Society is to blame for Barbados’ current crime crisis.
So says Minister of Creative Economy, Culture and Sports John King, who has maintained that those responsible for helping to raise decent young men have failed them.
Speaking during debate on the Bail (Amendment) Bill 2019, in Parliament today, King said while he supported the new legislation, he did so with “a heavy heart”.
He said the fact that young men were murdering each other was an indictment on the entire country.
“I support the amendments, but I do so with a heavy heart because the truth is it hurts me to see that this is where Barbados has come in 2019, when we should be leading the Caribbean and the rest of the southern hemisphere in everything.
“The young people who are dying and the young people who are committing these acts of murder were born and raised in this society by this society and they belong to us, like it or not, and the blame falls squarely on our shoulders because we have failed…” King said to rapturous applause from other party members.
However, the Minister took the opportunity to make an impassioned plea to young men to “stop participating in their own demise”.
He warned that they were supporting a widespread mentality that all black people did was kill each other.
“I want to pass on a bit of wisdom to the young men in this country. Do not participate in your own demise.
“The person who brings the gun for you already knows what the outcome of it is going to be. You are either going to shoot somebody or somebody who knows that you carry a gun is going to shoot you. The second part of it is that you may shoot somebody, but as long as you go to prison your life also is over.
“You might not be dead, but the prospects of you becoming anything more than just another number or an ex-con, or whatever other negative label goes onto you for the rest of your life is still there,” King advised.
“And then you are not even thinking about your family. If I shoot somebody and I go to prison then what is my mother and my other relatives supposed to do? Are they supposed to feel good about it, because they won’t.”