Mon | Dec 11, 2017

Devon Dick | It's worse than we thought

Published:Thursday | August 17, 2017 | 12:00 AM

The killing of Micholle Moulton and the shooting of her sister is worse than we thought. Seventeen-year-old Micholle was being considered for the position of head girl for Meadowbrook High School. She did 11 subjects at the CSEC level. She was a hard-working, responsible student with a bright future. Her 12-year-old sister attends Immaculate Conception High School. These are the first children from the family to be attending traditional high schools. This single mother must be doing something exceptionally well. Her story needs to be told. They were doing well against great odds. Then this.

This horrible and heartless crime should evoke sadness and a period of mourning. It should lead to some soul-searching as to when we got to this stage of depravity; how we got here and what urgent steps need to be taken to recapture moral vision and values such as respect for all lives and respect for the totality of life.

Instead, fellow community members in Arnett Gardens raised a stink about the reputation of the men.

It is said that the mother of the deceased claimed that it was because her daughter refused the sexual advances of some men why she was killed. Some women in Arnett Gardens are up in arms, saying that no rapists are in the area. How would they know that there are no rapists in Arnett Gardens? No one can verify that a whole community has no rapist living there. In addition, no one said anything about rapists. Refusing sexual advances does not equate to an allegation of rape. And to advance the theory that there are no rapists, one young lady said the deceased did not have 'gold'. That comment was callous, cold and crude. There was no milk of human compassion in her breasts.

In addition, one vocal young miss said there is no don in the area. Do not all these garrisons have a don? The residents did not come across as credible. Then it got worse. The family of the victim had to move out of the area. The image of a truck moving out mother and property under the protection of the security forces shows that it is worse than we thought. The victim is victimised and becomes the villain. The worse sin, the unforgivable sin, is when we call good bad and bad good. No sah! This beat all cockfight. This takes the cake. We have reached rock bottom. These are signs that the society is sick. The country has not learnt lessons from the 2010 Tivoli operation. It is business as usual.

 

LIFE HAS BECOME CHEAP

 

While some community members were concerned with the label of 'rapists', there was no worry that there were murderers in their midst. Life cheap. To them, reputation is more important than life. On March 23 in an article titled 'Rape and reputation,' I argued that rape is worse than having one's reputation damaged. Now we have to argue that life is far more important than one's reputation.

The community and country should rally around the mother and her 12-year-old daughter. The State should underwrite funeral costs for Micholle. Civil society should ensure that the student gets a scholarship for high school and also to university.

But how did we get here? Part of the problem is the link between garrison politics and guns. Political violence has cheapened life in the pursuit of state power. The link between politics and gun crime has to be dealt with decisively and let the chips fall where they may. Otherwise, it will be worse than we can imagine.

- Rev Devon Dick is pastor of the Boulevard Baptist Church in St Andrew. He is author of 'The Cross and the Machete', and 'Rebellion to Riot'. Send feedback to columns@ gleanerjm.com.