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Video - Georges: Show Cancellation A Blow To Bridging Cultural Gap

THE VIDEO IS AT THE BOTTOM OF THE STORY

By AVA TURNQUEST

Tribune Chief Reporter

aturnquest@tribunemedia.net

THE cancellation of the Haitian Bahamian talk show The Kreyol Connection has delivered a critical blow to efforts at “bridging the gap” between the two cultures, according to its host Louby Georges.

Mr Georges, and his co-host Leyvon Miller, reflected on the show’s nearly two-year run and underscored the importance of media representation for the Haitian migrant community and Bahamians of Haitian descent during an interview with The Tribune.

“We’ve had Kreyol programming in this country for 14 years consecutively,” Mr Georges said, “so speaking Kreyol is nothing new on our airwaves. But the idea of bringing the two communities together and having a programme where we speak both languages, that is new and we were the only ones doing it, and nobody else is doing it now. So there is a void.”

Mr Georges said: “Before The Kreyol Konnection, where were you hearing the stories of the passionate Bahamians of Haitian descent who are doctors, lawyers, police officers, who have come on the show and said ‘hey I am a police officer, and I am a Bahamian of Haitian descent. I serve my country proudly and I just wanted to present myself so that the hopeless, the ones who seem to be hopeless amongst us, like the little kid growing up in the shanty town right now to Haitian parents’.

“He probably feels hopeless but if he knows or see that there are successful professionals who grew up in a shanty town also but made it out then that gives him motivation and inspiration. Where else are you going to find that?”

The show was dropped from the Guardian Talk Radio line-up last month amid an investigation by the Utilities Regulation and Competition Authority (URCA) into comments made on the show by lawyer Fred Smith.

Mr Smith has maintained that none of the comments made on the show were inflammatory; however, Foreign Affairs and Immigration Minister Fred Mitchell said the government had asked URCA to investigate and that the Office of the Attorney General was also advising the government on the matter. The comments in question have not been specified, and the recording of the show is no longer available on Guardian Talk Radio’s website.

“I got a call from the General Manager,” Mr Georges said. “I went to his office, he said bad news, effective immediately, sorry the Kreyol Konnection has been cancelled, and that’s all he said to me.

“No warning, there was no verbal or written warning or notices nothing. If I was too loud, tell me to pipe down a bit, if we were going to hard at the government and you wanted us to ease up then warn us.”

Mr Georges said: “If it was strictly a business move in that regards I respect it, the only thing that I don’t like is that there was no warning, notice or proper explanation. I respect the company and I thank them for the opportunity to have hosted the show for that long. We made history.”

Mr Georges said that when he requested an explanation a few days later, he was told that the show lacked diversity and had presented a one-sided view on immigration matters.

“If they say that the show was too myopic, I have to differ with that,” Mr Miller said.

“We’ve discussed anything from Bahamians’ opinion on Carnival; I actually had Cedric Munnings in, a seasoned entertainer who has represented The Bahamas since the 50s.

“I’ve had Wendy Lewis talking about a fusion of the koompa and zook music with rake ‘n scrape and folk music and if there is a possibility of those two collaborations coming together to make something great, which is where reggae came from - a mix of different genres.”

Mr Miller said: “There were also stories of people like Natanya Pierre, who has a scholarship to go away, who was allowed to go the US on some sort of pre-clearance letter given to her by the Bahamas government for her to go and compete internationally and bring home a bronze for The Bahamas.

“Yet when she receives her scholarship from the university there is an issue of whether she is going to be able to leave the Bahamas and if she leaves what exactly is she going to be leaving as, what is her status going to be? So its hampered her education.”

In his intervention on the Immigration (Amendment) Bill 2015 last week, Mr Mitchell pointed out that people that would benefit from the new legislation are hurt by the opposition and political agenda of its critics. He referenced a post Mr Georges wrote on social media that was translated from Kreyol into English.

Mr Mitchell said: “Louby Georges’ post on social media, wrote in Kreyol: ‘To Haitian children do not vote PLP and start a revolution’.”

Last week, Mr Mitchell said he had no comment on the show’s cancellation. He explained that it was unclear what sort of revolution Mr Georges’ intended and that the reference in his speech was only meant to illustrate political agenda.

Mr Georges remarked that Mr Mitchell declined numerous invitations to speak on the show, and to speak directly to listeners to clear up widespread confusion over the new policy. He suggested that inadequate outreach led the Haitian community to seek international assistance.

