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Thursday, September 28, 2006

Smelter Backlash!

Today's newspapers carry a follow-up story on the motive behind the brutal assault of a Point Fortin woman.

The original story is at http://www.trinidadexpress.com/index.pl/article_news?id=161020850

Today's article can be found at http://www.trinidadexpress.com/index.pl/article_news?id=161021483

According to the Trinidad Express article, captioned "SMELTER RAPE ROW", the gang rape of the wife of man who was reportedly pro-smelter is linked by ALCOA representatives to the ongoing protests in Chatham. At the end of the article, one of the leaders of the protest movement is quoted as saying that, "whatever was happening against Alcoa and its supporters... was the result of a 'backfire' against the pro-smelter advocates."

According to our own Anil Roberts, Whaaaaaaaaaaat?!

You have got to be kidding me. It's early still, but I know that this man's opinion, this leader's veiled sanction, will not be singular.

Something is wrong with us. Something has gone horribly wrong.

Have we become so depraved as a people that now anything goes so that we can have our own way? When did it happen that we became so angry and so unsympathetic toward our fellow man, and in this particular case, woman? Why is the first response, "it good for them!" and not, "we condemn this action on the part of people that are not of us"?

We've gotten so angry.

We want to hang and lynch and burn, whether or not justice is being served. We must have our own way, no matter what the consequences are for our fellow man, whether or not we know that our turn is coming. We want heaven and earth to move to accomodate me and to accomodate me now. We can't even debate an issue anymore. And amazingly, the insular and riotous behaviour is being encouraged by people, senior statesmen, who should really know better.

People who saw what racial politics did to a harmonious underclass in pre-Independence Trinidad are working the same divisive tactics with amazing effect. People who saw the destruction caused by a righteous Black Power Movement in the 1970's are fanning flames of revolution without a plausible cause, leading to possible destruction without focussed rebuilding.

And sadly, nobody seems to have eyes to see, or wants to see, the forest from the trees.

The problem is not the bandits. It's not the Government. It's not the erstwhile Opposition. It's not the labour movement. It's not the merchants. It's not the upper class. It's not the Police and the Armed Forces.

The problem is us!.

We're the ones who, unquestioning, take up other people's fire rage. We're the ones who are burning tyres in the road. We're the ones who are putting children not yet beyond the age of innocence in the front lines of boisterous protest action. We're the ones who curse like sailors when someone cuts us off in the road. We're the ones who have no love for anybody anymore other than ourselves. We're the ones who allow people to drag us into the kind of nonsense that if we stopped and thought, and maybe pursued other available channels, would find more effective resolution to our problems. Or, we might find that we never had a problem at all.

We're the ones who are letting people lead us like lemmings over a precipice to our mutual destruction.

And sadly, when some one voices an opinion that goes against the grain, like the poor woman in Point Fortin, they find themselves in the face of such ire, such hatred, such venom, and now, we have devolved to such violence.

It's no wonder then that truly right-thinking people no longer come forward to lead, to serve or simply to voice, for the simple fear that they will be crucified by the mob - now literally - for their views.

As postscript, it will be very interesting to see who comes forward to defend the perpetrators of this heinous crime when, not if, the Police catch up with them.

This one was a wake up call. Will my people stir from their slumber, or are we so far gone that will it have to hit us in our homes for us to care?

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