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Attorney Apologises For Calling Bahamians ‘Hateful’

photo

Fred Smith

By RASHAD ROLLE

Tribune Staff Reporter

rrolle@tribunemedia.net

ATTORNEY Fred Smith, QC, apologised on Sunday for saying Bahamians are “hateful” towards foreigners and for describing the country as “very racist” during a private meeting of the Coral Beach Condominium Association in Grand Bahama.

Foreign Affairs and Immigration Minister Fred Mitchell, who has long engaged in a public war-of-words with Mr Smith, revealed Mr Smith’s statements during a House of Assembly session last week, calling them “hateful, deceitful, ungrateful, dishonest and unpatriotic.”

In an audio clip of the meeting which circulated last week, Mr Smith told the crowd of foreign condo owners: “It’s a very difficult environment to live in. You’re all white for the most part and it’s a big problem for a lot of the black Bahamians that you’re down here. Believe it or not, they want your money, they want you to spend it, but they don’t like you.

“The fact is that The Bahamas is a very racist, very xenophobic, nationally insecure and a very hateful place to foreigners.”

In a statement to The Tribune over the weekend, Mr Smith said his comments “sounded horrible towards black Bahamians” when “taken in isolation.”

“However, those who know me know that I do not have a bone of hate or discrimination in my body,” he said. “I do not like my feelings being hurt. Very dear friends have reached out to me and have expressed their hurt. In addition, I do not want to hurt anybody else’s feelings. In addition, for my offence to my fellow human beings I humbly and respectfully apologise. I would not want to hurt a soul.

“I am no stranger to racism and discrimination. My experiences are the genesis of my vocation as a defender of human rights. Growing up in Haiti as a foreigner, in an Arabic environment we were discriminated against.

“When, in my early teens I lived in Nassau and went to Saint Thomas More, Xavier’s College and St Augustine’s College, I was discriminated against by many as being Haitian simply because I spoke fluent Creole.”

He added: “In 1967, I was sent off to an all-white, all English, all boys, all aristocratic boarding school. Discrimination was rampant in England in the 1960s and ‘70s. I was beaten down as a wog, a nr, a Paki, a coon, a blacky, a Brillo pad head and for being Bahamian. Therefore I am deeply sorry that I have caused offence to black Bahamians.”

Nonetheless, Mr Smith accused Mr Mitchell of taking his words out of context.

He said his comments were not relative to “all black Bahamians,” but rather a “specific group of black Bahamians intent upon victimising a specific group of foreign residents who are white.”

The condominium community in Coral Beach, Freeport has long been a source of controversy.

To Mr Smith, the genesis of the controversy lies in the alleged failure of Bahamian condominium owners to pay their maintenance and power bills.

Mr Smith said these Bahamians have tried to “undermine and remove the current board of directors led by (Canadian) Bruno Rufa, who has for many years been successfully cleaning up Coral Beach and put it on a sound financial footing for all of the owners, including the Bahamian ones.

“Regrettably, this group of Bahamians have used their political, immigration and police contacts to cause trouble for the board of directors and have obstructed the proper management of the affairs of the Coral Beach,” Mr Smith said. “Unfortunately, the Freeport Immigration Department and Minister Mitchell have allowed themselves to be used by this group. They have caused great disruption to a peaceful and harmonious community at Coral Beach.”

Mr Smith said he is not “anti-Black” or “anti-Bahamian.”

“I am a proud Bahamian,” he said. “I love my Bahamas. I have never and do not have another passport. I have nowhere else to go. I constantly strive to make our Bahamas better.”

Mr Smith also accused Mr Mitchell of misleading the public when he referred to him in Parliament as a “naturalised Bahamian” who has been “given shelter in this country.”

Mr Smith said his father was born in Andros and his mother in Jordan.

As British subjects, they lived in Haiti.

