EDITOR, The Tribune.
I read the papers and the social medias and find myself in a quandary as to why the present Prime Minister and another previous nominee for the Civil Right Walk of Fame was being honoured. I decided that I would look for the definition of civil rights.
Wikipedia defined civil rights as the ensuring of people’s physical and mental integrity, life and safety; protection from discrimination on grounds such as race, gender, national origin, colour, sexual orientation, ethnicity, religion, or disability; and individual rights such as privacy, the freedoms of thought and conscience, speech and expression, religion, the press, assembly and movement. I daresay that using only two issues, crime and poverty, in this country limits and/or restricts access to many of these rights. The political directorate ensures that any others that are left are infringed upon based on your affiliations. Even many of the church engage in various practices that leave one to wonder where is the common unity. These and other issues that the leaders of this country have failed to address forecloses any from receiving any award or accolade in the civil rights field.
The Trumpet Awards named the International Walk of fame after Martin Luther King Jr., my fraternity brother. Mr King spoke, lived and preached a Socratic and prophetic message as to the conditions of the United States and its relation to the world during his time. If his words and life was to be applied analogically to our GREAT little country, the Commonwealth of the Bahamas, it would shock us to believe that he is speaking directly to ourselves. If our so-called leaders would only “listen” rather than just “hear” what he was saying then we would have some of the dinosaurs (politically blind politicians and preachers) transform their desire for power to the desire for greatness.
I ask you Bahamian Leaders, what would your true legacy in history be written as? I will tell you right now that some will be remembered for their successes. The problem with that is there will be others that will come after you and those short memories will become nothing more than a footnote in the pages of history. The great leaders will be remembered for their “GREATNESS” and not just their successes. Very few can speak of the successes of the over four hundred politicians and a larger number of pastors this country has had since the so-called majority rule. But for the ones that are still remembered, the nation speaks of the greatness they exhibited in their lives.
Martin Luther King was not the first civil rights leader, but achieved greatness because of his desire for change. Mother Theresa was not the first nun, but she achieved greatness because of her compassion for change in the conditions of others. I can go on with Gandhi and other civil rights leaders that have left full pages in the annuals of history and the book called Time that can never be regulated to just a footnote at the bottom of a page. What am I getting at with this letter? I challenge you, Mr. Roberts as the Chairman of the Progressive Liberal Party, and Mr. Cash of the Free National Movement to converge a “Committee”, since the present Prime Minister loves them so dearly, to come together and put forth a plan for this country’s Economic and Social growth.
We have achieved the political victory forty plus years ago from our colonial masters and have spent far too much time fighting for the spoils. Let Bahamians unite and grow this country so we can fight for GREATER things than the right to vote and intermingle with our former and present oppressors.
This not only applies to the so-called leaders, but to the average citizen to let go of the differences of opinion and unite these differences for our growth, remembering that it is not success that we should strive for but GREATNESS. Let go of the pomp and pageantry of awards and titles that have truly not been earned and lead from the front and not from behind.
First of All, Servants of All, We Shall Transcend All.
RABBI COMMON ZENSE
Freeport, Grand Bahama,
January 29, 2014.