Monthly Archives: March 2014

The Political Roundup: Bells are Ringing

March was an interesting month in the political developments in Trinidad and Tobago.    The month started with Carnival and ended with a holiday, Spiritual Baptist Liberation Day.  There is a strange intersection between religion and politics, and cultural folklore in Trinidad and Tobago but if the events of the last week could be wrapped up some interesting religious parallels can be drawn, but we will leave that for another time.

What was packaged in the middle is what we will attempt to take a bite into during the political roundup for this month.

We will begin by exploring the leadership race of the PNM internal election.    Things are getting hot as fire in this camp.   Rowley still has the advantage as the party machine and establishment is firmly behind him, but the strategies and tactics his campaign is using is leaving a bad taste for many.   He is firing up his base to do battle in the general election but often what comes out from this fired up base is something just scary and unattractive.     The goal of his campaign is to quickly defeat Penny then go in the ring against the People’s Partnership Government.

While the internal election is new and good for the overall party there is a perception that they are not handling things in the most democratic way and Penny is putting up a fight and she has stated publicly that the party is afraid of change.   The levelheaded approach to leadership that Penny brings differs to that of Dr. Rowley’s approach, which some says is hinging on bullying. Over the next few weeks we will see more to be able to compare the two choices and who will be the PNM standard bearer against the Peoples Partnership in 2015.

If what transpired in Parliament between Sports Minister Anil Roberts and Dr. Rowley during his private motion calling on the Prime Minister to stop the move towards the construction of the Waste Water Recycling Plant in Beetham is the type of leadership Dr. Rowley brings, he will remain Opposition Leader.

By the end of Sports Minister Anil Roberts presentation Rowley’s entire motion was dismantled because he came to the Parliament acting on feelings and not facts.   The PP government used Rowley’s own words and the Hansard from over 13 years ago to walk him right into a trap.

Rowley as a member of the last government, Roberts produced a MOU showing a similar project as PNM government policy in 2008.   Furthermore, the Hansard linked Rowley to personal business interest in his role a geologist to a group of businessmen and investors as far back as 2000.

When asked if he had any personal interest, Rowley took the bait and walked right into the trap.  Before answering yes to make a case for his constituents, for the people of Beetham, so that they can benefit from jobs and the nation from more access to water, he stated he has no interest.    He was given a second opportunity to declare any interest, and he said he has none.

Interestingly, none of his colleagues came to his defense and it highlighted the Opposition leader’s lack of preparation, research and his loss of memory. The Hansard tells no lies, it my contain lies, but it is a record of what was said in Parliament and it is fair game.   This is not levelheaded leadership on the part of Dr. Rowley.

Meanwhile, earlier in the week, he called on his supporters to come down and form a circle around the parliament.    His supporters were met by supporters of the government who came out to show support for the Prime Minister.   Interestingly the PM used the opportunity of the upcoming Spiritual Baptist Liberation day to come out dressed up in gold evoking a powerful image of the rising sun.  The Prime Minister also instructed her government to review any statues of Trinidad and Tobago aimed at removing any vestiges of discrimination against the Spiritual Baptist community in Trinidad and Tobago.



Offerings of Integrity: Kamla’s Sacrifice of a Rising Star & The Rising Sun

The Minister of the People and Social Development Dr. Glenn Ramadharsingh is now a former minister in the People’s Partnership Government.  It is now apparent that the former minister made a mistake and has paid highly by losing his ministerial post and any chances of being on a UNC ticket in 2015.  The Prime Minister did the right thing by firing Dr. Ramadharsingh and while the entire situation is unfortunate it is just an example of when politicians and people with power step out of line because power can cloud their judgment.

This minister was one of the first government ministers I interviewed in December 2012. We rode together on the inaugural ride of the Eldamo busses in Tobago for the differently-abled.   There is no doubt that Glenn was inspiring, had compassion for the less fortunate and many described him as potentially prime-ministerial in the future, a rising star.    The fact is I was not on that plane and would not describe, judge or label the minister as a bad person, he made a mistake and abused his power, but I can support the decision of the Prime Minister to dismiss him from the Cabinet.

But could Glenn have resigned?

