Friday, May 8, 2009

Like a Slave Without Papers

An alleged thief who wandered onto the University of the West Indies campus in his quest to procure a laptop received an epic ass whooping by Jamaica’s finest minds (May 5, 2009). The man, 35 years old Cesar Okonkwo of an Alexander Road Kingston 13 address. Who breached the security fencing at the back of Irvine Hall was accosted by a group of men from the near by Chancellor Hall. Apparently after retrieving a school bag with books that the man had allegedly stolen he was beaten by students just before being rescued by the police.

While crime levels soar and our government struggle to find ways to cope with this monster, the need for new and more effective ways of dealing with crime and by extension the criminals would be an obvious way forward. Who else to offer possible alternatives to the problem than young fresh thinkers able to assess problems and find solutions those older dustier and more steadfast minds would overlook. As from time immemorial, university students provided the way forward via sit-ins or student protests on injustices at home and world wide. It is therefore sad to know that given the opportunity to pick up the gauntlet in this seemingly insignificant incident our bright young intellectuals opted for the ignorant draconian approach. I’m sure they made their benefactors proud.

It is said that insanity is doing the same thing over and over but expecting different results. No doubt in certain areas we are truly insane. We elect public officials on a curry goat and beer mentality and then act surprised when roads don’t get fixed, basic infrastructure not put in place and no one sees said elected official until next election period. It is also insane for us to think that some how as the world crumbles around us God will spare us as long as we hold tightly our bible and hate the other in our very systematic and tribal manner (PNP vs. JLP, GAZA vs. GULLY).

It seems the older we get as a nation the dumber we become, until now the knee jerk response to any and every minor/major alleged infringement on rights is met with a block road congregation and a 7 and 8 o’clock video-light feature and toothless hollers of “WE WANT JUSTICE!” Scarcely thinking, we even know what the word truly means anymore, after all we were the ones that sold our souls to a gun culture, and looking the other way for scarce and now non-existent benefits. Universities are supposed to provide hope that at least the coming generation will be better and brighter than the one so corrupted now.

Education or the privilege of being able to call one’s self an educated person comes not only from attending classes, passing tests and handing in assignments on time, but in how much of what was learned is then internalized and how actions have changed due to this new knowledge. It’s super easy to beat a thief, kill a murderer and lynch anyone that doesn’t look or act according to your values. Seriously, does one NEED a higher education in the, oh so complex skill of raining down blows on a petty thief?

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