Category: Violence


Earlier this month I just happened to be switching channels just in time to hear the USA’s president verbalize an unprecedented defense and rationalization of the white supremacists’ actions in Virginia that left one woman dead. To be honest, I was not particularly surprised–or even shocked–by these proclamations.

I knew instantaneously that I had tuned in to history in the making. For never before had an American president come to the defense of racist Americans who wanted nothing better than to marginalize, alienate and eradicate minority ethnicity such as my own black people.

Ever since the Republican convention in the summer of 2016, it became succinctly evident that the now 45th US president had no personal appreciation for black America, and by extension, minority America. He has been an unscrupulously driven businessman who mastered the art of doing things his way. By giving him the victory on election night, those fifty eight million Americans gave this president the ultimate green light for the rest of his life.

Losing the election was the last sane mechanism by which he could have been stopped. Alas, that did not happen.

Now more than ever, president 45 does not give a damn about any opposing critique or opposing sentiments.  In this president the stage is being set for the opening of the modern day portal of cruel racial divide and prejudice in the United States of America.

But to be fair, it is not this president who is responsible for the feelings of racial hatred and renewed will for white dominance once more in American communities. It is my view that ever since the Civil War, the American society never really pursued or attained closure as regards the issues of race and slavery in particular. There have always been at least one in three white Americans who have felt a sword piercing their nationalist hearts every time the civil rights activists made breakthroughs in racial equality.

These Americans have for years allowed their displeasure and inner condemnation of minority groups to lie dormant, pretty much as a mighty volcano which has not erupted in years or decades. Instead, they have heeded the palliative of polite American education.

I feel also that having a black person occupying their highest position in the land for the last eight years have lit some serious fires in the emotional furnace of many a white American. And some black ones too, unfortunately.

Race issues in America is not over. In fact they are far from over. The truth is that president 45 is just giving voice–and face–to the pent up anger, hatred and disapproval of blacks and other minority groups by a silent majority of rural, middle class Americans. These are the ones who turned out to register their desire to make America white again, to make America’s leaders white again, in the last presidential elections.

I can’t help but think that if President Obama had known his successor was going to make it his priority to undo his legacy, Obama just might have showed a different persona and power which the oval office afforded him.

We must face the unspoken truths that America has a race problem. It has always had a race problem. But just having periodic laws passed by congress along with a few photo ops with white and black leaders have not–and will never–bring America to the finish line where race is concerned.

Leaders in congress, in the White House, as well as in the media and business establishments must open their mouths in admittance of this socially chronic non-communicable disease which is silently killing America’s future. Citizens across the fifty united states must be able to discuss all their hate, hurt, pain and gains in truth-and-reconciliation town hall meetings and forums.

An immediate solution might not be reached but tensions will mitigate because people of all colours would no longer need to pretend that America is not divided or that race is not really of consequence in America.

It is quite possible that a more racist supporter of white dominance can occupy the White House in the future, and that other such like-minded leaders could start to emerge from their various closets across the spectrum of gender and economic employment industries.

Now more than ever the state of the union matters because the race is definitely not over in America.

 

 

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Alton Sterling is shot dead by police during an incident captured on the mobile phone video camera of shop owner Abdullah Muflahi in Baton Rouge

 Still images from video show Alton Sterling as he is shot dead by police during an incident captured on the mobile phone camera of shop owner Abdullah Muflahi in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, U.S. July 5, 2016. Video taken July 5, 2016. Abdullah Muflahi/Handout via REUTERS

 

The visually shocking deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castille, two black men shot by white police in America this week, and the assassination of multiple police officers by Micah Xavier Johnson in Dallas last night, have brought the ugly head of the racial divide in America to the focus this weekend. America is not going to get better until the sophisticated cultural cycle of public speeches, “thoughts and prayers”, vigils and protests, along with the finality of grand juries acquittal is broken.