“I was shaking this man’s hand,” Mr Georges said, “and he looked me in my eye and told me he is not coming on the show. He told me that it is a very emotive time and there was too much talk going around and, frankly, he had spoken enough.”

“The immigration problem 40 years ago has created what I dub the new Bahamas or the new Bahamian,” Mr Miller added. “As a country as young as The Bahamas, I think we want to be creating new culture as we move forward. What we cannot do is decide that we’re going to take a scalpel and cut this 40 years out as if it never existed and believe that we’re going to be able to succeed like that. We have to find a way to make that a part of us.”

• This story originally stated that the Kreyol Connection was broadcast on ZSR 103.5; however, its hosts appeared as guests on another talk show.

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Comments

licks2 5 years, 7 months ago

I knew that mr georges show was doomed for the trash heap of radio talk shows. For one thing, he has very little flexibility in his thinking to allow for a balanced dialogue and his knowledge base is too little for the size of his mouth!

I knew when he took on Fred Mitchell. . .one of the biggest eggheads in this nation he was going to be in for a big intellectual cut hip from fred!!!

And yes, I believe that a show like KK is needed. . .but mr georges is not suitable for its host. . .he is just too "not" for that kind of delicate work!

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wearedone 5 years, 7 months ago

If you can't beat them, censor them. What a cowardly move. Most people won't care because of the nature of the show but this is a bad sign for everyone. Go against the government and they will shut you down. We must take a stand against this government.

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thomas 5 years, 7 months ago

Go ahead, take a stand against the gov't of this country by leaving.

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GrassRoot 5 years, 7 months ago

U Sound like a russian. But this ain't russia. We r supposed to be a democracy with free speech instead we r an oligarchy that does everything to dumb down the people w cheap booze unhealthy food and lack of education and suppression of thinking. I guess I am not a fan of Georges and his inflammatory way but if he gets shut down there's others that need to be shut down too. For the sake of all of our mental health

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thomas 5 years, 7 months ago

A Russian in Russia with all the rights and privileges that come with it. Not a brazen Bahamian who moved to Russia with my own agenda trying to incite a revolt.

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ispeakthetruth 5 years, 7 months ago

Maybe he should take his show to Haiti and see how talk about a revolt against the government plays out there. There is nothing unifying, or inclusive, about that show, it's host, Fred Smith or the Haitian community.

By the way, it was the guardian that shut him down, not the government. This came prior to Mitchell's complaint on behalf on many Bahamians, over a particularly divisive and inciting (not bridging) episode of his show.

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ThisIsOurs 5 years, 7 months ago

A bridge is needed but that particular show was pure oil on smoldering fire

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ispeakthetruth 5 years, 7 months ago

Evolution, Mr. Miller, is something that happens naturally. The invasion of the much larger Haitian population to a much smaller nation, many illegal is not that. It more closely resembles a hostile takeover. Because ultimately, your population through illegal immigration and fast paced reproduction, will ultimately dominate. The Bahamas is way too small, population wise, to absorb another culture without losing its own. But I think you know that. So who are you kidding with that evolution of culture nonsense? Who said the Bahamas was looking to evolve culturally, at the cost of our economy and limited resources?

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Stapedius 5 years, 7 months ago

So true. @ Thisisours. The show could very well have done more to bring people together. In the face of an ongoing immigration challenge the hosts took a stance which appeared anti-Bahamian. That perhaps was not his intention, nevertheless it came across that way to many Bahamians. The other challenge it created was an uncertainty in the loyalty many Haitians in the country have for the country. We have a constitution which is not being taught in our schools. There is no knowledge or teaching of what a Bahamian should be. Yet we make the case for Creole to be taught in school. What a silly approach to commanding the respect for our system of governance and culture. I say civics courses should be mandatory teaching the constitution of this country. You cannot say you're Bahamian and your loyalty to another nation leads you to encourage circumvention or outright breaking of Bahamian laws. We must be our brothers keeper but, when your brother shows ingratitude and a new found contempt for you it must be checked.

