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The VI has become ‘desensitised’ to violence- Frank Mahoney

Members of the panel discussion on Vigilate Dialogues on Monday, July 17, 2017 were, from left, Ms Shaina M. Smith, host, Mr Frank Mahoney, promoter and event producer and Mr Dickson Igwe, social commentator. Photo: Facebook
According to Mr Frank Mahoney, people in the community are always pointing fingers at the young people when it comes to crime and violence; however, people should recognise that the learnt behavior also stems from not just the environment they grew up in, but what they see and hear on the internet or television. Photo: Facebook
According to Mr Frank Mahoney, people in the community are always pointing fingers at the young people when it comes to crime and violence; however, people should recognise that the learnt behavior also stems from not just the environment they grew up in, but what they see and hear on the internet or television. Photo: Facebook
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI – “For me I ask this question, where is this crime coming from? You have to look at the history. The Virgin Islands (VI) was an agrarian community and everybody knew each other as one village. Then came tourism and finance and the colony shifted from agrarian to service and we had a lot of migration coming into the community and that village dynamic disappeared.”

This is according to social commentator Dickson Igwe, who was at the time a guest on the television talk show Vigilate Dialogues on CBN Channel 51 on July 17, 2017.

VI no longer one community

According to Mr Igwe, the VI is no longer one community, but instead it has smaller communities within the native community.

“The Virgin Islands was a homogeneous community in the 70s and 80s and if you do the research you see that there are less crimes in a homogeneous community. In a homogeneous community, you have everybody all interlinked, they are all of the same ethnicity and they are all of the same kind of cultural success. That changed completely.”

He continued, “We have a change in the economy and there is no integration at all. As a result, that makes the life of the police difficult because there is a tendency to protect your little community. If a member of my little community commit a crime, there is a tendency to protect them.”

Another guest of the show hosted by Shaina M. Smith was event promoter Mr Frank Mahoney.

Violence existed from the beginning of time

In agreement with Mr Igwe, Mr Mahoney stated that the violence that the Virgin Islands is experiencing has been happening from the beginning of time and it is occurring throughout the world.

“Violence existed from the beginning of time. The world on a whole has been at war than it has been at peace. We are the product of our society. While I appreciate what he (Mr Igwe) is saying about the different societies, the violence that we are seeing is across the board. It’s not just locals. It’s not just down island people. It’s not just poor or rich people. It’s happening across the board and we have to ask ourselves what has changed over the last 50 years,” explained Mr Mahoney.

He further explained that while he was living in New York, there was a low crime rate in his community and the police were not required to carry guns.

“That was a bragging right that the VI had for the longest while and we had to respect our elders. The world and the VI is a part of a global village, where we have access to the internet, television, to radio and to other cultures -whether it be good or bad-, plays a role,” adding that economic and education opportunities also played a role in behaviour.

We have become ‘desensitised’ to violence

Posing a question to the guests, Ms Smith asked, “Do you think there is a public outcry in the community because for me it seems it’s all just talk and that’s it?”

In response, Mr Frank Mahoney commented that, the people in the community have become less sensitive about some of the most awful crimes in the Virgin Islands:

“We’ve decided and we’ve judged who should be mourned and for how long depending on their status in society. It’s not a big deal anymore. A young man died the other day, it flashed across the news as breaking news and next week he’s forgotten.”

According to Mr Mahoney, people in the community are always pointing fingers at the young people when it comes to crime and violence. However, people should recognise that the learnt behaviour also stems from not just the environment they grew up in, but what they see and hear on the internet or television.

“For example, when you have a bridge like the bridge on Beef Island that might have cost $500,000 realistically and it ends up costing millions; that is a crime. The children are watching and were those people punished? What does that say?

He continued, “That sends a message now to the young people but because these people have certain last names in positions in society. We look at their crime as not so much violent but at the end of the day they are violent. As a result, the money that should have gone into school programmes or could have gone to help single mothers and so forth, does not exist and because it doesn’t exist the opportunities that, that young person may or could have had also doesn’t exist.”

14 Responses to “The VI has become ‘desensitised’ to violence- Frank Mahoney”

  • just asking... (18/07/2017, 10:00) Like (4) Dislike (10) Reply
    He turn professor now?
    • @just asking... (18/07/2017, 11:10) Like (26) Dislike (1) Reply
      He's making sense though. Don't have to have a big academic background to talk sense lol
  • Laura (18/07/2017, 10:22) Like (18) Dislike (1) Reply
    "...people should recognise that the learnt behaviour also stems from not just the environment they grew up in, but what they see and hear on the internet or television.
    “For example, when you have a bridge like the bridge on Beef Island that might have cost $500,000 realistically and it ends up costing millions; that is a crime. The children are watching and were those people punished? What does that say?"... Frank you hit the nail on the head. It is high time we STOP looking at outside people to blame and take a hard look in the mirror. We ALWAYS had crime, it has now gone to another level and where do we go from here.