Sadly, we don’t have culture of resignation in the politics of Trinidad and Tobago.  When he apologized a few days ago, the Minister could have tendered his resignation immediately, but this is not part of the political culture.   He certainly stepped up for apologizing but saying sorry does not cut it in Trinidad and Tobago, people will never forget, but he could have used this as an opportunity to step aside instead of waiting on the inevitable. PM Kamla did what she had to do and there is no doubt that she demonstrated tenacity and strength to fire Ramadharsingh from her cabinet.  This was a big sacrifice on her part.

In Trinidad and Tobago we love bacchanal and we crave a scandal, mostly to poke fun of the individuals.   Many of us have seen or heard the jokes now about Glenn and while we don’t intentionally want to make light out of a serious situation, human beings are going to engage in this type of behavior.   No one of us is above perfection and while Glenn allowed his perception of power to get his head, there are people right there in Trinidad and Tobago who have done worse.    I don’t believe that Glenn intentionally grabbed at the flight attendant’s breast, I don’t doubt that he was just reaching for her name tag, but I will not debate that he might have “galleried himself,” and told her that her days were numbered.

It is sad that whatever legacy Glenn had at the Ministry of the People and Social Development will be overshadowed by this unfortunate incident.   When Bill Clinton had his dicklemma in the 1990’s with Monica Lewinsky, he lied but was eventually re-elected and still has influence on American politics.    This won’t happen in Glenn’s case because we don’t have a culture of redemption in our politics.  We have to beat you up, make you remember, so we can never forget.

I can only wonder what went on in that meeting between the Prime Minister and the now former Minister of MTPSD.   I read her statement and she had no choice but to fire Glenn, but the firing of Glenn is an example for any other of her current ministers knowing that they cannot afford to slip up in the next 12 months.

Glenn became the sacrificial lamb, the “I am going to make an example out of you,” because I have to, but by no means is he going to because a UNC hater but will occupy some space in the party in the in the background.

Whatever is next for the Glenn we wish him the best.  Perhaps he will go back to practicing veterinary medicine but while his behavior towards that flight attendant cannot be condoned, it is very sad that we have lost this rising star in T&T politics.



Two Questions: Will 2015 be the PNM’s Last Stand? How will Kamla keep the Partnership Together?

By now many of us have heard about Pennelope Beckles-Robinson brother and some members of his family was arrested on charges related to possession of firearms and ammunitions.     So far, PBR has dealt with this matter with character and strength despite the negative shadows it have cast over her campaign.   At the end of the day we can only allow the matter to play out but PBR should not let this be a distraction for campaign.    The fact is PBR cannot control what other adults do even though they might be closely related and she should proceed forward.

PBR is deliberately changing the conversation the PNM is currently engaged in as they move closer and closer to their internal elections.  She recently visited Tobago and PBR can only continue to meet the people and listen to hear their voices throughout the length and breadth of Trinidad and Tobago.   This woman is on a campaign to save the life of the PNM, the oldest political party in the nation’s history.   Penny must continue to put up a fight because the UNC and PP are gearing up to snuff the life out of the PNM.  The PP’s goal is to keep the PNM out of power forever.   A 2015 victory for the PP will brings us closer to constitution reform and with proportional representation being a feature of the recent national exercise, the PNM must listen careful or they will pay dearly for it.

The PNM has played an important role in the history of Trinidad and Tobago, this can never be denied.   However, the nation is far removed from the politics of 1962 and the collective 41 years it has spent in government.     The party will be responsible for the beginning of its own demise if it only looks to past as opposed to the future direction of Trinidad and Tobago and the new politics that has emerged.   They will have to account for 41 years stewardship and there is no doubt that the current government of Kamla Persad-Bissessar is aware of this history and ready to turn their guns and keep the PNM in opposition.

You have to listen carefully to what politicians say and this often becomes the basis of appeal for those who will decide the election, the non-aligned floating swing voters.

Listen to the words of PM Kamla Persad-Bissessar:  “We cannot fix decades of neglect in the short space of one-term,” just a hint as to the type of campaign being set up to wage by the People Partnership. Will it be a working strategy?   We can only let things unfold.   If Manning was the enemy that galvanized the quickly thrown together coalition in 2010, the enemy in 2015 will be the history of the PNM.   Kamla’s government is not perfect, but neither was London’s administration, but the election in Tobago turned out not to be about stewardship but the dynamics were very different.  Will history be rewritten, remembered or will it be put to rest for what it is?

