Culture shift on crime
THE EDITOR, Sir:
The recent anti-crime plans that the Government has announced will come to naught largely because we have failed to recognise that the root to much of our problems is cultural.
For many years now, we have been trying to come to grips with crime, which is threatening to destroy us. The problem, however, is that most of us no longer see our high crime, and especially homicide rates as anything out of the ordinary. Indeed, most of us have come to accept our annual murder total of more than 1,200 persons as normal.
The problem with us is that we have become accustomed to aggressiveness and brutishness. We are quick to kill each other for the slightest of disagreements. Look at our electronic media. For instance, our music videos are replete with entertainers promoting aggressive gangsterism as the norm. Our young men, and indeed, our young women are being encouraged, sadly with much help from the media, to become wild beasts.
This strange culture of ours feeds into simple-mindedness. That is why we tend to excel in things entertainment, like athletics, religion, music and a lot of talk. Sadly, I fear this is how things will remain for many years to come. Culture is a very hard thing to change - especially when we enjoy it.
MICHAEL A. DINGWALL