Today’s Editorial October 05: An act of humanity

Last week local artist Joseph Betty, also known as Gumba, had a silent protest in Heroes Square in George Town to condemn the increase in gun crime in the Cayman Islands.

Quoting from Ghandi, Gumba held two signs stating ‘An eye for eye will leave the world blind’.

Mr. Betty should be commended for his protest, something that seemed to strike a chord with many Cayman Islands residents, whether Caymanian or expatriate.

Across Heroes Square in the Courthouse last week, only a few steps away from where Gumba held his protest, something else happened which embodied the concept espoused by the artist.

In court, a letter from the husband of Shaney Kol was read into evidence in the sentencing hearing of the man responsible for his wife’s death. Mrs. Kol was killed in an auto accident on the Esterley Tibbetts Highway in November 2007.

Mr. Kol said the ramifications of his wife’s death on his life and that of his two small children was beyond his ability to articulate.

Despite this, Mr. Kol asked the court to be merciful on the driver of the vehicle that ran head-on into his wife’s car. He did this because the man has a sick wife confined to a wheelchair and he’s the sole caretaker and breadwinner for her and seven children.

Mr. Kol recognised that the man did not mean to hurt his wife and he accepted that no amount of punishment would bring his wife back.

Saying that no good could come from the imposition of a custodial sentence, Mr. Kol said justice would be for the man to devote himself to the earnest caring of his wife.

In these us-versus-them times where anger and even hatred is raising an ugly head in the Cayman Islands, a foreign man – in whom this country could only hold horrible memories – reminded us all what a real act of humanity looks like. God bless you, Mr. Kol.