A major part of history was revealed with the recent coup report.  The fact that this has stirred a national conversation, it will be used over the next few months to jog the nation’s memory but more so, the UNC is not only going back to their history and their base, but with their message of unity, their main goal is to keep the partnership together, and if they do this, though they might loose a few seats, they will keep the government in 2015.


If Anil Roberts Writes A Book: Uncle Tom’s Baliser Cabin or Life Among the Lowly in the Beetham

In 1852 Harriet Beecher-Stowe published a powerful an anti-slavery novel entitled Uncle Tom’s Cabin or Life Among the Lowly.   The novel contributed to raising awareness among white people in the United States about the horrors of slavery.    An underlying theme in the novel was the idea of Christian Love overcoming the enslavement of other human beings.  When Abraham Lincoln became president, the United States was on the verge of a Civil War over slavery and other sectional differences that existed between the North and the South and the internal border-states.   When Lincoln met Harriet Beecher-Stowe her son reported that he told her, “so you are the little woman who wrote the book that started this great war,” in a rather humorous way.

By no means I intent on starting a war, but Minister of Sports Anil Roberts threw some “raw and real” punches calling Dr. Keith Rowley an Uncle Tom.  In American culture today, an Uncle Tom is a black person who bows down in a subservient way to white people and in doing so alienates themselves from other black people, because of his close association with whites.   Many argue that it is a form of self-hatred among blacks.  Uncle Tom’s character was the quintessential “dutiful and long suffering servant faithful to his white master or mistress.”   It has a rather negative and stereotypical connotation but when it is applied to the socio-economic, political, and cultural life of Trinidad and Tobago, especially that of the “lowly” there are many implications for public policy.

Again, the issue of race and class in our politics has surfaced.   It always does but let us deconstruct and discuss the Sports Minister statements.  Anil Roberts is “mixed,” so he is able to identify with people of African and Indian descent.   There are many  “Douglas” in our society.  Why does this matter?  He is able to say certain things that East Indians cannot say (for fear of being branded racist) as well as things that people of African descent cannot say, (for the same legitimate fear).  In all reality, Anil tells a truth, raw and uncompromising as ever and will no doubt serve as one of the Chief Attack Dogs in the 2015 Election in the PP camp.   Anil to a degree is our collective conscience because of his cultural duality and the ‘keep it real truth’ because he never holds back.   Anil Roberts is a real Trini and patriotic to the bone. When Anil speaks, whether you like him or not, people will listen.

Among some of things that came out of his mouth this morning in a good dose of his truth was Dr. Keith Rowley’s inability to lead as Prime Minister.  We cannot argue that corruption does not exists in Trinidad and Tobago and Dr. Rowley has throughout his political career has highlighted some of this even when the PNM was in power.   Anil however argued that because Rowley says anything that pops into his head and out of his mouth, such as likening the behavior of black children to hyenas and labeling the country and companies as corrupt potentially scaring off foreign investors and investments.   Furthermore, Anil spoke about Rowley being out of touch especially with the black youths in his constituency, failing to show up to their games, but finds ample time to play golf in Westmoorings.

Anil also explained the Water Recycling Plant which he claims will release over 10,000 gallons water daily into the water supply.   He explained that Rowley’s lack of support for the project is because the PP government will get credit for this starting that Minister Ganga Singh and WASA will look like heroes to black people.

There are several implications here.    The internal election campaign of the PNM under the one-man-one-vote system has opened the party to greater public scrutiny.  Even though when everyone makes a comment states, “I don’t want to get involved in PNM business, but,” and they proceed to state their piece.  In all reality, this was a good thing that Dr. Rowley did for the party and in doing so he may have prolonged the shelf life of PNM.   Pennelope Beckles-Robinson challenge for the position of political leader is viewed as “outta timing” by the base of the party.   However, PBR and her team have positioned themselves further to the political center while Rowley and his team are further right.   If the PNM were the Republican Party in the United States, Rowley and his camp would be the Tea Party – further right, rather loud base but ultimately misguided.  This will cause the party to lose a general election.

The recent political history (in the last thirty years) has show that the PNM cannot win an election relying only on its base alone.  PBR attempt to position the party further to the center increase the attractiveness of the party.   The political culture of the nation is evolving and those who fail to evolve will become extinct, regardless of their history.    PBR’s campaign is a literal battle to save the party from self-destruction.  Bhose Sharma, who is on PBR’s slate suggested that the deck is stacked in favor of Rowley, and stated, “a vote for Keith is a vote for Kamla.”  They are arguing that if the PNM does not change its current course, they will continue to keep the Opposition Benches warm.   Keep in mind, this is not people outside of the party making these statement, it is coming from within.

