September 1, 2020
Come on, we are better than this!

In St Vincent and the Grenadines, if you do not know a person, you most likely know someone else who is well acquainted that person. Our country is so small that even without a precise residential addresses, we can usually find where someone lives with very little difficulty. And chances are, we will find that many of us are related by blood if we trace far enough down toward the root of the family tree.

Apart from this, Vincentians are known for our hospitality and good-naturedness even towards strangers.

This is why it is mindboggling the ease with which we are willing to throw all tradition, decency and civility out the window in this season of politics. Egged on by fans, friends and onlookers who revel in the entertainment, but who will be no where to be found when the pieces have to be picked up, normally decent people have been leveling vicious, nasty, personal attacks against each other on social media, all in the name of promoting the political party with which they are affiliated and of course, inflicting damage on the other.

The thing is, many of the victims and none of the perpetrators are candidates in the next general elections. The fight has been taken up by surrogates, who get some warped pleasure in seeing which among them can burrow deepest into the gutter. The ironic thing is that in many cases, some of the attacks so offend the sensibilities of onlookers that the public hits back and the attacker gets a taste of his or her own medicine.

Come on, we are better than this! We must stop ripping apart the fabric of our society with behavior that we would never be part of in the real world.

Our preferred candidates will be elected with or without these attacks by their supporters and we need to continue to live with each other, no matter the outcome of the elections.

We should also be reminded that although no one has successfully been prosecuted under the Cybercrime Act since it was passed into law in 2016, it is still the law of the land. Many of the social media attacks may very well constitute an offence under this Act and on conviction could result in hefty fines and even imprisonment.

So, is it worth it? We think not.