Government Senator Patrick Todd today spoke of a system that is “rigged” against the “have-nots”, resulting in unnecessary crime.
And the former Member of Parliament for The City called for a homogeneous society that would lead to a reduction in number of criminal cases reaching the law courts.
Speaking today in the Senate on the Magistrate’s Court (Amendment) Bill, 2016, Todd urged Barbadians to do their part to prevent the creation of “two Barbadoses” that give rise to “the haves versus the have-nots”.
Stating that many young people felt the system was rigged against them, he said there were cases where residents of working class districts were convinced that if they were to apply for jobs and put their home addresses – the alleys or the gaps – they would not even get an interview.
“They are convinced about this. They also complain that some of their close relatives that live in more privileged parts of the country, be they heights or terraces and crescents, actually disown them. They would not want anyone to know they are related. This is not to be encouraged. We must be our brother’s keeper and we must not forget where we came from, and we must lift each other up and respect the dignity of human life.” Todd said.
The senator suggested that in a fair and just society Barbadians would rest well at night confident that the probability of someone breaking into their homes was reduced because people were feeling a sense of justice and that they had an equal opportunity to feed themselves and their families.
The Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office claimed that what prevailed, however, was an economic system which many felt was rigged against them.
“Many of them are convinced that they are marginalized by the system. I am saying that we as a society must reflect on these issues that can give rise to crime.”
Expressing sentiments similar to those expressed by Prime Minister Freundel Stuart at the National Consultation on the Society on Monday, Todd called on the Church to play a meaningful role in creating a homogeneous society.
He also argued for the teaching of ethics and morality in schools, claiming that many of those who committed crimes could not differentiate between right and wrong.
“Many of us take it for granted, but when we hear from time to time of people being killed because one person stepped on somebody’s toe in a public space and a fight broke out because of uncontrolled anger, the issue of conflict resolution has to be addressed if the level of criminal activity is to be reduced,” he said.