Something has got to give. And Micah Xavier, Johnson, the 25 year old American veteran “hero” who regrettably used his military training and guns to kill some white Dallas police may in time turn out to be the “something” that has started to give in the home of the brave and land of the free, where if you are white you can look forward to enjoying the American Dream, but if you are black you are continuously served a life-long dish of an American nightmare, especially as it relates to how the white police officers generally treats you.

President Obama in Poland quoted the troubling statistics that black people are likely to be arrested and suffer prejudicially racial profiling than their white counterparts in the USA. Even people who do not live in the states have experienced the traditional demeaning treatments from America’s generally white policemen. of course, there are good white police officers who would respect the black people they encounter in their work duties. But this does not mean that there are not those white police officers who seem to be quietly waiting for that chance to show black people who is the boss and executioner.

America is yet to openly confront and admit to the evils of slavery–evils which continue to  impact black people living in the USA in the 21st century. Incidentally, I am not subscribing to labelling of black people there as “African American” because those who created such labels have shown their desire to have their own race reign superior by not accepting their own label of “European Americans”. Indeed, as pointed out by President Obama this week, unless you are a native American, then all your ancestors at one point were immigrants and illegal aliens.

These are the subtle prejudices which continue to slowly mix ingredients in a latent racially-nuclear reactor. According to the fiancé of Philando Castille, who witnessed first hand his execution during a routine traffic stop, the police are there not to protect and serve them as black citizens, but to assassinate or kill them. The young man’s mother commented that her son’s only wrong doing was that he was “black in the wrong place”.

By now you most likely have seen the videos of the killing of Philando Castille and the immediate aftermath of the shooting death of Alton Sterling. It’s about the umpteenth time black families are going through such viciously insulting loss at the hands (or guns) of white police officers. From my own observational experience of such deaths, the pain is even more severe because even though the black community puts its tail between its legs and play “nice boy” by having peaceful protests and allowing the law to run its due process, the result is generally always the same: the police officers are never found guilty or are never disciplined or punished.

So, in other words, the families of black men gunned down by white police over the years are never realky given satisfaction. And that hurts. The whole world have looked on as time and time again the justice system, including grand juries, have said these accused white police did nothing wrong when they shot and killed blackmen who were not posing a life threat to them at the time of their deaths.

I recall how Tamir Rice, a child, playing with a toy gun was shot and killed TWO seconds after the police arrived on the scene. It hurt like hell to hear at the end of due process that the officers did the right thing.

I also remember Treyvon Martin, killed suspiciously by a bullet from self appointed neighbourhood watchman George Zimmerman. After all the glamour and fan fare of the due process of law, George Zimmerman was told he is an innocent man. Not too long ago, George Zimmerman put the same gun he used to kill Treyvon Martin up for auction. I think I was told he had an offer of over one hundred thousand dollars for that killer-gun.

Just recently, too, the officers who were charged with the choking death of another black man were basically told they had done nothing wrong. This, as the courts said the accused who had the greatest evidence against him, was free to go because he had only done his duty as a police officer. If you saw this particular video you would have heard the black man coughing out the words “I can’t breathed” as he is choked to the ground and his death.

So, in a lot of ways, the American justice system has set the precedent that police officers are to be commended for doing their just duty in instances when they have suspiciously murdered black men.

Paul Ryan, the Speaker of the Congress released a statement earlier today in which he condemened the attack on the police in Dallas. Nothing is wrong with condemning the actions of Micah Xavier Johnson, but what makes me shake my hed is that Paul Ryan and the majority of the US representatives do not lift a finger, issue a statement or pass any legislation when black people are killed by police. They don’t even want to stop mass shootings in America. When the Democrats held a 224 hour sit in as a means of getting a vote on gun control bills, Speaker Ryan’s response was to dismiss it as a publicity stunt and to start investigations to see if or how the Democrats in the House can be punished. Apparently, the rights of the carriers of guns–and the rights of mass shooters–are more important to Paul Ryan and other republicans than the lives and hut of families of shooting victims.