As loud as Anil was, he always is, one of the most important things he said in comparison to the hyena statement is that black children need hear, “I love you.”  If Dr. Rowley had made that statement, the conversation would have been very different.   So, are there Uncle Tom’s in the Baliser House?  Who are their masters?  You will have to ask Anil.

Here at the Tobago Policy Forum, our objective is raise the level of public discourse and encourage debate in the public square.  In doing this, we are open to critical dialogue and education of all by all.   Our work is not political but includes the dissemination of knowledge and research that is analytical and educational.


Five Simple Words for a COMPLEX PROBLEM: Sorry Its Not, “IN THE NAME OF JESUS”

It was the year 2000, I completed the first year of my under-graduate studies at the University of Buffalo.  I went to summer school to take some extra classes, so I could double major in both political science and history and still get out in four years.   One of the classes, I took that summer besides “Death and Dying” was American Pluralism.   During that class taught by a professor from Zimbabwe (Africa) of East Indian descent Dr. Lulat, the five words that stood out and ever since then has guided my career, research, and grounded my writings were:  RACE IS A SOCIAL CONSTRUCT.  

Ok, what exactly does that mean?    For starters, there is one race, the human race.   Accepting this truth, will allow you to understand that race is not biologically real.   “IT IS SOCIALLY AND POLITICAL CONSUTRUCTED VIA LAW, PUBLIC POLICY AND SOCIAL PRACTICES.”  Here are two other definitions to help you understand the concept of a social construction.    “What we call race is an invention not of nature but of our social institutions and practice,”    and “Race, as other social categories such as class and gender, is socially constructed….but it has a social reality.   This means, after race- or class or gender- is created, it produces real effects on the actors racialized as ‘black’ or ‘white’. Bonilla-Silva 2006.     Now that our definitions and understanding of the concept are out of the way, let us now examine how it plays out in Trinidad and Tobago.

1993:   As a Tobagonian I was always aware of the color of my skin, but I did not know I was “black” until migrated to the United States.   I met and interacted with white people, mostly tourists but in homogenous Tobago, beside the tourist, interactions with white people were limited.   There were a few East Indians I knew, including one that my great aunt married from a very established Tobagonian East Indian  family, who still religiously picks us up from the airport when my family travels to Tobago, which is rather often.

I still find it hilarious whenever I am in Trinidad and Tobago and I see white people, then they begin to talk like Trinidadians.   Talk about cognitive dissonance when I realized that there where white Trinidadians, but then I studied history so the surprise element is no longer present, but when the talk, I still laugh, because I am familiar with America whites.   One of the most famous white Trinis I met was Peter Minshall, when I was about 9 out of sheer curiosity on a beach in Charlotteville.

20 Years Later:   I found myself back in Tobago and working as a journalist.   I covered the THA elections, I did not hear the Calcutta statement because I did not cover that meeting but clearly you can see where I am heading.   Race is socially constructed.    I could not condone the statement and I fell in love with Tobago people as individuals (they are genuinely nice and real as individuals),  but I was not surprised that many did not see the statement as racist.    Most people don’t understand the social construction of race; however, there are people in our twin island Republic the exploits race and use it for political gains.  Social media, which I have integrated in my work,  provides enough clues and evidence for the lack of understanding we have about race and how it is use.   Most tend to just jump on bandwagons.

Whether it is the subtleness of a statement like “get in yuh section” or “don’t let that ship sail,” or “the hostile and recalcitrant minority,”  we must accept that this is the nature of our political and ultimately our social reality.  The two major political parties have used race for political gain and we continue to challenge their respective leaders to raise and not racialize the level of public discourse.

We must brace ourselves for what is to come as the mother all elections descends upon us in 2015.   The bases are getting fired up on both sides and we know that empty barrels are the ones that make the most noise (the party sycophants).    The people of Trinidad and Tobago must hold their leaders accountable but all too often we get caught up in the hysteria and outright madness finding something and someone to be against.

