Community groups, churches and citizens alike were in for a tongue-lashing from Member of Parliament and Cabinet Minister Wilfred Abrahams, who Sunday night accused them of turning a blind eye to the country’s crime situation, thus contributing to the problem.
The Minister of Energy and Water Resources told his constituents in Christ Church East that in many cases they have been silently consenting to deviant behaviour and had become even more desensitised to the frequency of brazen crimes.
He declared: “Our silence has been too long and silence is consent.
“By our silence, we are all tacitly consenting to what has been happening in Barbados.
“That is not okay, and we have to draw the line.
“You see it on the front page of the newspapers and you say ‘oh Lord, another one’ and then we flip the pages of the newspapers and look inside and wipe that out.
“There’s a funeral and a lot of people cry and then you hear nothing else at all.
“We have become desensitised as a people and as a country and unless we do what we can for every young person that you have a chance to influence, the situation will not change.”
While stressing that not every young person could be
saved, he urged citizens to return to the days where voices of reason would assist in saving those who were “capable of salvation”.
He then appealed to churches, fellow MPs, community groups and national organisations to commit themselves to a greater role.
Abrahams said: “For every young person that you have a chance to correct, correct them.
“We are seeing the consequences of inaction by a negligent Government before and we are also seeing the consequences of inaction by communities that just don’t care or are afraid to step in where we need to step in.”
He then pledged: “I am going to unpick my teeth when I see anybody doing wrong.
“If you curse me so be it. If it is somebody that I am young enough to influence, then so be it, but I want my branch to be prepared to come on this journey on this year of empowerment with me and be prepared to do the same things starting with the people closest to you, the people in your families, neighbourhoods and communities.”