I suspect that the black people in America have grown allergic reactions to the taste of the American Nightmare forced on them whenever they try to find their piece of the pie known as the American Dream. What Micah Xavier Johnson did was terrible but as he himself said, he did it because he is hurt and angry at the killing of black men by white police officers. That one of America’s very own beloved veterans could turn on them and murder police officers show clearly that the racial injustice meted out to black people in the USA over the years has reached a boiling point of no return.

It’s no longer acceptable to allow the courts and legal system to investigate, go to court only to get the right of way to tell accused white police officers that they didn’t do any wrong when they killed black men. Neither the police nor the black people in America should feel that they are being hunted; however, America is really overdoing a good joke with all the no convictions, no punishments for white officers who execute black people time and time again.

 

Military coups and other political warfare are generally uncommon in the Eastern Caribbean, but thirty years ago when Bernard Cole and cohorts rebelled against the Maurice Bishop government  in October 1983, killing Prime Minister Maurice Bishop by firing squad, the whole Caribbean sat up with panic in their future expectations.

I was just a child back in 1983 but the event still stands out in my mind. One reason it stands out is that Grenada is my neighbouring country, so that uprising was like bad news coming home.

Another reason it stands out is that my mother had come home after spending the night by a friend, telling of the news footage she had seen on television of the American troops landing during their invasion of Grenada on October 25, 1983.

Thirty years ago few Vincentian families had television so anyone who related TV news or any related experiences were esteemed very highly. The phenomenon of viewing and hearing simultaneously was still a delightful hypnosis.

Maurice Bishop

 

From what I have been able to garner, Mr Bishop had sided with communist philosophies so his government was a good friend of Russia and China. However, even as his country was benefitting from the building of the international airport through communist financial assistance (via Cuba) it seems Maurice Bishop began to sense that looks were deceiving.

He began to have a change of heart and wanted to sever ties with his communist allies. But members of his government such as Bernard Cole and his wife would not entertain any back pedalling on political philosophies.

Effectively, then, Maurice Bishop was thinking of the future welfare of Grenadians rather than any immediate personal gains.

So things came to a head in October 1983. Reports are that Maurice Bishop was overseas when he heard of the planned rebellion against his leadership. He was told not to return to Grenada. One of the main reasons he was in the USA was to beef up support to avert any military upheaval in Grenada.

However, Maurice Bishop was determined to lead from the front and to be on the ground in his country to face whatever crisis was in the pipeline. He flew in unannounced.

He was subsequently arrested as he tried to go about his governing business.

On October 19, 1983, Maurice Bishop and a few members of his cabinet were taken to the colonial fort in the capital city of St Georges.

There he was put in front of a firing squad and shot to death.

His body was taken from the fort but to this day has never been found.

On October 25, 1983, United States President, Ronald Reagan, ordered US military forces to invade Grenada so as to restore democratic rule and governance.

Bernard Cole and his followers were subsequently arrested and prosecuted. They were sent to prison, but given no death penalty.

October 25th is now a public holiday in Grenada to commemorate the invasion for liberation by the US military on the island.

The international airport was renamed in Maurice Bishop’s honour.

You know, five years ago, I was in Grenada. On that particular visit I went to the fort and saw the place where Maurice Bishop last stood alive. It’s an eerie feeling standing in a spot where you know someone as important as a Prime Minister was killed in cold blood.

Some bullet holes and marks are still evident on those fort walls.

In the Caribbean we are washed in so much democratic freedom and civil liberties that we don’t have much connection to civil unrest or death from political struggles. Such things for Caribbean people are really only lived through the movies.

As far as I know, Maurice Bishop has been the only democratically elected leader (Prime Minister) who was killed in office.

And it happened so very near to my home country!

Maurice Bishop and the historical events of October 1983 in Grenada must never be forgotten whether 30 years or 300 years after.

huntin

Protesters outside the Florida court house after George Zimmerman was acquitted of the shooting death of unarmed teenager, Trayvon Martin

 

Trayvon Martin’s death, followed by the calculated acquittal of his killer, George Zimmerman, has become a powerful searchlight on the perennial issues of ethnicity, demographic residence and social stereotyping in the “greatest country” on planet earth.

