Can it get any worse as far as our brutality against women is concerned? The horrific spectacle of the lifeless body of a woman on the tarmac of the former E T Joshua airport, not just a victim of violent acts but with a piece of PVC pipe inserted in her as though she were a construction site, must be abhorrent to us all.
What is worse is that in a society which has witnessed several protests over the years against violence inflicted on women, this time around, there does not seem to be the same level of outrage.
There have also been unfortunate comments almost tantamount to blaming the victim.
While this may display callousness and gross ignorance, it is also a reflection of the attitude of many in our society towards those who are battling mental illness.
It is as though this victim and her fellow-sufferers are not human too.
Whatever her afflictions, shortcomings or lifestyle, Veronica ‘Keisha” Small was human as the rest of us, and deserved to be treated as such.
Yet too many of us treat the mentally ill, the drug addicted and others living on the fringes of our society as mild irritants or even regard them as invisible as long as they steer clear of our personal space.
It will take great effort to change attitudes towards the mentally ill. We have made some progress, though not enough, where the physically or developmentally challenged are concerned, but still have a long way to go.
Had this brutal slaying been someone popular in society, the outrage would have been tremendous. What is most important here is not social station but humanity and murderous violence against a woman, which is an affront to all of us, but women in particular.
We urge the police to leave no stone unturned in their investigations and bring this sick criminal perpetrator to justice. It is a sad reflection of our society and the police when murders go unsolved, and there are already too many on the books.
Finally, two points are worthy of mention. First, this latest brutal murder tells us that there are criminals among us with whom we may mingle or work daily without being aware. Who knows who may have committed those unsolved crimes? It is a chilling thought for all of us.
The second point is the growing indifference to human tragedy. It is amply illustrated by the construction worker shot at Little Tokyo recently who complained that no bystander attempted to help him. The typical response these days seems to take out your phone, shoot the scene and broadcast to the world.
Are we no longer our brother’s and sister’s keeper?