I have thought about this long and I am not comfortable with it.
The September 3rd Foundation. What is its purpose?
I heard some things said on September 3 and they left me uncomfortable.
“Barbados must never forget.”
That was one of the statements adding to my discomfort. In all honesty, Barbadians will never forget, but I think we need to stop cutting back open the mental scars that night caused, stop burning those girls every September 3 and allow those affected by that horrific night to heal.
As it related to healing and moving forward with loving memories rather than animosity and brooding revenge more has to be done.
We need to take people beyond that point. We need to guide the families and friends properly through the grieving process so they are then able to put this situation mentally in the right place. It is only when this is done that they can live effective lives and not have September 3 suffocating them and preventing them from moving forward.
It is time for healing. Seven young lives have already been lost in that event.
Just like Renaldo Alleyne, we should plead guilty because every September 3 we seem to be inflict pain on six families.
One of my concerns is that I only hear of the September 3rd Foundation in August and then the third comes and goes and like the smoke that night the foundation wafts off into the sky.
The foundation going forward should consider embracing Alleyne’s family, they too are in this, they are suffering loss too. But we talk as if this “monster” has no family and if he does we don’t care about them because he was wrong. He knows he was wrong he has said that.
If the September 3rd Foundation is not willing to address the problem as a whole them it makes no sense even attempting.
This goes beyond taking flowers to the graves and asking the island to pause. I can appreciate the church services and the moments of silence, but those six women were not the only ones to lose their lives in tragic circumstances. It might have been the largest number simultaneously but many before them and some after them also met their end at the hands of violence — and that is the problem: violence.
What about Jose River? There was no violence but lives were lost, noting is said about those lives — if it is I don’t hear it.
On its own, the September 3 Foundation is another reinvention of the wheel or another talk shop. There are many organisations fighting against violence but this is part of the reason we are not making any inroads to the real issues plaguing our society — everybody wants the glory and nobody seems willing to even think that we should do it together.
We need a solution for violence.
I can see the September 3 Foundation working alongside the Youth In Action Programme, where two reformed criminals using their lives and an organisation that is very aware of the pain six families are experiencing, go into the schools and really hash it out with the supposed bad boys and rude girls. That isn’t just talk, but real life showing the two diverging roads of crime — reformation and death. I honestly believe this can be an effective tool in the fight against crime.
Another cooperative effort could be realised with the National Council on Substance Abuse. We need to take our heads out of the sand and acknowledge that many of our school children have access to marijuana and stronger illegal substances.
There is the Juvenile Liaison Scheme, the Probation Department and other agencies which are on the front line in this fight against violence, the events of September 3, 2010 do not mean that these agencies are failing, it could very well mean we need a more comprehensive programme.
Without such a programme we will fail ourselves and the youth of this nation; and if we can’t get over six deaths I fear something more heinous will occur and throw us into a tail spin from which there is no recovery.
I welcome the proposed movement of safety, love and being your brother’s keeper by David Comissiong. But we cannot achieve it doing the things we are presently doing.
Part of our reality is that we live in a competitive society where everybody wants. We inched, we crawled, we strode and now we seem to be in a full gallop of English Philosopher Thomas Hobbes’ view — “life is nasty brutish and short”; that is how our present lifestyle has transformed it.
We have drugs to deal with, poverty, unemployment, abuse and that is just the tip of the iceberg.
“There’s no true friend when you’re hungry, not if he is hungry too.” — Beres Hammond. And our reality is that socially we have lots of hungry people who have to be fed. Who will feed them?
Comissiong, apparently like Martin Luther King Jr., had a dream, and just like Vernon Johns and others who went before and came after King, I am willing to stand up and fight with Comissiong. But the fight is more than laying wreaths, pausing for a minute and reminiscing with horror.
September 3 has come and gone again and so have the many voices making noise on that day. They have left David all alone and the modern day Goliath of tolerance, compromise and wrong doing, which many of us support by our daily lives is looking and waiting for its opportunity to strike.
Meanwhile, the families are left to sort themselves out until we remind them next year of the horror and we’ll pray that no one else is forced to feel their pain.
It is okay to reflect on the lives lost on September 3, 2010, but we need to get serious and come together if we want to prevent any further loss or life.
While we should never forget, we need to move forward in such a way that we are not forced to look back.