We need to stand up for jus­tice

The Star (Jamaica) - - FRONT PAGE -

My heart has been heavy and my spirit an­gry at the re­cent spate of killings of our na­tion’s chil­dren and the bla­tant dis­re­gard for life.

From the flaws and loop­holes in our jus­tice sys­tem, to those who use those same loop­holes to their ad­van­tage, to those who sit idly by and just pay lip ser­vice to a sys­tem that does not seem to pro­tect all cit­i­zens.

When will we the peo­ple get up and stand up for our rights? A so we a go mek Nanny and Mar­cus Gar­vey dem blood go in vain?

Un­til we re­nounce the con­cept of ‘see and blind, hear and deaf’, we will con­tinue to suf­fer at the hands of heart­less crim­i­nals and an an­ti­quated jus­tice sys­tem which needs over­haul­ing. If every­body ‘see and blind, hear and deaf’, when you’re in need of help and jus­tice, no one will be able to see or hear your cry!

When I heard about the death of young Ni­cholas Fran­cis from Ja­maica Col­lege, it cramp and paral­yse mi en­tire sys­tem fi know seh him fam­ily lose a promis­ing young­ster be­cause of a cal­lous mon­ster. But mi no ig­no­rant fi di dutty an­i­mal alone. Mi ig­no­rant fi all a di peo­ple dem pon di bus! Where were you, the peo­ple, to in­ter­vene, to in­ter­cept and stop the sit­u­a­tion from es­ca­lat­ing? Yuh mean to tell me seh every­body sit down and watch the preda­tor prey on a child and no­body say any­thing? A won­der if unnu know seh di pick­ney blood deh pon all who saw and sat idly by and mek him dead?!

We the peo­ple have failed young Ni­cholas and the many other chil­dren who suf­fer at the hands of adults! How the killer man­age fi jump off a di bus? How come no­body never stop the bus and every­body rush off a di bus go catch him? How the killer man­age fi push the child outta the bus and get pass the con­duc­tor? Mi can al­most guar­an­tee seh any­how dah bwoy deh came on the bus with­out his fare, him couldn’t pass the ‘ducta’ and come offa the bus inna one piece! Mi can bet again if the bwoy did a ex­hibit any open ‘fish’ ten­den­cies, him prob­a­bly wouldn’t mek it offa the bus ei­ther! Only cer­tain things draw the ire of this coun­try – and some­times some things weh shouldn’t even con­cern we! Where were the peo­ple on the bus?! We can’t ex­pect po­lice to in­ves­ti­gate and the court to pros­e­cute if we don’t play our part as cit­i­zens. We have to stand up and speak out for what is right be­cause it could be your child, your nephew, or grand­child next!

NEED A CHANGE

We can’t con­tinue so! Crim­i­nals feel em­bold­ened to rob and kill at any­time be­cause they feel safe among the peo­ple. Some a dem dutty thief yah must have an ice­box inna dem chest, be­cause dem no have no heart! Is like from dem born dem a nyam tun corn­meal an salt mack­erel! Is like dem never get a mother’s love and breast milk! Is like the pesti­lence dem never get no Alacta One Plus nor no En­famil! Dem evil and cruel to hu­man­ity! Good God, man! The peo­ple dem nice, clean, promis­ing pick­ney?!

I agree that chil­dren should be warned to be care­ful when us­ing cell phones or other gad­gets, but a thief will steal any­thing at any­time! So if it’s not a phone, it could eas­ily be a school­bag or a watch or shoes! A thief is just a thief, and a mur­derer is just a mur­derer! In­ci­dents like these speak to the gross lack of re­spect for life and how far re­moved the so­ci­ety is from the prin­ci­ple of be­ing our brother’s keeper. I send my love and em­pa­thy to Ni­cholas’ im­me­di­ate and school fam­ily. All now mi heart a pain mi!

One ting mi know, though, all who think dem can use tac­tics fi beat the law of the land can­not beat the law of God. Fadda God no wear pa­jama and mi sure the tears of the mother, fa­ther, sis­ters and strangers will not go in vain. We are all a part of the sys­tem, and the only way to get change is to ag­i­tate for it and get up off our lau­rels and stop mek ev­ery­thing be nine-day talk and then it’s back to busi­ness as usual.

Kha­jeel Mais could’ve been the next lawyer and Ni­cholas could’ve been the next neu­ro­sur­geon, but we will never know be­cause their young lives were cut short as they died in­no­cently, like so many oth­ers! How many more will have to suf­fer? How many more will have to die? It is a sad state of af­fairs. When will the peo­ple make the change that is needed?

PHO­TOS JER­MAINE BARNABY/FREE­LANCE PHO­TOG­RA­PHER

Dor­raine Saun­ders (left) con­soles a griev­ing An­to­nio Christie at Ja­maica Col­lege last Thurs­day fol­low­ing the mur­der of a stu­dent, Ni­cholas Fran­cis, on Wednesday.

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