The rich must stop violence against the poor

There is something terrible happening in this country - it is horrible! People are dealing with violence from the tail-end.

They are focusing on the results of violence while ignoring the causes. It is like trying to stop water rushing from a dam after the sluice gates had flung open. We all know that once the water turns into a flood, nobody can stop it.

As it is and as long as government officials, first ladies, activists and churches condemn violent acts without dealing with the causes, there will never be any change.

What surprises is that those who lead this country pretend not to see or realise that poverty on its own is a significant violence act.

They see or pretend not to see or even know that hundreds of thousands are stuck in informal settlements across the country. Why do they forget that homelessness is an act of violence the government is committing against the people?

When one person owns large tracts townlands while the majority cannot even own a plot the size of a motorcycle parking lot, an act of violence is being committed. This is because in all honesty, how does one person be so lucky to enjoy such privileges while others cannot?

Such inequality, which is so rampant in this country is an act of violence on the citizens that are then forced to either rent from those who grab townlands or become their servants for life.

When you drive past men standing by the roadside, and their plight does not move you, you are committing an act of violence. These men wake up every single day and walk long distances from informal settlements without a clue of what they will eat or whether they will get a small job.

Some are fathers, and all are some parents' children whose families expect that one day these men will bring home something. Just imagine how frustrating it is for these men to walk the same path still every day and take a stand at the same spot armed with nothing but hope for a better day.

There are days when luck shines its light on them, and there are days when darkness casts its shadow too. Many though and long too are days when luck deserts them. It leaves them to ogle at you as you drive past them. Now ask yourself if that is not acting violently against these men?

The bottom line here is that when a nation fails to create jobs for its people, that nation is acting violently against the citizens. Yes, being rendered jobless is an act of violence.

When a country is divided into the haves and have-nots where a few people live in suburbs where the streets are spanking clean, dustless and 'rubbishless' and the majority squeeze themselves in hovels surrounded by dust and dirt, then an act of violence is being carried out.

It means that before the privileged speak about the results of violence, they should stop committing acts of violence on the less privileged. They must end inequalities, provide decent houses, provide clean potable water, better living conditions and create jobs.

The failure to end the violent acts they commit against the unfortunate, the privileged are creating conditions for the those on the lower rung of the society to decimate each other. In any case, what can we expect from men and women who are broken from the beginning?

It's not clear whether most people see it this way - the violent acts being committed by the rich and the well-heeled on the less privileged is the cause of the violence killing the country.

A former slave, the African-American statesman Frederick Douglass (1817-1895) said: “It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.”

Disclaimer: The viewpoints expressed in this article are solely those of the author and not those of The Villager Newspaper’s editorial.