The new dawn of May, 2010 has now been fully transformed into midnight in Trinidad and Tobago. We are in our darkest hour; that hour when everything and everybody all appear to be the same—a dirty shade of grey.
There is a sickness of the national spirit; a crisis of faith that has made effective governance almost impossible. It is a crisis of confidence; a crisis that strikes at the very heart, soul and spirit of our national will and it is threatening to destroy the entire social fabric of our country.
It seems to me that in many ways our country has lowered its head into the soft, satiny pillow of apathy. We have been lulled to sleep by indifference. We wallow in the vain pursuit of the images of economic success, while, a stone’s throw away, our children and, more particularly, our young men are dying in the streets.
In these vile times concerned citizens must question how men can sleep while criminality abounds in both high and low places.
We question how men can sleep while people die and communities collapse before our very eyes. Perhaps, it’s good for men to sleep. Perhaps, sleep is the only time that prejudice and injustice, indifference and apathy finally recede from our collective consciousness.
Everywhere in the republic we see pain, suffering, alienation, evil and violence. And there’s an insidious undertone in the very atmosphere that people are choosing to look the other way while others die. The philosopher, Albert Camus, refers to this condition as “an algebra of blood”.
Trinidad and Tobago today is living out a horror story! We are experiencing unprecedented levels of depravity and brutality; homelessness, vagrancy, drug abuse, AIDS, gang rapes, gang murders, brutal executions, male constructed violence against women, child abuse and child murders and the list goes on!
When will it end? How can we stop this rapid descent into barbarism? Is it that we’ve become indifferent to this reality? Are we as a people and as individuals losing our ability to distinguish between right and wrong; between law and anarchy? Are we shirking our responsibility to protect the rule of law and the rule of reason against the tyranny of situation ethics?
I’m afraid that if we are, we will be robbing our children of the one infallible moral compass that can lead them to an honourable, satisfying adult life; a strong, just sense of right and wrong.
If we grow to accept the premise that all things are relative and that law and reason apply differently to different people, then we have broken faith with our forebears and we’ve ruined the future of civilised society. For there can be no true justice when justice is not equal.
Robert A Mayers