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Showing posts from January, 2013

Crime In the Caribbean Part 3: Solutions

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Today we conclude our look at crime in the Caribbean and offer concrete solutions, to both deter and control criminal activity. 1. We need to completely overhaul the entire education system, starting at the primary level. Too many of our young Caribbean citizens are shortchanged by a system of education that is essentially elitist and which writes off too many of them. This leads to a feeling of marginalization and in many cases this social disaffection leads to negative social behavior and crime. Many of the violent crimes being committed in our region are executed by young people. Solution:  Make the teaching of Civics and conflict resolution mandatory from the primary to university level.  Introduce ethnic studies at all centers of education, and place a greater emphasis on the teaching of African studies within the educational system. Too many of our young people do not understand how our governments function. These subject areas will lead to a greater understanding of our societie…

Crime In The Caribbean Part 2 : Trends

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Gone are the days when we really had community police enforcing the law in our island nations; gone are the days of the occasional murder usually the case of overheated domestic encounters; gone are the days when villagers and the police were so close that youngsters ran errands for the local constabulary; gone are the days when the mere mention of “de police “or “prison” put fear in any so called wayward youth. Unfortunately those days are gone forever! There is a price for development, and in our island nations, crime is one of those prices we have to pay. We are now exposed to murders, kidnappings, muggings and a dangerous increase in violent crimes against women and children. We at the Mahogany Coconut Group refuse to compare and or contrast crime statistics in individual islands. We consider crime in any island to be crime in the Caribbean Nation. Crime is therefore a Caribbean Nation problem. The trends show a very determined effort by our citizens to settle disputes by the use of…

The Race Is Not Over

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The inauguration of President’s Obama’s second term coinciding with the celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King’s Day, is of great significance to Afro Americans. For many Afro Americans it justifiably brings a positive appreciation of possibilities. The Mahogany Coconut Group identifies with this positivity. We in the Caribbean have long been partners with our Afro American brothers and sisters. While this partnership to rid America and indeed the Caribbean of racism and social injustice, reached its zenith around the late 60’s, we know that the struggle continues. However, we pause to remind ourselves that the  " battle is not o’er and the victory is not yet won." We must continue to eradicate poverty, racism and social injustice wherever they exist and the forty two million Americans, who are living in poverty, bear clear testimony to this reality.  Even with the passage of the historic Healthcare Legislation (Obamacare) , there are still millions of Afro Americans and oth…

Crime in The Caribbean Part 1

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The entire   Caribbean region is spinning into a dangerous whirlpool of crime from whence it may never return. It is now accepted by regional and international agencies, that crime is becoming a major obstacle to national development and if allowed to increase, may very well have negative effects on foreign investment. Many Caribbean nationals both home and abroad, yearn for a time when they could leave their homes, venture far and wide, and return to find their properties intact. We are afraid to inform them that dwelling in the land of nostalgia will not solve the crime problem. We have no doubt that the increase in crime, has its genesis in the use of illegal drugs and the illegal drug trade. It is known that when the use of illegal drugs, started to rear its ugly head in the 1970’s, governments dismissed the trend as nothing more than students returning from the university of the West indies campus in Mona Jamaica. When that excuse became stale they then focused on the Rastafarian c…

Friday Comment: The Social Partnership

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For some time, we have warned that the trade union movement in Barbados was being marginalized. The coziness with employers brought about by the so-called Social Partnership, has long been a cause of concern to the Mahogany Coconut Group. The frequent love fests of the employers’ representatives and the union bosses were brilliant public relations stunts designed to fool those who don’t understand the treachery inherent in such exercises. We have reached a state of utter delusion, if we believe that the playing field is level and the actions of LIME clearly demonstrate that the Social Partnership is exactly that-nothing more than high level social gatherings and smiles for the cameras. Recession or no recession, we cannot surrender the rights of workers and their representatives to be respected. The truth is that LIME decided to dismiss workers while promising to continue the collective bargaining process. No self respecting union can take such an insult lightly. LIME claims the workers …