“So, even though I was born in Haiti, I was born a British subject, like Fred Mitchell,” he said. “Based on our Constitution, like all Bahamian citizens born before 1973, on July 10, 1973, I became a Bahamian citizen, just like Fred Mitchell. No ifs, ands or buts about it.”

Mr Smith represents Canadian citizen Bruno Rufa, a homeowner at the Coral Beach Condominium Association, who has been accused of working in the Bahamas illegally.

Comments

jackbnimble 3 years, 10 months ago

I think he said what he meant and meant what he said. Just didn't expect to be recorded in this wonderful age of technology where people have smartphones and record everything!

He purports to be a human rights activist but he's just as racist as the people he's constantly squeaking against.

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quietone 3 years, 10 months ago

If we black Bahamians hate white foreigners so much as Mr Smith has said, can someone please tell us why in the blue blazes the white foreigners continue to visit the Bahamas and to work here!!!???

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banker 3 years, 10 months ago

Tax free money and inflated "hardship" salaries that they couldn't make back home.

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Stapedius 3 years, 10 months ago

Banker you hit the nail on the head. Salaries they could not make back home and nonsense that they could not get away with. I'm so sick of this back and forth between him and Fred Mitchell. Just grow up already.

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Porcupine 3 years, 10 months ago

Having lived and worked in The Bahamas for over a decade, Mr. Smith was correct about what he said. I am white, married to a black Bahamian. I was told when faced with some of these issues myself, that I shouldn't take it too hard because The Bahamians are worse to each other than they are to foreigners (whites). This has proven to be true, as evidenced daily by the murder rate, crime rate, behaviour and statements made by most Bahamian politicians. That Mr. Mitchell would chastise Mr. Smith is laughable, as I have listened to the bleating by this jokey fool for too long now. Mr. Mitchell, in his official capacity, has done more harm to this country than anyone alive. What does this say about the Bahamas? Perhaps, if Bahamians were interested in improving their country they would start reading and educating themselves. How long would a thug such as Fred Mitchell last in an educated and enlightened country? 5 seconds, at the most. Mr. Smith had the courage to apologize. Can you imagine Mr. Mitchell having the fortitude to apologize? I can't.

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Gadfly 3 years, 10 months ago

Is it not amazing how in 10 years you have become an expert on the Bahamas, our people, our politics, our mores, norms, values and our way of life. I don't know you and thus will not make stereotypical generalizations about all white persons that come here to live as unfortunately you have done about Bahamians. However, contrary to your belief we are not all murderers and criminals and some of us can even read and have college degrees. At this point I feel it also necessary to remind you that you are a guest in this country and as much as you or I may dislike Mr. Mitchell's politics or worldview, you have absolutely no right to call him a thug. Such behavior is despicable and if it is any reflection on your normal behavior or attitude then one may begin to gain some insight as to why Bahamians may respond to you in the manner in which you describe. Finally you did mention your country home country but I am hoping it is not the USA where you educated and enlightened Americans just elected the crotch grabber (By his own admission) to be your President.

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My2cents 3 years, 10 months ago

What's really laughable is that you choose to accept hearsay as a valid reason for not being liked, when in reality it could be your personality or know-it-all persona that people actually dislike. The arrogance and condescension in your post speaks volumes about you. Crime and the other points you referenced are not logical justifications for what you claim...those are usually the consequences of life in an overcrowded, high poverty environment with limited resources. Mr. Smith apologized, as he should, because he was wrong and his comments were in fact, racist and like you, he has no actual proof of the nonsense he claimed.

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licks2 3 years, 10 months ago

There ya go. . .whites tend to come here with noses in the air. . .and they een all that. . .AND ON TOP OF THAT AND. . .WE HAVE WHITE PEOPLES DEM WHO ARE BAHAMIANS. . .WE HATE DEM TOO? Or just yinna who come here? they mussie know by now that the lawyer een making no sense aye? If we hate all yinna white peoples dem. . . why we een hating our own white Bahamians dem. . .maybe tis them whites who coming here "acting" like they own we place and we are second class citizens. . .the people don't like some of them for that! That attitude may have served them well in the USA. . .and few other places!

