Govt can try, but the people must change
A well-noted local historian recently took us back to the late 1700s and early 1800s. He explained that the years of colonial atrocities and the subsequent revolution of slaves existing at the time in Trinidad would have led to a catastrophic effect on the psychology of what has now become East Port of Spain.
History definitely has its way of repeating itself. This old adage remains well alive. Every event in the past it seems has sought to resurface itself in a modern world in ways a civil state only wishes should have been left dormant.
The sufferings and daily fortitude to survive amid a murderous “massa” formed a vicious slave population that was bent on simply being able to fight to survive. Slaves then became Maroons who had fled into the mountains following their revolt. This is what is known now as the Lavantille area.
These people at the time lived for immediate gratification because to do otherwise would mean fighting a losing battle. What they experienced constantly were simultaneous emotions of anxiety, fear and frustration acquired from the years of oppression. However, they had developed a coping mechanism within a harsh system.
These people became fighters who had become so disenchanted with their environment that they opposed and rejected the status quo. It did not matter to them anymore how improved and fair it might have become.
So, ingrained in them was this subconscious hate for a society they lived in, which they believed could never provide the equality and freedom they had longed for. They would develop instead to live in the environment, but as incessant revolutionists with a profound aggression that would make them delinquents and dysfunctional people.
While some people residing in East Port of Spain are exceptions and have learnt to aspire to making their country a better place through adherence to laws, this analysis may apply to the general people. When 17- and 18-year-olds kill each other, when drive-by shootings occur as a result of gang warfare under a midday sun and a pregnant 16-year-old child has been gunned down found within the poverty she lives in, clearly then the same battered Maroons live on. They would have no regard for legal interest in property and neither for wealth generation through hard work, but a self-destructive, individualistic and aggressive mentality.
Certainly then the Government can try its very best. But ultimately, it is the people who must change.