Mayers warns of developing subculture

GENERAL Secretary of the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) Guyson Mayers is cautioning that a worrying subculture is developing in Barbados. In fact, he lamented that it has already developed, where persons are content to live outside of the law.

He was speaking during a panel discussion over the weekend hosted by the DLP under the topic: “Crime, Youth and Opportunities” at the party’s George Street headquarters, where he opined that these groups are living outside of the main social boundaries.

“They do that because they think there is no space for them in the normal operations of society. I am not sure that they are not reasonable in thinking that they are being left out of the decision making processes and of the future of the country. It comes back to a lack of opportunity and these people feel that they have no choice but to resort to a different level in order to survive.”

Mayers alluded to a recent incident circulated on social media where a group of young men took over a funeral service at the graveside and held their own burial ceremony, pouring an alcoholic beverage into the grave as the coffin was being lowered.

“...And they really had no interest in what the priest says...Burial rites have traditionally been important passages for our people. Now that is no longer relevant to a group of people. Young people are more concerned about earning their stripes within their unlawful groups.

“Somebody said we have no gangs, but those groupings, they can live more comfortably by committing crime in their communities than if they decide to be law abiding.”

Mayers told the audience that this sub-culture will not disappear without tremendous efforts to convince these groups that there is a better way.

“Unfortunately, I do not see these initiatives in place now or have heard anything to suggest that anyone is even thinking about developing such initiatives to direct people away from the kind of criminal activity that the wider society would wish that they stay away from. If there are no alternatives for these people, then there would be no alternative action.

“It doesn’t matter how much we preach to or at them, they will ignore us because they cannot survive within the boundaries of what society provides for them or should provide for them.” He warned that this could pose more challenges for the society further down the road. (JH)

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