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BMW 3 years, 10 months ago

licks2, I am a white Bahamian who on many occasions because of my skin color perceived to be foreign by uneducated, brainwashed Bahamians! Whats worse is growing up here as a kid there was none of this bs about black and white, to me it all started when slop stated spewing his bs. This is still being carried by the likes of ballsless fweddy who on a public stage with the world watching carries on like a jackass!!! To you fweddy at least the QC has a set of balls!

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TalRussell 3 years, 10 months ago

Comrades! If you were given the opportunity of advising the prime minister (and, the PM haven’t asked me), what special instructions would you offer for the PM to do about "King's Counsel" Freddy, if anything?

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birdiestrachan 3 years, 10 months ago

Mr: Smith has expressed what he has always felt and said about US as Bahamians. He has always done everything he can to show his deep hatred of the Bahamas and its people. And he has tried to do everything he can to hurt the Bahamas and its people, it is nothing new. But he has been caught on tape. So now everyone knows . It is to bad that Joe for a bowl of porridge has helped him along the way. It is one of the reasons he takes the Bahamas to international agencies to hurt our Country. But it is all right, we know he has no love for the Bahamas. His hatred runs deep

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banker 3 years, 10 months ago

Somewhere out there is a tree, tirelessly producing oxygen so you can breathe. I think you owe it an apology.

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sheeprunner12 3 years, 10 months ago

Yep ........... Fred Mitchell is an insecure black racist .......... a danger to the 85%

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birdiestrachan 3 years, 10 months ago

Norman it is to bad that you a educated and an enlightened human being chooses to, live and work in a Country among people who fall so short of your ideals. Perhaps it is your attitude that causes the Bahamian reaction to you. shall we start with your superior attitude. Some how you are better than we are. but it is only in your dreams. it is to bad for your black wife.

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Porcupine 3 years, 10 months ago

Birdie,

If you traveled somewhere other than from Wendy's to your home you would see what others see. And, try working on your grammar.

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OldFort2012 3 years, 10 months ago

Let's actually analyze what he said and I quote: " Believe it or not, they want your money, they want you to spend it, but they don’t like you. " Anyone disagree?

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TalRussell 3 years, 10 months ago

Comrade, you need re nasalize the King's Counsel words and sniff them up to ya brain through nostrils - slowly... and, try not make too many KC sounds.

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licks2 3 years, 10 months ago

I do. . .and if you agree with what he did you can just rest. . .LOOK IN THE MIRROW. . .THATS WHAT THE FACE OF A RACIST LOOKS LIKE!! AND NEXT TIME BE HONNSET. . .HE DISTINCTLY TOLD THEM THAT THEY HATE WHITES . . .NOT PEOPLE IN GENERAL. . .BUT WHITE PEOPLE!

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Publius 3 years, 10 months ago

There can never be an honest discussion about the complexities of race on all sides and the sides in-between, so I shall just move on from this one now.

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licks2 3 years, 10 months ago

Yea. . .I think that I will join you with this one. . .race is not a good subject to discuss. . .I will just watch this one!

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John 3 years, 10 months ago

what is the difference between a racist and a jackass: one is slow to move and the other is moved by color.

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seagrape 3 years, 10 months ago

jackbnimble, for your information, at the beginning of the meeting, it was announced that the meeting would be recorded and a copy would be sent to all condo owners who did not attend the meeting, so Fred Smith was quite aware of the recording. Maybe he lost it because Coral Beach Owners finally stood up to Bruno Rufa and kicked him out as president of the association. Fred Smith threatened to sue the owners if the New Board does not pay the outstanding one million dollars legal fees to calendars for Bruno Rufa's criminal and Immigration matters. Maybe he did not take his medication before attending the meeting. he claimed he didn't bill the one million as yet, because he didn't want Coral Beach to go bankrupt. In my opinion, this was an attempt by Fred Smith and Bruno Rufa's Board to hide the one million dollars billing until after the elections in February, But they were caught and Bruno and his entire Board was kicked out. The owners should Fire Fred Smith and report him to the Bahamas bar Association for breach of trust.

