Jamaica Gleaner / Speaker in the House of Representatives, Pearnel Charles (Senior), has expressed outrage at the way citizens keep quiet after witnessing criminals wreak havoc on others, stressing that unless Jamaica starts producing brave citizens who are ready to speak up, the the problem of violence will persist.
Charles expressed his position on topic while addressing the 2017 staging of Commonwealth Day, at The Knutsford Court Hotel in St Andrew recently, encouraging all to do away with the culture of silence that has permeated generations.
He summed up the causative factor in most cases to be fear. This, according to Charles, makes people turn a blind eye, while some don’t even want to know what is happening.
“What causes you to hear a woman bawling out for help and you hide? What causes you to know the gunman who lives next door to you and you are not talking? The name is fear!” he said, describing it as a weapon.
“It’s not that I don’t understand, but what I am saying is that, unless they know that we (as a collective) are going to talk, (it gives them power). If one little man talk, they going to kill him, but if all of us (stand up), it can’t happen,” declared Charles.
neighbourhood watch He also hit out at neighbourhood watches, claiming that they were simply executives in communities, doing nothing to help stem crime. Members of neighbourhood watch groups, Charles said, usually know what criminal activities are taking place and who the perpetrators are, but because of fear, nothing changes.
“This neighbourhood watch business, that all of us elites and executives in the community join on a Sunday evening, is not helping. We are afraid to speak out against those who are doing it, because they live in our community.You say, ‘Mama, is Big Joe (do it)’ and Mama seh, ‘shut your mouth, and keep yourself quiet gyal because we going dead’. (Bottom line is) you know them, and dem going to kill somebody tomorrow. We are terrorised by fear, not the M-16,” he said.