The country has once again been inextricably caught up in another devastating and heart-wrenching story about another one of its daughters – Mickolle Moulton – whose life was cruelly cut short.
It is unfortunate that along with the media circus currently culminating around the mother and the community in which she resided, the residents within that community seem largely upset at the fact that, according to certain media outlets, Moulton was murdered because she refused sexual advances from a male within the Arnett Gardens community.
Whether or not these reports are true, it is definitely disturbing to witness a group of individuals, in particular women, choosing to protect the image of their community rather than to uphold justice for the young lady who had such a bright future. So much so, that in Tuesday night's Television Jamaica interview with a certain woman in the community, her response was, “I live alone, mi know me look good, so why nobody never kick off my door yet.”
In moving away from those obviously distasteful and ignorant choice of words, there is a small window of sympathy for the residents of Zimbabwe, Arnett Gardens, that they wish not to have their community highlighted in such a negative light.
Unfair is unfair, and we all know hearsay can take on a life of its own in this island. And, for many Jamaicans the only court or ruling that matters is the court of public opinion and the ruling that that court hands down.
However, Mickolle's death and her 12-year-old sister's subsequent injury, ought to, and does in fact take precedence. Reputations are almost entirely conceptual, human life is not.
In addition to this, given the information reported, it would be somewhat unfathomable to think that a male individual would come from outside of the community at 4 o'clock in the morning just to purposely target two innocent teenage girls.
As sketchy as that scenario sounds, and of course unlikely, we must not however be caught up in the speculation surrounding her death but come to a realisation that our country is in dire need of an intervention.
It cannot be that a girl with such a bright future, awaiting her CXC results and a prospect for Head Girl at her school, must be gunned down, whatever the reason, as there is no reason that should satisfy any of us.
Mickolle represents the nation's children who are currently caught up in a time of violence and death which continues to plague our nation and threaten to infiltrate our lives, stemming fear and reducing productivity. We should definitely find out who the perpetrators of her death are and put them to justice but the people of Arnett Gardens should quit spending time trying to defend their community and stop continuing the culture of silence and false loyalty.
Whether it was revenge for her refusal to provide the power/s that be with sexual favours, the fact that she lived in an area infamous for violence and unrest, or whatever else; every TEEN and child, at the very least, deserves to sleep peacefully at night.
As we dream lofty dreams individually and chase after achievement and development nationally there are some things we cannot leave behind.
We must all continue to hope for and work together relentlessly to create a safer Jamaica; a safe place to live, play, dream and sleep.
The teenAGE family continues to pray for Mickolle's mother and other relatives.