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Maynergy 3 years, 10 months ago

Dearly Beloved U did not ask me what’s my opinion on anything. True. Just hear me out this time my brothers and sisters. The word I would like U to think about is STEWARDSHIP: I submit that the stewardship of this nation i.e. The Commonwealth of the Bahamas as a people has been compromised when our land, dignity, national symbols, properties are given or sold to anyone who has no historical, social, language, habits, manners and religion as we do. Do U think our present day leaders or government can be called “Xenophile”? I certainly believe this is the case at this juncture in the history of this nation and people.

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steplight 3 years, 10 months ago

From the Haitian constitution of 1805:Article No. 12- “No white person, of whatever nationality, may set foot upon this territory as a land owner or master, nor may such persons in future acquire any property whatsoever.”Article No. 13- “The preceding article does not apply to white women who have been naturalized by the government, nor to their eventual offspring. The provisions of this article also include those of Polish and German birth whom the government has naturalized. (p. 136)

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paul_vincent_zecchino 3 years, 10 months ago

"It gives me great pleasure to say that I have ruled Haiti for fourteen years without white people." - Francois X. 'Papa Doc' Duvalier, M.D. "President for Life, Republic of Haiti", interview ca. 1970

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birdiestrachan 3 years, 10 months ago

There you go again Norman, I am so sorry for your black wife, Does he really like Wendys?? I doubt, You have a black wife.

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paul_vincent_zecchino 3 years, 10 months ago

Norman sounds as if he's pulling our legs, doesn't he?

Agree, it's doubtful he has a black wife, maybe no wife at all white, black, or green.

His posts are overblown, they don't ring true.

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Maynergy 3 years, 10 months ago

O.k U was right. I was wrong Fellow comrade the P.M speech did not outline an agenda that focus on Infrastructure development, Fixed Asset proposals, island-wide transportation projections, national security or anything for that matter on: Trade policy understood and outlined with Caribbean countries/ South America / Asia/ European Union/ Africa/ USA/ Eastern European countries. Imagine Bahamas beyond 2017 and beyond with a patriotic nationalist government that set up and establishes a functional people oriented regime with the following for the betterment of the people: a) S.O.R.S (Strategic Oil Reserve Supply) To minimize the lack of petroleum throughout the territories and the maintenance /regulation of fair pricing & market stability. b) B.M.T.S (Bahamas Maritime Tracking System) I.e. Installed in all mail boats etc plying the national waters for a minimal fee. c) N.C.M (National Cellular market – deregulation and opening cellular services to competition. d) I.I.A.T ( Inter island Air Transportation). e) I.I.T.B ( Inter island tourism board). f) New postal rates for mass mailers/advertisers/bulk mailers. g) Housing department that renders residents a helping hand not a hand-out. h) B.T.A. ( Bahamas Transportation Authority) A semi –quasi agency that administers the mass movement of people in New Providence island and throughout the island nation. What did he talked about Fellow Comrade?

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banker 3 years, 10 months ago

I like the points that you have enumerated. Intelligent and practical.

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ohdrap4 3 years, 10 months ago

he needs to call the talk shows and read verbatum.

talks shows have plenty air time to kill.