Like many people, I have been told that prevention is better than cure. No matter your take on this issue, the events of that February 26 evening in 2012 has forever changed the lives of the two individuals and also the rest of the world’s tolerance for racially imbalanced murders.

A professionally trained 911 dispatcher distinctly advised George Zimmerman to desist from following or intercepting Trayvon. George obstinately refused to comply with the instruction.

Now another innocently unsuspecting black youth is dead and will never breathe under the sun again.

Supporters of George Zimmerman are anxious to voice their understanding that George is the person being unfairly treated and even hated in the whole tragedy. They say that Trayvon is the one who started the altercation and the fighting. They say that Trayvon Martin was much taller, faster and stronger than the captain of the elite neighbourhood watch in this gated community, where such good neighbours refused to even show their faces outside upon hearing—what George Zimmerman’s friends say—was their neighbourhood watch captain yelling for help as his head was repeatedly being bashed against the concrete!

I don’t dispute that Trayvon may have passed some blows on George Zimmerman. But if you were a young black person, walking all alone in a neighbourhood where you do not live and you are approached by a mysterious stranger who infers that he thinks you are up to know good, wouldn’t you automatically go in defensive and attacking mode?

What are the words George Zimmerman used to open the dialogue at their ill-fated meeting? Or, did Trayvon spot George Zimmerman stalking him and attempted to tell George to stop following him. That probably happened, along with a not too racially nice comment from George Zimmerman, who for all intent and purposes had already concluded that Trayvon Martin was representative of the undesirable people in his socially upright neighbourhood.

It was probably upon hearing the remark, that the skittles-toting Trayvon Martin decided that he had had enough of strange white adults treating him like an ineligible American citizen. Instead of apologizing, George Zimmerman probably repeated what was said and the rest became a cause for a 911 call.

I believe in this scenario Trayvon did use his comparative advantage and  would have given this neighbourhood watch captain a superior lesson in who and how to watch for alleged suspects. When George realized he had barked up the wrong tree, he went for his gun. At this point Trayvon Martin would have raised his hands and said words to the effect of “you got me”.

An embarrassedly enraged George Zimmerman still pulled the trigger after reflexively pointing the gun at Trayvon Martin’s heart.

Martin Bashir, the famed reporter whose exclusive documentary of Michael Jackson resulted in the arrest and trial of the pop star, has now released a most critically balanced video on the Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman hapless meeting.

You can view the video by clicking the url  at the bottom of this blog post.

If only George Zimmerman had been an obedient captain. It is a tragic lesson in learning the importance of following orders before one is elevated to a position of giving orders.

It is ironic that George Zimmerman was acquitted because of an obedient jury who were given a push in that direction by the judge and the evidence which focused only on the mental state of George Zimmerman the moment the trigger was pulled: it was to spare his own life.

How many more must die? How many more must be acquitted because of blind spotting evidence for the sake of following unjust laws written in state law books for the preservation of traditional human welfare?

It seems not likely that George Zimmerman will be able o resume an average Joe’s life but he might be gaining access to silent transactions for works of literature and other productions. We could not prevent George Zimmerman from meeting Trayvon Martin but we had, and still have, a right to make sure no racially clouded murder becomes a speck of oblivion in our history.

 

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10151774324452329&set=vb.102477856463099&type=2&theater

Understanding Adam Lanza

Adam Lanza left home last Friday morning with blood on his hands. He had already done the unimaginable, the publicly inexplicable act. The moment that Nancy Lanza’s face and head joined that of assassinated president John F. Kennedy, there was absolutely no turning back for Adam. In many ways he was being the first of his kind–in his family, his close-knit community and his state of Connecticut. That is a horrendously tragic symbolism with the first Adam who also lived in an idyllic place called Eden.

The whole world reels with the “why” question. But in Adam’s mind the question was never really why but when and how. For the years in his short life he had also asked why to a different type of question. Why was he so lonely? Why was the rest of humanity so distantly uncaring and passive about the inner suffering that he woke and walked with every day?

