Our Readers' Opinions
December 22, 2006
When did we become so de-sensitized?

EDITOR: It was with shock and horror that I received the news of the beheading of a Vincentian woman, in full view of the public on Monday December 11. That such a brutal act could have been committed in full view of the public is horrifying and my heart goes out to the victim’s family. But I feel the family’s pain even more when I realize how disrespectful and cruel we fellow Vincentians have been in the face of their loss.

I am forced to put pen to paper when I realize that this woman’s murder has been treated as a grand spectacle by her fellow citizens. Unfortunately, the photos have been put into circulation on the Internet and via email and I have seen them. Had I known what awaited me, I probably would not have dared to open the pictures because what I saw is appalling and not representative of the St Vincent that I know and love.{{more}}

As a little girl, when I grew up in the country, I could hardly even stand the sight of seeing a yard-fowl being beheaded. That would surely mean nightmares for me. Yet, the pictures being put into circulation show crowds of people standing behind the police cord and looking at the victim’s lifeless decapitated body. In an age of advanced technology where digital cameras and camera-phones are readily available, people are shown taking pictures of the corpse, as if attending some grand spectacle. I even saw some children in the crowd looking on, possibly no older than six or seven. Why did their parents or guardians allow them to look at such a thing? Why did the police not cover the body, but instead left it on public display?

Have we become so desensitized as a society that we do not even recognize the indecency of it all? Think about the victim’s family and what they might be going through. How would any of us feel if we were a family member of the victim, to see others being so cold and callous towards such a gruesome act?

And for those of us who are in touch with technology, remember that the Internet can be used as a useful tool as well as a weapon. Do you not think that you do a disservice to our country by circulating such photos on the Internet? What is the image that you have portrayed of our country? Any right-minded person living in the farthest corners of the globe looking at such pictures, seeing crowds gathering over a decapitated body while taking pictures and guarded by uniformed police officers who do not think of covering the body will surely think of us as a country of uncivilized brutal savages. That is certainly what I would have thought had I randomly come upon the pictures over the Internet and had not known of the country of origin.

Disappointed Vincentian

Living Abroad