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Maynergy 3 years, 10 months ago

O.k U avait raison. Je me trompais camarade camarade le discours du PM n'a pas esquissé un programme qui met l'accent sur le développement de l'infrastructure, les propositions d'immobilisations, les projections de transport à l'échelle de l'île, la sécurité nationale ou quoi que ce soit sur cette question: Asie / Union européenne / Afrique / USA / Europe de l'Est. Imaginez Bahamas au-delà de 2017 et au-delà avec un gouvernement patriotique nationaliste qui a mis en place et établit un régime fonctionnel axé sur les personnes avec les suivantes pour l'amélioration du peuple: A) S.O.R.S (réserve stratégique de réserve de pétrole) Pour minimiser le manque de pétrole dans l'ensemble des territoires et l'entretien / la réglementation de la tarification équitable et la stabilité du marché. B) B.M.T.S (Bahamas Maritime Tracking System) C'est à dire. Installé dans tous les bateaux de courrier, etc. qui naviguent dans les eaux nationales moyennant des frais minimes. C) N.C.M (National Cellular market - déréglementation et ouverture des services cellulaires à la concurrence. D) I.I.A.T (Inter Island Air Transportation). E) I.I.T.B (Office du tourisme inter île). F) Nouveaux tarifs postaux pour les envois en masse / annonceurs / expéditeurs en vrac. G) Un service de logement qui aide les résidents à ne pas donner un coup de main. H) B.T.A. (Autorité des transports des Bahamas) Une agence semi-quasi qui administre le mouvement de masse des gens dans l'île de New Providence et dans toute la nation de l'île. De quoi parlait-il camarade camarade?

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banker 3 years, 10 months ago

Parlé comme un petit jésus en culotte velours,

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EasternGate 3 years, 10 months ago

I generally support Fred Smith's advocacy. However, I am deeply offended and disappointed by this revelation.

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DillyTree 3 years, 10 months ago

Many black Bahamians do not like white people, period -- that is true and I see it very damn day. Only thing is, I'm a white Bahamian. And why is it that many black Bahamians don't think there are such things as white Bahamians? They don't like their own countrymen, so it certainly stands to reason they don't like the foreign ones either. Call it like it is, Mr. Smith. And you know he's right.

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Cas0072 3 years, 10 months ago

Cry me a river. Many white Bahamians and some white people, generally speaking, are also still racist toward black people. Or did white people shed it all magically with majority rule? In the Bahamas, far too many black people put white people on an automatic pedestal without question. That is actually the prevailing attitude and it stems from an entrenched feeling of inferiority. This so called hate of white people is certainly not the norm, so go queue your violins elsewhere.

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steplight 3 years, 10 months ago

Toussaint, a former privileged slave of a tolerant white master, had felt a certain magnanimity toward whites, Dessalines, a former field slave, despised them with a maniacal intensity. He reportedly agreed wholeheartedly with his aide, Boisrond-Tonnerre, who stated, "For our declaration of independence, we should have the skin of a white man for parchment, his skull for an inkwell, his blood for ink, and a bayonet for a pen!" Accordingly, whites were slaughtered wholesale blacks were not massacred under Dessalines, they witnessed little improvement in the quality of their lives. To restore some measure of agricultural productivity, Dessalines reestablished the plantation system ,the military as a tool for governing the new nation pattern for direct involvement of the army in politics, crowned himself Emperor of Haiti. autocratic rule had disenchanted important sectors of Haitian society, particularly mulattoes such as Pétion. They resented him mostly for racial reasons, the more educated and cultured gens de couleur derided the emperor, most of his aides and officers for his ignorance and illiteracy. Efforts by him to bring mulatto families into the ruling group through marriage met with resistance. Pétion himself declined the offer of the hand of the emperor's daughter. Many mulattoes were appalled by the rampant corruption and licentiousness of the emperor's court. Dessalines's absorption of a considerable amount of land into the hands of the state through the exploitation of irregularities in titling procedures also aroused the ire of landowners. The disaffection that sealed the emperor's fate arose within the ranks of the army, where he had lost support at all levels. The voracious appetites of his ruling clique apparently left little or nothing in the treasury for military salaries and provisions. relied on the same iron-fisted control kept rural laborers in line. on the road to Port-au-Prince as he rode with a column of troops on its way to crush a mulattoled rebellion. A group of people, probably hired by Pétion or Etienne-Elie Gérin (another mulatto officer), shot the emperor and hacked his body to pieces. Under Dessalines the Haitian economy had made little progress despite the restoration of forced labor. Conflict between blacks and mulattoes ended the cooperation that the revolution had produced, and the brutality toward whites shocked foreign governments and isolated Haiti internationally. A lasting enmity against Haiti arose among Dominicans as a result of the emperor's unsuccessful invasion of Santo Domingo in 1805. His failure to consolidate Haiti and to unite Haitians had ramifications in the years that followed, as the nation split into two rival enclaves.

