Edi­tor’s Let­ter

The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL - By Kayra Wil­liams

Dol­phins, DSH, rape. All were in the news this week but the lion's share of the pub­lic­ity, the pub­lic out­rage how­ever con­ve­nient, cen­tred on the two de­vel­op­ments. The rapes, the do­mes­tic vi­o­lence that claimed so many young lives - set­ting a record, we're told - were by com­par­i­son largely ig­nored, save for the grue­some im­ages on TV and Facebook. When I asked a mother if she had seen cer­tain pic­tures, her re­sponse was: “No, I haven't been watch­ing the news of late. All those re­ported hor­ri­ble cut­lass chop­pings, trau­ma­tized rel­a­tives pour­ing their hearts out to un­feel­ing re­porters . . . too much for me.”

As I watched peo­ple who I know, who hadn't demon­strated any par­tic­u­lar love of an­i­mals un­til now, I had a hard time keep­ing my own head straight. Th­ese same peo­ple drive over dead or half dead dogs on our roads with­out a care. They stone the cows at Choc, just for the hell of it. And I'm sup­posed to be­lieve they give a damn about dol­phins, which most of them have seen only on TV? Don't get me wrong. I'm with the folks who gen­uinely be­lieve an­i­mals, like peo­ple, were never meant to be caged and chained for any pur­pose what­so­ever. But the hypocrisy demon­strated in the name of wildlife and our en­vi­ron­ment bowled me over. Th­ese are the same peo­ple who don't stop to think be­fore pelt­ing all kinds of garbage from their seats on the tran­sit bus, with­out a thought where it lands; the same peo­ple who have over the years turned our wa­ters into cess pools, or per­mit­ted it with­out a word; who lie in wait for un­sus­pect­ing tur­tles that come to Grand Anse Beach to lay their eggs and will never again re­turn to the ocean!

Yes, the Na­tional Trust has an im­por­tant job to do. But the ques­tion must be asked: How well has it done that job over the years? The Maria Islet mu­seum in Vieux Fort has been shut with­out ex­cuse for years. Peo­ple reg­u­larly pic­nic with­out in­ter­rup­tion on the islet, or they go there to con­duct busi­ness not al­to­gether le­gal. Where are the mon­i­tors, the guards whose job it is to keep safe from harm those rare snakes and lizards we're hear­ing so much about all of a sud­den?

The Trust ad­mit­ted last week­end that it had not seen so many peo­ple at one of its meet­ings in years. Co­in­ci­dence? I think not. But that's for a sep­a­rate dis­cus­sion en­tirely!

What I re­ally must ask this week is: When will we start be­liev­ing in some­thing? I mean, truly be­liev­ing, and not just when it is con­ve­nient. As one show host asked this week: is rape hor­rific only de­pend­ing on the iden­tity and sta­tus of the per­pe­tra­tor and his vic­tim? Is the en­vi­ron­ment worth talking about only when the other party is in of­fice? It's time we started putting coun­try - in­clud­ing the birds, the bees and the peo­ple - first!

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