Shameless, unfeeling society

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We should all bend our heads in shame and ask God to forgive us for our vanity, selfishness and our uncaring nature. This is what my treasured TT society has become, a hellhole where an 18-year-old child could be raped and killed and on the evening news a man speaking for a group of activists testifies proudly that “I have three murders and 14 robberies,” of which he only served time for one robbery.

Does this make him innocent of these crimes? In my opinion it only shows that there wasn’t enough evidence to convict. It also proves that he is an unfeeling low life to be making this statement when the nation should have been grieving for the murder of one of its children.

Notice that the cry of an activist was for the reform of the judicial system so as to quickly release people on remand awaiting trial for various horrendous crimes, not for reform so that the perpetrators of the rape and murder of Ashanti Riley would be swiftly tried and prosecuted for their crimes against an innocent child whose ravaged and nude body was found in a stream only hours before.

Ashanti was missing a week before her body was found. How many of us were rallying support to comb San Juan to ask if anyone had additional footage of the suspicious vehicle or the missing girl? How many citizens blocked the roads of San Juan and burned tyres demanding the return of this child? How many of our God-fearing people held prayer meetings and rallies in the Croisee praying for the safe return of this child?

Oh yes, a few of us posted her photos on social media, asking if anyone had information on the whereabouts of the missing girl. And yes, some of us posted on the same social media derogatory remarks about her.

This was understandable since the majority of TT citizens were concerned about statements on the local content of doubles. What a tragedy.

This child was named after the indomitable Ashanti warriors of Africa. But where were the local warriors voicing their concerns and demanding justice and the release of a clear victim of abduction?

Where were the voices of the various women’s associations against child abuse, domestic violence, gender inequality etc? Wasn’t Ashanti a woman that they should have been concerned about?

Where were the voices of the various religious bodies? Didn’t they hold life sacred?

Where was the vociferous voice of the Black Lives Matter movement? Where was the vigour and zealousness it had demonstrated in the unfortunate George Floyd incident?

Wasn’t Ashanti a Black life? Didn’t her life matter? Or is it that a Black life only matters when the police or a non-black is involved in the taking of a Black life? Or does it only matter when certain people’s own agendas are being fulfilled.

Where was the voice of the Emancipation Support Committee and its Black Power leader Khafra Kambon?

Is the Black Power movement powerless when Blacks perpetrate crimes against Blacks? Or does this movement only live to scream “racial discrimination and prejudice” as if we were still in the days of indentureship and slavery?

Where were the efforts of the Tobagonians who were lamenting the tragic demise of a silk cotton tree? Oh, they were planning a suitable way of disposing of its remains through various religious rites.

How hypocritical of us that, after the crimes of rape and murder have been committed, we run to the media and express our concerns and condolences.

Our beautiful TT – may God save us from ourselves!

I sincerely pray that God will grant strength and comfort through his Holy Spirit to the family of this beloved child. I also pray that her soul will rest in peace in the arms of her Heavenly Father.

INDAR DHANIRA