-known political activist and attorney David Comissiong has suggested that Barbados was paying the price for its “widespread greed” in society through the recent spate of crime and violence.
Speaking this morning at a press conference hosted by the September 3 Foundation Inc at the Clement Payne Centre, Crumpton Street, The City, Comissiong claimed that the upsurge in crime was the result of a culture of greed by persons who were ensnared by the lure of money that they intended to get by any means necessary, even if it meant going to prison or to an early grave.
He said as society “self-righteously” condemned perpetrators, there was a need “to reflect that those persons are perhaps adapting themselves to a more widespread ethic that play in our society which says money by hook or by crook.”
“We need to think about this because more and more we are fostering a culture in Barbados where we value a person by the size of their salary, the size of their bank account, the size of the car that they drive, the size of the house that they live in. The media foster a culture of celebrity where persons are lauded in society based on their material success,” he said.
Comissiong suggested that if this value system were being espoused by business people, politicians and leaders of society, then it would be easy for an “alienated and deprived” segment of society to adapt “that money by hook or crook” ethic into an ethic of “money, lock up or dead”.
He said the observance of the anniversary of the Campus Trendz fire that took the lives of six young women on September 3, 2010 was an appropriate time Barbadians to reflect on the “unnecessary and tragic loss, pain and suffering” caused by violence. The fire was started by two men who robbed the store on Tudor Street, The City.
Comissiong added that the occasion would also be used to stress that “Bajan lives matter” and to make the connection between greed and rising crime.
“We are asking this society to make the connection between a cultural ethic of money by hook or crook, an ethic that is practiced by far too many business people, far too many politicians, far to many supposed leaders and establishment figures of our society and the subcultural ethic of money, lock up or dead.”
The outspoken activist added that if Barbadians accepted that a segment of the population had adopted an ethos that human life was not valuable and would do anything for money, no matter the outcome, the population would realize that nobody was blameless and would not point fingers at each other.
“If we are to grapple with this issue of crime and violence in our society, and if we are to foster the beloved community that we should be in Barbados, then all of us have to play a role.
“Think before you act, think before you fire that gun, think before you explode that device in a small shop filled with young ladies, think of the loss that your act will cause, think of the pain that your act will cause to so many people,” he said.
This year, the members of the Foundation, including families of the six victims, have asked churches across the island to dedicate their worship services on Sunday August 30 to eradicating violence.
On Thursday September 3, a national minute of silence will be held in Heroes Square where family members will reflect on the lives of the six young ladies who perished in the inferno.
Following the minute of silence and solemn ceremony family members and friends of the victims will make their way to the respective gravesites of the four victims buried here. One was buried in Guyana, while another was laid to rest in St Vincent and the Grenadines.