By Neals Chitan
In a January 13, 2014, post on a discussion forum predominantly accessed by Grenadians at home and abroad, Brian, the poster, suggested that REALFM, a local radio station, reported that, in 2013, Grenada received 108 deportees with 60% or 65 of them being “criminal deportees” who had served time in prison for sexually related offences, drug possession, trafficking and robbery with violence.
Neals J. Chitan is the Grenadian-born president of Motiv-8 For Change International -- a Toronto based High Impact Social Skill Agency that is specially dedicated to the social empowerment of individuals, families and communities
According to Researcher and Drug Control Officer Dave Alexander, in his 2012 published research of “An Analysis of Homicide in Grenada 2008-2012”, he stated that in 2012, Grenada experienced 14 homicides with 16 people arrested and charged for these crimes.
Could you imagine? Sixty-five more criminal practitioners added to the list of individuals and factors influencing crime and violence on our little 133 square mile island.
When one takes a serious look at the climbing rate of crime in the Caribbean and the negative impact it can create on the tourist product, the registration of international students in Caribbean postsecondary institutions, the business investors and the islands’ welfare at large, a desperate “voice crying in the wilderness” is needed to internationally highlight the flow of more criminals into the region, and I don’t mind being that voice.
As a crime reduction specialist who has worked here in Canada, the USA and the UK, it is absolutely clear in my mind that most of the criminals of Caribbean descent that I see are individuals who have been shaped or ill parented by the rotten public social structures of North America and the UK. They are the antisocial products of the “crime courses” and racial criminal conspiracies of North American and British high schools, minimum and maximum holding institutions and judicial systems.
Now seasoned in their North American TV style criminal craft, they are deported after incarceration back to the country of their birth, unsatisfied, unaccomplished and revengeful. With their sharpened criminal propensity, they are ripped away from family, relatives and communities and flown back to unfairly terrorize the islands that have not created the problems in the first place. You see, when our children of Caribbean descent excel, their success is usually credited to the schools and the so-called First World influences that have produced the success, but when failure or disaster are the results, their Caribbean roots get blamed.
This reminds me of the plight of world class Canadian sprinter Ben Johnson at the 1988 Seoul Olympics, where Johnson represented his country Canada in the men’s 100m sprint. Bursting off the starting block at the finals of this event, Johnson won gold and clocked a new world record of 9.79 seconds. Immediately, the then Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney was on the phone to Seoul, personally congratulating the gold winning champion Canadian sprinter, while Canadian media houses were all ablaze with the frenzy and exuberance of “Canadian Ben Johnson wins gold and sets new world record.”
However, it did not take too long to see the blatant systemic hypocrisy in just a few hours after testing positive for anabolic steroids. A quick identity switch occurred and Canadian sprinter Ben Johnson who was just endowed with Canadian national pride was quickly defamed by the same media houses as disgraced Jamaican sprinter Ben Johnson.
So here we are, with children who left their Caribbean birthplaces and have become products of their new environment. Children who have left the freedom and safety of their homeland to live under the harsh seasonal confinement of so-called First World ghetto communities ridden with crime, drugs, gangs and prostitution. Influences which have greatly mold their decision making, their response and their money generating activity.
They are the products of the demoralized streets! The fast enticing lifestyle of guns, gangs and drugs has had its normalizing toll on them and they proudly identify with their turf. Trying to navigate themselves through the maze of corruption they dodge the lawmen, until sometimes; rage, revenge, dishonor or bad deals trigger the untamed anger mechanism within and they are left with criminal and violent charges on their hands to deal with.
For these individuals, their respective judicial systems all of a sudden become inadequate to deal with the “chickens which came back to roost”. So, after serving the time for the crime they have committed, they are picked up and shipped back with their insane level of; revenge, anger, criminal activity, disrespect, and gang affiliation to their country of birth to be an awful “blessing” to its people. How darn unfair!!
And so they come! Sometimes escorted by law enforcers, sometimes dressed “to kill” so they are not suspected. Spewing their Canadian, US or British accents they vent their rude and brawly frustrations of trying to feel at home, but where really is home? They are in a strange land with little or no family ties. Their big world fast paced lifestyle is now slowed down, leaving them to think of their predicament and the consequences to their lifestyle. This is the recipe for intense frustration and anti-social behavior and before too long it is manifested.
This emotional frustration to accept their fate and settle into island life, coupled with the challenges of finding employment and sustenance cause the survival instinct with all its learned big city criminal activity to kick in, and living “by any means necessary” becomes the rule of life.
At that point, Canada, USA and Europe would have just succeeded in exporting crime and violence to the Caribbean! No wonder we see recent headlines like “British Yachtsman murdered in St Lucia”. In many instances the crime and violence which were unfairly deported to the Caribbean become the plague that stings the same North American and British visitors vacationing there.
I therefore raise my voice within Ontario, my local jurisdiction, and call on MPP Michael Coteau, Minister of Immigration for the Province of Ontario, who is of Grenadian heritage, to invite a discussion on this issue, while hopefully igniting a fire of discussions on this topic across North America and the UK.