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Campbell Rounds On Mitchell Over Haitian Heritage

Frankie Campbell

Frankie Campbell

By Khrisna Russell

TRANSPORT and Local Government Minister Frankie Campbell suggested yesterday his post in Cabinet as someone with Haitian heritage has had no bearing on the influx of illegal migrants from Haiti coming into The Bahamas.

“Haitians have been coming here for years,” the Southern Shores MP said when he was asked to respond to comments made by Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) Chairman Fred Mitchell who suggested Mr Campbell’s descent had something to do with migrants flocking to the capital.

“If there is a suggestion that Frankie Campbell being in the Cabinet has caused that, could it be inferred that there were other persons in the Cabinet before who were of Haitian descent who might have caused it in the past?”

Meanwhile, Attorney General Carl Bethel blasted Mr Mitchell for the comments saying they were “insulting and egregious”.

Mr Campbell has said in Parliament that his heritage, although he was ridiculed for it as a child, includes being born in the Bahamas to a Haitian mother and is an aspect of his life that he is not ashamed of.

“Notwithstanding (that) I am satisfied that the prime minister of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas has appointed Cabinet ministers to do the work of the people,” Mr Campbell said later in his interview with reporters outside of Cabinet yesterday morning.

“I have just reported to you the work that I am doing on behalf of the people at the General Post Office, the work that I am doing on behalf of the people throughout the Family Islands trying to ensure that the mail boat services are up to par and so I just want to say to whoever thinks that these small things are going to be used as a distraction they need to find something else.”

On Tuesday, the Nassau Guardian reported Mr Mitchell as saying the Minnis administration is being perceived as being soft on illegal migration because one of its ministers was not only a product of this source, but has acted as liaison between the Haitian community and the Free National Movement.

He added this signalled to Haitians that once the FNM was elected to office, the enforcement side of dealing with illegal migrants would ease.

The former immigration minister made the comments on the same day a Haitian sloop landed in southwest New Providence. This came just weeks after another Haitian sloop landed undetected in Adelaide Village.

Although Mitchell did not name Mr Campbell during his comments, it was perceived to be a reference to the minister.

Comments

John 1 year, 8 months ago

Why do all persons of Haitian lineage hate on each other , especially the men, ok males..who have to challenge each other on all fronts (ok another bad choice of words).

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CatIslandBoy 1 year, 8 months ago

I guess Mitchell has to prove that he is not Bradley Roberts lite. When he has nothing to add to the political discourse, Mitchell just invents stuff in his head - a dangerous individual!

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VDSheep 1 year, 8 months ago

The Haitian people historically are a great people ‘ we had many of them contributing to the fight for equal rights in the Bahamas! However ‘ today - there are too many Haitians coming to the country illegally. Still ‘ they are not the only ones coming here illegally today.

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ThisIsOurs 1 year, 8 months ago

"Frankie Campbell suggested yesterday his post in Cabinet as someone with Haitian heritage has had no bearing on the influx of illegal migrants from Haiti coming into The Bahamas."

But that is not what Mitchell said. Mitchell said the "signal" sent was, "its ok to come now". He did not say they weren't coming before or that Campbell was the reason for them coming. I think Mitchell is right on that one, that visit to the church, translating for Dr Minnis, clearly THAT was meant to send the message, "hey, look, one of you is next to the PM now." There was no other reason to do it. I'm sure the church had translators. It was another shortsighted, this will be great PR faux pas.

TheHaitian community and the residents of the inner city have been used and abused by politicians for years. The politicians need these people uneducated and poor so that they have a ready constituency of votes in exchange for chicken and beer and if the people lucky a tshirt and some money.

I remember someone telling me a story of a Bain town resident who was adamant that he was voting for the plp before the 2012 election, his reasoning, "een no one ever give me nuttin, but when I went to the plp rally, I had all the chicken I could eat". Sad.

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Tarzan 1 year, 8 months ago

Mitchell is a nasty, racist, xenophobe and an empty suit. All of us have a heritage and we can do nothing about that. Mr. Mitchell is a tireless advocate for "reparations" over the evils of slavery as well. In light of the current findings on our Prime Minister's heritage, I wonder if dear Fred thinks Dr. Minnis should be paying reparations to himself? While we cannot change our heritage, we can pick our friends and mentors. Fred chose Castro's Cuba as his model democracy. 'Nuff said, I think.

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actusreus 1 year, 8 months ago

Doesn't Mitchell have Haitian roots himself?

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