Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 10th 2014 Contents A12
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Tuesday, June 10, 2014
"There is too much self-decep-
tion that s happening in T&T
regarding the issues leading to
violent crime and homicides,"
says social worker and psychol-
ogist Monique Achong-Lindsey.
"Fathers are being blamed,
mothers being blamed but there
are a complex interconnecting
number of factors that lead to these
Lindsey spoke with the T&T
Guardian about police statistics
on homicides across the nine police
divisions which show the majority
of these crimes occuring in urban
areas along the East-West Corri-
Self-deception, she said, had
only led to the focus on strong
policing tactics that did little in
the way of addressing the genesis
of the issues surrounding violent
crime and homicides.
But, she says, there is a deeper
and darker past that has pervaded
the society and largely infiltrates
urban areas in most if not all cases,
unknown to those perpetuating a
seemingly endless cycle.
"Let me paint this picture for
you: Go back to the days of slavery
and indentureship. For African
slaves brought here, they were
ripped away from their lands,
bound, chained, humiliated, beat-
en, stripped, raped, dehumanised
and told they were worthless and
made to believe it.
"They were housed in cramped,
demoralising conditions, continued
to suffer physical, mental and
"Now, even though slavery
ended, the ideas behind submission
and racism continued."
Suddenly, Lindsey said, there
was freedom but there was no
information that taught those who
had been freed what that meant
and how to use it.
There may have been some
voices who spoke on rebuilding
and mobilising, she said, but largely
no one understood the meaning.
"Now take the indentured
labourers. They might have been
brought here and not lived under
the best conditions but they were
still paid a wage, and that is a crit-
ical part in all this.
"That wage said something:
You are valued and have value,
and this goes a long way to con-
ditioning someone and their future.
You are worth something more
than abuse and demoralisation."
She said the scars of the abuse
Africans suffered continued long
after freedom came and without
realising it, when adults behaved
a particular way toward their chil-
dren in "discipline," it s a different
form of the same abuse suffered
by their ancestors.
"Now 50 years ago, you had the
more strict grandmother or grand-
father and/or parents who had a
more authoritarian style and the
children are not told why some-
thing is being done.
"Years later, these children and
maybe their offspring are exposed
to a western system that tells them,
no, you have rights.
"Now, you have another type of
freedom stacked on the history of
freedom from slavery that twice
over no one really knows what to
do with it because they were not
given the tools and information.
So now it s a I m owed something
so I m taking it back. "
The rural shift
In a T&T Guardian investigation
in 2007 following the closure of
Too much self-deception
Caroni (1975) Ltd, former Caroni CEO
Chandra Bobart said most former work-
ers have adjusted well.
Nine thousand Caroni staff and
daily-paid workers were given voluntary
separation employment programme
(VSEP) packages some four years ear-
"Many of them became self-
employed. I interface with them on the
Don't only blame mothers and fathers
FLASHBACK: Mon Repos, Morvant resident Hannah McCoy demand answers from police officers following the death of her cousin Chaquille who was shot
by officers last week Thursday. PHOTO: MICHEAL BRUCE
Looking at homicides
across the nine police
divisions in the country,
FABIAN PIERRE found
that most of them occur
in urban areas compared
to rural communities.
In this third
instalment, he says
experts say there is a
dark secret that many
young people don't know
is responsible for the
current state of the
Continues on Page A13
Senior lecturer in sociology at
the University of the West
Indies Dr Ronald Marshall said it
was that very lack of
information that had increased
the criminal footprint.
He added: "Unlike the rural
areas, urban living suffers from
a dearth of traditional values,
some of which have been
eroded over time by
"Others have been deliberately
ignored and replaced by what
are considered contemporary or
the 'in thing.'
"A lot of these values are
ephemeral, meant to whet the
appetite for more gratifying but
"Individuals in the city centres
therefore find themselves living
on a treadmill where little time
is found for long-term planning
and the adoption of more stable
"Against this backdrop, a
sense of self is lost as material
possessions and status by
association is desperately
sought as the alchemy stone."
A LECTURER'S VIEW
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