Gun Play “Dem Haffi Dead”
Buju Banton was popular before his incarceration in the USA. Since his release it would appear he has gained greater notoriety. One group Banton does not endear himself is the LGBT community. The reason can be found in his song “Boom bye bye“. What many Barbadians are blissfully unaware are three words in the chorus of the song Boom bye bye that the lawless in society bellow as a mantra – “dem haffi dead”.
Although Barbadians still boast of a high literacy rate – the product of a heavily invested education system – there is the recognition by some that the country has allowed too many of its citizens to fall through the cracks. The result is a lawless group that gladly act out the mantra “dem haffi dead”.
What the blogmaster finds disappointing about the increase in gun violence debate – responsible for four out of the eight murders in 2019- is a perceived expectation that better policing is the answer. The blogmaster is not trivializing the importance of an effective police force and the capacity of the courts to dispense justice. However the well being of any country must also be anchored in the ability to adequately educate and create economic opportunities for citizens. There is a group of lawless Barbadians who has slipped through the net and wear the mantra proudly that “dem haffi dead”.
More depressing is the recognition we have had successive governments unable to manage the PSV sector for the last forty years. The result is that a sub culture has developed to contribute to the current state of gun play. It is a very optimistic person who believes the government has the will to contribute to hauling our island from the brink of anarchy. The politicians are aware who are the Dons in our communities. They will have to make a choice sooner or later but it will mean foregoing ready financing to support political activities designed to stoke popularity. How many more haffi dead?
The blogmaster listened intently to Attorney General Dale Marshall admission recently that one of the scanners required at the Port Authority to detect contraband was under repair. He went on to share that additional scanners will be ordered to better equip Customs Department given the increase container traffic. His statement should be joined with public positions taken by the Commissioner of Police Tyrone Griffith regarding contraband entering via ports of entry. Again the question whether the government has the will to contribute to the crime/gun solution is up in the air.
How many more “haffi dead”?
Too many studies have been prepared by sociologists, criminologists, educators et al to assist with reform in the relevant areas of civil society to ameliorate the crime problem. The time has come to leave out the talk. The time has come to act. We have to attack a system that continues to breed a “dem haffi dead” mindset.
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