    More dialogue like this is needed but in the communities so that we can better understand and listen to the cries of the nation and more importantly the youth. We need to find the unity that unites these isles again.
  • TheBigSTICK (18/07/2017, 11:31) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    Sure one can point their finger at all the things that changes a community and I have had this discussion with friends. We spoke of reasons why we often shy away from causing harm to people in the country, reason being we knew their sister or brother etc.

    Now that the community have change it is time to react to that change before it gets out of hand!!

    I am one that believes in a heavy hand, you can't always appeal to the better side of the people. Ask yourself this question how often did your children follow the rules without fear of the belt. This Liberal blanket freedom to do as you please should be earn with good behavior and with zero tolerance for bullshit!!!!

    Create opportunity within the country so people can live right and foster a mentality of zero tolerance!
  • E. Leonard (18/07/2017, 14:19) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    It takes a village to raise a child has roots in Africa. Adopted by the early Virgin Islands society/community, the principle served the VI well. In the village, viilagers looked out for one another. Most villagers were at the same economic level and shared and supported one another;things are different now. For example, any villager could correct a misbehaving child without fear of the parents. Today, it is hands off. Petty crimes did occur; there was the rare murder; the rare murder was a curious event. Now, there are scores of unsolved murders; it probably has highest per capita unsolved murder rate in the world. Now, violent and property crimes are experiencing an exponential rise. The rising crime is adversely affecting the standard of living, quality of life and public health and safety. It is impacting economic growth and development. What changed?

    The village was lost, economy changed, the population changed and increased, communication, i.e., computer, ipad, smart phone, internet, radio, TV..... etc improved and is common. Availability of communication devices resulted in VI forsaking its rich culture for a culture that is foreign to the BVI. Millennials,younger generations and even some Boomers try to embrace the culture and lifestyle they see on TV or hear on radio. In some instances, the adopted lifestyle is not affordable and crime is used as a vehicle to support the destructive lifestyle. How can change occur? Embrace the village principle again. It is not as simple as that though. The whole community has to be engaged.
  • pOKEMAN (18/07/2017, 15:31) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    LISTEN TO WHAT THE BROTHER IS NOT SAYING.
    • enough (18/07/2017, 16:03) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
      Until our elected officials get serious and stop focusing on getting re-elected what is happening is OUR BVI will only get worse. Resent headline REPEAT OFFENDER a Jamaican and is still here to almost kill someone for touching his hand REALLY. Having Belonger Status is a privilege not a right, if you refuse to behave you should be deported. WE HAVE OUR OWN PROBLEMS -
      "Jamaican charged in relation to recent shooting on Fort Hill | Virgin ...
      www.virginislandsnewsonline.com › News
      7 days ago - FORT HILL, Tortola, VI- A Jamaica national has been charged in relation ... were seen running and taking cover while gun shots rang out in the ...
  • Parents are the Source (18/07/2017, 15:46) Like (5) Dislike (1) Reply
    A lot of people don't want to hear this but in some ways parents are the reason for all of this. The violence starts at home while the children are still young. A lot of old people in particular may not see anything wrong with this and actually think it's the right way to bring up a child but with a changing world, maybe it's time for people to reconsider how to raise a child. Parents beat their kids for any and everything. They make hitting the only form of discipline, don't show patience or take the time to explain to children why their actions are wrong. They don't show forgiveness or understanding but children are expected to grow into human beings that can express those feelings? And when these children grow old enough or confident enough to either express their hurt or fight back, the parents respond with apathy or more violence. No wonder people grow up to be callous and unfeeling.

    I'm not saying don't hit your child or beatings are never appropriate. There might very well be a few times when a good cutass is all that's needed. I'm asking parents to think about the psychological damage they're inflicting on their children in the long run. One day these scrawny, naïve and powerless, 3ft 8in children will grow into adults who will have to lead others and if they are angry, in pain and lack empathy, that is what they will spread in the world.
  • Well (18/07/2017, 15:58) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    See when all the mess started the bible speak of these things. - WE STARTED THIS - OPEN DOOR POLICY Deuteronomy 7:3 (NIV) Do not intermarry with them. Do not give your daughters to their sons or take their daughters for your sons,

    “The Virgin Islands was a homogeneous community in the 70s and 80s and if you do the research you see that there are less crimes in a homogeneous community. In a homogeneous community, you have everybody all interlinked, they are all of the same ethnicity and they are all of the same kind of cultural success. That changed completely.”
  • BABEL TOWER (18/07/2017, 16:58) Like (1) Dislike (2) Reply
    At last you will get married to your cousin, your niece or even your sister .....Lord have mercy !
  • ..... (18/07/2017, 18:02) Like (0) Dislike (1) Reply
    Blah blah blah blah blah blah


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