The fact is, our leaders on both sides of the political divide don’t think we are smart enough and until we show them that we are they will continue to use these powerfully social constructions to blur or political and social reality.   It is the age-old strategy of divide and rule.   Even if we were all blue and had curly hair, they will use the fact that someone of us wear glasses and some don’t to divide us.     When Trinidadians and Tobagonians understand these five simple words but complex concept that RACE IS A SOCIAL CONSTRUCT, we will continue down the slippery slope.

In the near future we will address the issue of class as social construction and the blurry lines that exist between race and class and why some people can make some statements and when others can’t.


Let’s build more Zoos and Jails: Our Superficial Reactionary Culture and how the Media Perpetuates it

There is so much I want to say and write about the all that is taking place in the nation’s schools, but the more I think about it, I don’t even believe we have realized how sad the situation is.   First, let me dump my biases on you.  By no means I am a professional journalist, I have worked as one and still having my writings published, but I consider myself more of an educator and social researcher.   Furthermore, the eyes I examine any society with are grounded in principles of critical race theory and social justice where I examine matters of race, class, gender, and other social constructs in society.

I have always has a suspicion that was something superficial about our society.    The media alone reveals this overall image conscious superficiality and their (the media) collective lack of intellect and analytical skills only allows us to skim the surface of the factors that fractures our society.

Since the now viral video surfaced on Facebook last week, I saw it.  It was troubling. In principle, violence should never be condoned, but children are going to get in fights and they do everyday across the world – it is human nature.     Social media has created a world and a society of instant communication and instant gratification.    Needless to say the world has changed and the school yard fights that some of us might have engaged in 20 or 30 years ago, are only memories, but these videos are now forever on internet servers.

The attention is now on our schools and the level of violence.   As I listened to the call in programs, the nation is now talking about it.    In almost every society, the media dictates what the average man on the street talks about.    The fight was not breaking news and even from my home in New York watching the Morning Brew, the muted video was repeated over and over and over and over again.   This is sensationalism quite distant from journalism.   It has highlighted that attention that must be paid to our schools, but I have also believed that Trinidad and Tobago has a reactionary culture, as opposed to a responsive culture.

If we follow the media we are going down the path of demonizing and criminalizing our children.   If we analyze the way this particular story was covered or any other story involving school violence, depending on the type or tier of school, the spin by the media and the reaction of public officials tells a lot about the superficiality of our race and class-conscious society.     The media if intends on serving any future public good it must step back and consider whether or not it encourages a reactionary culture or a responsive culture, one the cares and

They should be suspended.   They were called animals.    They should be arrested.   These are all easy reactions then OK, let us build more jail and zoos.    This was the  reaction whether from public officials or some members of the general public.    The fact is, these are all our children and I doubt it is the water they drink that caused their behavior.   Of course there are many factors that must be addressed from parenting, the need for more guidance counselors and social workers and restorative justice for behavior of this nature. But let’s us ask some questions that the media should explore.

Sidebar.   I read the Guardian this morning (March 20) about Pennelope Beckles-Robinson saying that the media is about bacchanal and not her plans.  PBR is correct.   According to PBR, she said she spoke at length about “her programmes, and policies and spoke for almost an hour-and-a-half about health care, women’s issues, gender, crime, housing and youth employment.” A responsive media will provide appropriate coverage of solution-oriented issues at least to know what Beckles-Robinson is saying because all ideas have merits, (not rash ramblings).   She is making attempt to be responsive, but the reactionary media that often fails to do the research has not time for this.   I would argue it is not time but rather a collective lack of intellect and analytical skills.

The issues that challenge our society require analysis and research for effective solutions and policies. Animalizing, demonizing and criminalizing certain children, especially poor children is an age old blame the victims of systematic oppression.   Where are the resources to effectively treat with these issues.  There is a systematic (deliberately designed plot) to exploit and oppress certain segments of the population.    It is profitable for some,  it sells papers and push up ratings, which brings in the advertising revenues.

Sadly, the collective media and individuals by no means of their own, but out of the sake of making a living, as opposed to their ability to exercise good judgment and utilize their critical thinking skills and become the pawns in perpetuating our superficial and reactionary culture.   I am all for press freedom and no government interference in the media, but our misguided media need to settle down and stop leading and sensationalizing stories and start uncovering the deeper societal problems.