His next of kin would have been animals and it inflamed his tolerance of people when he saw how cruelly these innocent creatures were being treated and killed by man. So to a large extent, Adam Lanza did not feel comfortable being identified with the human race.

Then throughout the torn affliction of divorce, his seemingly best friend, his mother, in an attempt to stand with him introduced him to a passionate hobby that seemed to magically erase all his mother’s hurt and pain. It was target shooting. His mom on the shooting range was like Michael Jackson when music started playing. The transformation was sudden and it was dynamic.

He, too, began to enjoy the comforting feel of a gun in his hands. He began to see guns as an escape route and their bullets a most mystical pacifier. Wouldn’t his mom prefer to lie happily in the company of these penetratingly friendly bullets rather than face the shameful onslaught of all of apathetic humanity after he had done what he had to do?

He loved his mother too much to consider any other alternative.

Adam Lanza knew the pain inside him was never going to cease until he left. He had seen enough of humanity’s mistreatment and what he considered wanton abuse of all that he saw as his hope for being alive. He concluded he had to somehow find a way to make people understand and feel the hurt he has felt because they have taken away his hope.

So the community of toddlers and those very young children fit neatly it seemed in filling this psychological niche of his. There is no force like the power of a made up mind and so Adam Lanza left home last Friday on a journey that could not end here. He figured his was the path of a societal awakening that he would not look back on. He knew this going away project of his would speak louder than any tweet, letter to congress, appeal to his dad or any other socially acceptable means of communication.

He wanted them to go quickly and as painlessly as possible. He had seen what the Bushmaster could do and so Adam Lanza selected what his little survivors would later call “the long gun”. He knew too that unless his once-looked-to human counter parts got the message and, more importantly, acted on the message there would be others like him to elude man’s myopic radars and swiftly and suddenly send their communities on a journey to hell on earth.

When one man hurt is not attended to then that man makes all around him hurt when he can hurt no more.

Will we act on Adam Lanza’s message?

The slaughter of young children, ages five to ten, in Newton, Connecticut, USA, yesterday has been the latest in a violent spate of shootings in public places traditionally known as safe havens and violence free. young lone gunmen have shot and killed innocent people in schools, church, a movie theatre and even in their homes. Everybody wants an answer to the WHY question whenever these atrocities happen.

I believe the answer is that the American society, in all its liberal new age movements for equal rights, freedom of speech, lifestyles and actions is beginning to pay the piper for such radically tolerant societies. The unfortunate thing is that America is a world leader. We have a local saying here in St Vincent that when you see your neighbour’s house on fire you must wet your own house as a preventive measure. What we see erupting in America represent the slow and steady push of the social magma and lava of social violence and intolerance being hugged delightfully by a new breed of young people, eager to identify themselves as separate from the generation which preceded them.

Each weekend the American society, and the rest of the world, want to know how the box office did as regards new movies of entertainment. Hollywood has captured us so powerfully well with their non stop on-screen action, violence, revenge, explosions, betrayal, gang pacts and glorified pariahs that those actually seeking social reprieve in the real world are seeing violence as the most gratifying solution. After all, it works so very well on television, right?

The practical importance of values such as respect for human life, having pleasant relationships with one another, extending  and accepting forgiveness, actually TALKING and LISTENING courteously to the other person  are all being marginalized. In their place new values of revenge, self centeredness and violent reticence are now shining on the stove top of the social blue print of the twenty-first century American society.

Where do we go from here? On this tangent, I’m afraid that violence will get much more prevalent before it becomes non-existent. I suggest that the American authorities begin to implement new and never before used, security measures at all public places which traditionally have no connection to violence. For example, what is in place to prevent a shooting or murder spree aboard a cruise ship in international waters? Is “America’s favourite pastime” safe at the many public venues where base-ball is played so regularly? And what about concerts, parks and home for the elderly?

If security measures are only changed at venues after a mass shooting has happened, then that is just playing catch up. These mass murders are only effective when they come as a surprise at places where the last thing on the victims’ minds is dying.

