A local newspaper has launched the McCabe Project: “an in-depth exploration of the social and psychological roots of criminality in Bahamian society.”
Called the McCabe Project, the Tribune newspaper has initiated a series of articles, the first one written by Paco Nunez and Rupert Missick Jr., two bright lights of Bahamian jounrlaism.
Bahamian politicians would like to have us believe that crime originates at the fringes of society and that tough police work can address the problem.
That concept has failed miserably since Independence.
To truly address the crime problem, one must look beyond the surface and treat the root causes of crime, not just the symptoms or results of crime.
The Tribune’s project takes its name from an old poem, written by a British Sea Captain named McCabe, who in 1814 was robbed by thieves in The Bahamas. McCabe hired a small boat in hopes of reaching a nearby island, but was caught in a storm and later died in Nassau of yellow fever.
He allegedly wrote the following poem before he died:
Land of cursed rocks and stones, Land where many leave their bones, Land of rascals, rogues and peddlers, Busy, scandalising meddlers; Land of poverty and want, Where pride is plenty, money scant, Take this, my very heartiest curse, And, if I could, I’d give you worse; For all your natvies, I know well, Love me as I love hell; And to them, I’m just as civil, And wish them all sent to the devil. May whirlwinds, earthquakes, tempest, rain, Fever, ague, want and pain, Poverty and famine fell Drive them all to hottest hell, And when they’re dead, the worthless dogs, May they be rooted up by hogs, Or lying in their lodgings narrow, May land-crabs feast upon their marrows.
Nowadays, it appears there may be many foreign investors and tourists chanting the same curse.