When Children Behave like Hyenas in the African Jungle: Implications of race and social class in schooling in NYC and Trinidad and Tobago

My job allows me visits classrooms in throughout New York City, particularly the Bronx.   My job is to simply go in, observe and then have conversations with the teachers after about their practice.  I thoroughly enjoy it because I try my utmost best to support them in the ways they need to be supported and I do it in a way that wasn’t done for me as teacher.   The teachers that I work with are three Hispanic females, two white females, two white males and one Hispanic male.    They teach mostly Hispanic and black students.

Bear with me, because I am making about point.     One of the Hispanic females and one of the white males share a classroom and some students, so I observed them for two consecutive periods, one after the other.    I can vouch for white male being prepared and there was evidence that the he poured his heart and soul into the lesson plan, and even included some Jay-Z lyrics as a hook for the student.   Needless to say, the lesson quickly went to hell in a hand basket and the students were not ready for instruction that day.    By no means it was the behavior in the viral video that we have seen about Mucurapo West Secondary School, but they were being 8th graders, and I myself would have been unable to complete the lesson.

The teacher and I sat for our debrief conversation, and in my own keep it real good old fashion dose of the truth, I told the teacher my take on what happened, told him I have seen worse and that I know what might be going on in his head, but he is unable to verbalize it – the social reality (jail, teenage pregnancy, dropouts for example) of what these students confront and how their behavior only makes the situation worse.  He turned to me and said, “I like you.”   Later on, the Hispanic female that shares the room and teaches the same students joined the conversation and agreed that today was a off day.   Then we broke the ice.   I asked them both to give me their perspectives as a Latina teaching mostly Latino and Black children and his perspective as a white guy teaching Latino and Black children.     The Latina female told me she uses the fact that she can connect with the students on a cultural level and “doesn’t need a translator” to call home to speak to their Spanish speaking parents.    The white male is married to Latina female and clearly stated, “he teaches here because he wants to teach here,” and trust me, I genuinely believed him and he was not one of those “sympathetic, go easy white teachers because I am afraid of being called racist.”   Trust me, NYC students know how to use the race card when necessary, so teachers are who are different from them are sometimes deliberately easy on them, just not be called racist.  I know, I have heard it from kids, Ms. G is nice but and the last thing any 22-year old white girl from the Midwest wants to be called is a ‘white racist bitch.’     Compared to, Ms. Latina is strict, don’t play with her.

Now, for all you T&T folks this story is important to what I must say now about the remarks of Dr. Rowley who likened the behavior the students in the viral video to “Hyenas in the African Jungle.”   No one condones the behavior of these students and in all regards, the suspension was not the answer, which we will deal with in another article, but let’s talk about political correctness and race.

If someone else other than Dr. Keith Rowley uttered those words, “hyenas in the African Jungle” about black children in the same capacity, on a political platform,  and if that person was not black, imagine the public uproar and outcry of racism that would have been lauded at that person.    What if the current Prime Minister said it? Many would have been quickly able it point it out as a rather racist statement.  Dr. Rowley has to be responsible before he speaks and should have never uttered that remark on the political platform against these children.

Just as much as we don’t like to talk about race and racism in the public schools of New York City because it is uncomfortable and many people choose to take the “color-blind” approach making statements such as, “they are just kids, I don’t see color.”  The do this to avoid confronting the social realities because of their own ignorance and level of comfort.   Black and Latino teachers confront these realities daily and many often teach in a manner that these children are their own children.  In many cases they know that the children of their white colleagues would never experience such a classroom because they will deliberately make the choice of sending their children to another school or certain (specialized high schools) because they live elsewhere or don’t even think about it because it is a matter of privilege.

Dr. Rowley’s statement then is one is about social class because he himself is black.   Would individuals of a “ruling/higher social class” send their children to Mucurapo West Secondary School.  The answer is no, it wont happen.   He had no right to like the behavior of these children to “hyenas in the African Jungle.”   It is simply a classist statement.

In another article we would explore the issue of why suspension of these students was not the correct disciplinary action.  The students only displayed behavior that is evident in the large society.    Think about it and in light of recent history, if you can attempt to overthrow the government of Trinidad and Tobago and there are no consequences, these kids are just the product of lawless society where you can even commit high treason and get away with it.    We just happen to live in a world where this schoolyard altercation was on mobile device,  posted on the internet and went viral.   Now, we with our collective hypocrisy we want to condemn and punish what we have always condoned.