The recent case of Calypso Reggie deserves the attention of the public of St. Kitts and Nevis.
According to reports Reggie had an altercation with Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr. Timothy Harris in which he is alleged to have assaulted and abused the Government Minister who also is the people’s representative in Constituency Number 7.
Our interest in the case turns upon the principle of respect for authority. Many years ago children learnt in school, in a subject called Moral Instruction, to respect those in authority in society. Certain officers were mentioned: Doctors, Ministers of Religion, Teachers and all who were set in authority over us which in our modern times would include Ministers of Government, Policemen and Soldiers.
This principle of respect for others is not, as some people try to say, an exercise in servility. Rather it is the hinge on which our society turns.
Without this hinge our doors will fall off and we would become exposed to the ravages of hooliganism and many other forms of deviant values.
If we want a well ordered society where pance and progress are guaranteed, we need order among our citizens. This order implies that, like the natural society of bees and ants, there must be a social hierarchy in which every member knows and keeps his/her place.
In this hierarchy some of our citizens will occupy positions of authority. In our case they reach this position by our deliberate choice. It is we who elevate and install them and so we must also respect them.
If Calypso Reggie was allowed to openly insult and abuse Minister Harris, then there is no reason why some students can’t openly insult and abuse their teachers and their Church leaders.
This is of course the trend. Young people disrespect their elders, slight their own parents, and disregard the carefully crafted rules of our society. What Calypso Reggie did was in keeping with this trend.
This trend is slippery, leading our society down a slippery slope of misconduct and anarchy and where it will end is anybody’s guess.
We know that we cannot build a good society on this foundation and though we have no say in what punishment the court will dispense for Reggie’s guilt, we hope that he will be purged of his wrong attitude and that the young people who view his conduct, will derive a positive lesson from his case.