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BahamaPundit 5 years, 7 months ago

I for one am very pleased this radio show has been cancelled. It was very oppressive to turn on the radio during prime listening hours and hear creol pouring out of my speakers. The people on the show seemed so arrogant and one sided in their views. It was very insulting to the intelligence of the listener, because they presumed their audience to have as deep a hatred for the Bahamas Government as they did. There is nothing beautiful about illegal acts; if you put lipstick on a pig it's still a pig -- illegal immigration is a horrific crime perpetrated on the citizens of the Bahamas. The Haitian issue is very clear to most of us -- we do not wish for our kingdom to be overthrown. A long time ago, Haitians would have attempted to overthrow the Bahamas by force. Their milateristic plan to occupy the Bahamas made clear. Today, they are still using violent force to overthrow us, but the violence is inchoate. It takes the form of illegal immigration and mass reproduction. I would be honest with the Haitians that seek to conquer -- we will not be overthrown quietly. We will not allow you to organize ranks on a national broadcast. Thank God that show has finally been removed and shame on Guardian Radio for allowing it to bombard and harass our lives for so long.

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SP 5 years, 7 months ago

..................... No Kreyol Connection Or Bridging Cultural Gaps Wanted ....................

Louby Georges and Fred Smiths consistent attempts at trying to force their agenda of the Haitianizatian of Bahamas on Bahamians is truly unacceptable and detestable to REAL Bahamians.

Bahamas and Bahamians have done and sacrificed more to help Haitians per capita in 60+ years than any other country.

They showed their appreciation by consciously, purposefully, infiltrating and undermining education, health care, police, social services, customs, immigration, commerce and the civil service.

Haitians have proven beyond all doubt to be vicious parasitic people on the backs of unsuspecting, kind hearted Bahamians.

Haitians lost favor with Bahamians forever when they exposed their secret agenda to overthrow Bahamas by dragging Bahamas flag behind their cars and declaring conquest, by proudly flying their flags throughout the Capital.

As a Bahamian, I strongly feel Haitians are the natural enemy of Bahamas with their now very apparent and admitted agenda to flood Bahamas with Haitians simply overwhelming and outnumbering Bahamians and taking over by revolution.

Louby Georges, Fred Smith and countless other paper Haitian-Bahamians in sensitive positions throughout our country obviously have been working assiduously on the takeover agenda for decades.

Government must now finally accept that Haitians declared war and takeover of Bahamas decades ago.....And must now respond accordingly.

Firstly, take away the major incentive for these Haitian invaders by changing citizenship laws in the Constitution similar to that of Bermuda, i.e. a paper Bahamian citizen will never be illegible to vote or get involved in politics.

Review Bermuda Citizenship Laws:...... http://www.bermuda-online.org/citizen...">http://www.bermuda-online.org/citizen...

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Girly 5 years, 7 months ago

So tell me something Which Bahamian in this Commonwealth of The Bahamas have ever asked these Haitian descent talk show hosts for an introduction to Haitian culture to be "INVADED" into our atmosphere. These people are indeed the most weirdest, strangest people to mankind that I have ever encountered. Firstly the majority of them came here illegally, then they have massive amount of babies, use up a countries resources ,do not want to abide by the laws of the land kick the citizens where the sun don't shine and then want to start a revolution in another man's land. What kind of flicking heresy is this? They really think this is Haiti where they got independence by doing away with their masters. LOOK HERE Bahamians are a different type and very peculiar people. When you think you taking two steps forward with us you have already taken 50 steps backward. We are not the one's to try and deceive. You are sadly mistaken. Our government needs to take a look at those many facebook pages and they will see a lot of revolutions trying to take place. But ya can bet ya bottom dollar the BAHAMAS is not the place to try to do this. You WILL NOT SUCCEED.

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duppyVAT 5 years, 7 months ago

HOW MANY BAHAMIAN SHOWS ARE ON HAITIAN RADIO STATIONS IN HAITI OR FLORIDA????????????

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birdiestrachan 5 years, 7 months ago

Mr": Georges can not really expect that boat loads of Haitians should continue to come to the Bahamas illegally, they will outnumber Bahamians very soon. He claims he is a Haitian Bahamian but so far he has shown no love for the Bahamas. HIs love is with Haiti and the Haitian people. The Bahamas is already overburden with illegals, Miller has a Bahamian name but he must also be a Haitian Bahamian. Each and every Country has a right to make their Laws. and they are to be obeyed, but Georges and Fred Smith would like to have a Haitian Party in the Bahamas. The illegals are all ready costing the Bahamas to much we need our money to help our brothers and sister in the family Islands

When Georges talks about a Haitian Revolution in the Bahamas is he talking about a revolution like the one in 1791 -1804 It is my guess that it is exactly what he wants.

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