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Letter of the day: Take the fight to criminals

Published:Monday | July 27, 2015 | 12:00 AM


The ultimate madness is doing the same thing, the same way over and over again, and expecting a different result every time. Many in our society have time and time again harboured and enabled criminal elements in their communities in the hope that such actions will protect them from the criminals. Such actions do not work. Subsequently, we must change our own behaviour.

To listen to the ceaseless moaning and groaning in the media concerning the relentless and seemingly mindless slaughter of Jamaican citizens, one would think that we are helpless. However, we are not. We once knew how to deal with such matters. We once knew that evil prevails when good men do nothing.

Yes, we all fear the mindless criminals in our communities, but who among us is not prepared to give his or her life for his or her children? Yet we abrogate our responsibilities by giving fealty to criminals in the hope that we are protecting ourselves, partners and children.

I believe it was Job who said, "For the thing, I fear the most has come upon me." Given the behaviour of the criminals among us, we do need to fear, but fear needs to be tempered with an understanding that, if we give in to fear, the criminals always wins. We need to feel the fear, but do what we believe to be right anyway.

Despite their atrocities, criminals, too, have feelings and desires quite separate from the abominable acts they carry out against their victims. They want to be loved and accepted, regardless of their behaviour. Why else would they seek succour within their communities from those on whom they have inflicted untold misery and are prepared to continue to inflict further misery in an effort to have their desires realised.

We need to stand together in our communities against the criminals. There should be no hiding place for criminals within our communities. They should be identified to the police, shunned, avoided and ostracised within our communities.

At the same time, we should make judges, police and attorneys accountable for their actions. Judges who grant bail must do so with the condition that the suspected criminal must not return to the community in which he/she has committed the crime.

Better to die on our feet than live on our knees. Let us go down fighting. Let us start now and take back our communities.