Somebody also has to be brave and wise enough to stop the glorification of guns in America, be it in the movies or in the gun shops. So far, Americans have chosen to sacrifice the lives of their innocent loved ones for the sake of gun and ammunition profits. America, why would you prefer to lose your citizens rather than lose your money?

While many people are now expressing their grieving support with the American people, I am using this blog post to turn a light on a path that may not be what America wants to see but which can keep many of the innocent people reading this alive so that they may succumb to a natural death at their appointed time.

 

During an action-filled scene in the new Batman movie, The Dark Knight Rises, fans were fooled by loud gunshots which were actually an intruder killing them as they watched the movie. Some probably died with a smile on their faces.

Even though there has been multiple fatalities and many more injuries in this midnight shooting spree in Aurora, Colorado, I couldn’t help but think that was the sort of scene the traditional Batman movies would be set in with the Joker bursting in on innocent civilians with Batman coming to the rescue.

But this was no work of fiction. These movie goers were being killed in real life. A few survivors said they actually thought the incident was part of the whole movie experience!

However, the incident brings to the fore once more the fear that movies and the wider media do influence our minds to make the world of fiction our world of reality. There are people who of course enjoy the blood, guns, explosions, carnage and constant death or mayhem that Hollywood seems to have so easily mastered over the last decade or so.

Interestingly, the new batman movie is being allowed to continue its premiere showing across America but Warner Bros. has since announced that the highly publicized and anticipated premiere in Paris will no longer go ahead as planned.

This incident makes me wonder if movies—and Hollywood in particular—are going to be used as the Command Headquarters for potential celebrity criminals who would want their spot in the historical limelight of the western world’s archives.

People who are expecting to be entertained in a cinema most likely don’t think they are in any physical danger of the sort that would put their lives at risk of a violent, bloody and painful end. But weeks after “The Land of the Free” celebrated another fourth of July, one of their most embedded personalized pastimes has been violently uprooted by one of their own.

AS far as public information shows, the act was carried out by one individual—James Holmes, a 24 year old—working alone. So there was no Yemeni links as such. Americans must be devastated as they realize that this is an all American made death zone.

However, I fear that other nations are likely to experience similar incidents as people begin to tear down the thin line between the imaginary world of fiction where anything is possible, and the ominously perched world of reality where the unthinkable seems not only to be thinkable but also doable.

A naked man was killed in Florida a few weeks ago after he refused to heed police warning to stop eating the face of another human being. It was a clear and surprisingly modern instance of cannibalism: people eating people.

That particular incident would have attracted much media attention because it paralleled something that we are very familiar with in the fictional world of movies, but not in real life.

The just released coroner’s report on the body of the cannibal, a young man in his early thirties, has shown that he was a user of marijuana. No other drug was present in his system. That is much to the surprise of law enforcement officers, and I might add, the general public.

Everyone just assumed that for a human being to casually chew on the body of another human some powerful drug must have been present. Well, now that it has also been independently confirmed that marijuana was the only foreign substance in the cannibal’s body, the question has to now be asked: Is marijuana a more dangerous drug than we previously thought?

Up to this time in history, much heated debate about the legalization or eradication of marijuana has been on-going. Pro marijuana users boast that even after using the drug for decades, they are just as healthy with few or no side effects from the drug.

But the presence of this seemingly harmless drug in the body of someone who was eating another person with apparent delight and style must make all of us rethink the possible effects of marijuana on our minds and behaviour.

While it has been shown that marijuana does have several good compounds or chemicals in it, it also has been said to have a higher proportion of bad or dangerous chemicals. So how much of the cannibal’s behaviour may have been triggered by marijuana?

This is a new twist in the on-going marijuana saga and warrants a new analysis and public discussion.

save the future

“School shootings are in the news again. An Ohio teenager opened fire on five classmates, killing three students and injuring two others (see raw video from scene at Chardon High School). In Seattle, the 9-year-old boy who brought a gun to school and seriously injured a classmate when it accidentally discharged in his backpack was released on bail, after he appeared in court wearing an orange jumpsuit, in tears.

Children are injured and murdered every day, but school violence carries a symbolic potency because we like to think of schools as safe havens from the harshness of adult life. It’s horrifying to think that the institutions to which we entrust our children for hours every day could be a place of injury or even death.

(MORE: A Parent’s Perspective on the Ohio Shootings: All About Gun Safety in the Home)

But our focus on the word school — and even on whether the shooter was bullied by classmates, as it appears was the case in Ohio — obscures a key issue. The shooters didn’t get their guns at school. The guns weren’t fashioned in wood shop. The guns came from home, and they were obtained by adults.

Politicians and taxpayers like to hold teachers accountable for their students’ failures. Most of the public’s dissatisfaction with education seems to circle back to what’s wrong with teachers, and the assumption that drives our endless rounds of flagellation and reform is the belief that a child’s fate rests largely in the hands of the teacher in whose care he or she spends approximately 1,000 hours per year.

Yet the remaining 7,760 hours are on someone else’s watch: the parents. That’s right, children spend on average only about 11% of their childhood lives in school.

But we rarely talk honestly about what can happen during the other eight-ninths of their waking and even sleeping hours. Children arrive at school poorly nourished and too fatigued to work. They spend too much time on television and too little on exercise. They are poorly socialized in ways that inhibit learning and kindness. They also bring unsecured weapons to school and use them on innocent people, including, sometimes, themselves.

(MORE: Eighth-Grader Killed by Police: What Went Wrong)

There’s an eerie void in our discussions of school violence. Where are the adults? Where is the same cry for accountability in parents when things go wrong at home that we have for teachers when things go wrong at school? We aren’t suggesting that one human being can be responsible for every misstep a child makes. Nor are we suggesting that parents shouldn’t be allowed to make their own, often serious mistakes without fear of being criminalized.

But children are being injured and killed through the shameful negligence of the adults who are responsible for them. Roughly one-third of households with children report owning at least one gun. Forty-three percent of these homes report keeping firearms in an unlocked place, while only 39% of these homes keep the guns locked, unloaded and separate from ammunition, as recommended by the American Academy of Paediatrics and many gun-safety advocates.”

To read this article in its entirety, click on the link below. It is an article you should read as you empower your critical thinking skills.

School Shootings: Do We Blame Parents When Kids Have Guns? | TIME Ideas | TIME.com

Most of us in the western world have a very easy time expressing our religious views and practices. However, the oil-rich African nation of Nigeria is becoming the battle ground for one of the world’s critical modern day contest for religious supremacy.

Christianity, which is quite common in the Caribbean is under violent attacks from Muslims. over five hundred Christians have been killed during the past year in Nigeria. The country is geographically split between the Muslims, who occupy the north, and the Christians who are more populous in southern Nigeria.

On Christmas Day alone, scores of Christians were killed when a car bomb was detonated near a church during services.

The group of Islamists carrying out these deadly acts of violence against their Christian countrymen call themselves a name meaning “Western Education Is Evil”. Their aim is clear: to make all of Nigeria one nation of Islam. in other words, no other faith or religious sect must be allowed to flourish in Nigeria.

The Christians in Nigeria have commented that they will take actions to protect themselves. It means that Nigeria is most likely about to face off with a religious war that can shatter its international image and world tourism prospects. Of course, the economic fall out given its status as an oil producing giant, is not going to comfort or stabilize investors wallets and confidence in Nigeria.

The government has been ridiculed and criticized for being unable to take corrective action to stem the killings of Christians by the Islamist group the government calls Boko Haram. Its beloved president, Goodluck Jonathan, is facing the defining challenge of his presidency. His critics are insisting that he is incompetent and incapable of dealing with the Muslim group carrying out the attacks.

The western world has to be wary of the jihad focus of the Islamic world. While Christians as well would endeavour to see all the world united under the umbrella of Christ, they would not be blowing other religious sects to eternity in order to realize their earthly goal.

This is a time when Christians from other nations must meet in prayer and offer united spiritual support to their siblings in Nigeria. After all, when one sees his neighbour’s house on fire one must wet his own house down.

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