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Gotoutintime 3 years, 10 months ago

If you are a white person, born in the Bahamas, to Bahamian born parents, black people do not consider you to be a Bahamian---Strange!!

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DillyTree 3 years, 10 months ago

Exactly. I'm 12th generation white Bahamian and can trace my ancestry to the Eleutheran Adventurers in 1648. So how exactly am I not considered a Bahamian?

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Sickened 3 years, 10 months ago

You're not Bahamian because you didn't come from Africa! Strange but true.

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My2cents 3 years, 10 months ago

Who said you were not Bahamian? Were you unable to get a passport or something?

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Gotoutintime 3 years, 10 months ago

My2cents---I am Bahamian---I have a Bahamian passport---I said that Black people do not consider me Bahamian because I am white---I have had many examples of this during my years.

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banker 3 years, 10 months ago

I am surprised that no one has trotted out the old chestnut that Fred is of Haitian descent.

Funnily enough, you see this all of the time. We Bahamians don't like it when other Bahamians or foreigners hold up a mirror for us to see our faults. We like killing the messenger for exposing tings that we think are deep dark secrets that no one knows anything about.

Enlightenment is pretty hard to come by in the Bahamas.

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bandit 3 years, 10 months ago

Not surprising many Bahamian are of Haitian descent whether they want to accept it or not. Just take a look at some of those last names.

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ThisIsOurs 3 years, 10 months ago

"Believe it or not, they want your money, they want you to spend it, but they don’t like you."

But that's true.

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Sickened 3 years, 10 months ago

That's actually true of most natives in most countries. In general, locals don't mind foreigners coming and doing business, they just don't want foreigners owning too many local businesses or living in big clusters - it changes things too much.

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TorontoGal 3 years, 10 months ago

I am a white woman who was married to a black Bahamian back in the '80's. We lived in a nice neighbourhood and I raised his children for many years but I eventually left because of the racism against me. If it was the neighbours, who renamed me "the white b**ch" to the teachers redoing the children's hair because it wasn't the way black children should wear it, to the grandparents telling the kids they didn't have to listen to a thing I said because I was white and knew nothing of their culture. Of course I knew the culture, also the children would come home crying because of their hair being redone. So childish! However, there is only so much one can take so once the children were well on their way to making themselves a good life, I left. To this day I've not been back and that breaks my heart because I've always felt the Bahamas was a beautiful place. Although now I think it's not what I've made myself believe it is, now with the disrespect the drugs , the shootings and yes, the now ingrained racism. If people have take offence to what Mr Smith said then they should stop, look around then do something to change it!

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juju 3 years, 10 months ago

Dilly Tree, I am one of you... I see it as THEIR ( the Black Bahamian) problem. Rise above the ""attitude". We all need to live together (somehow) in harmony. Smudda them with kindness and it will come back to you. Lol

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paul_vincent_zecchino 3 years, 10 months ago

Agree. The kindness comes back. It never fails, every single time we exit the cruise ship terminal to get back to the ship, the personable gentlemen who check one's papers recognize our family and greet us by name, 'good to see you again...'.

They don't have to do that, but they do. And it's appreciated. And we look for them each trip over. It's contagious. Our experiences in the Bahamas are nothing but positive.

People can be as nasty as one goads them into being, or not. It's a two sided process. Agree, well said.

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My2cents 3 years, 10 months ago

THEIR problem? Maybe you and DillyTree are the problems. Racist attitudes exist on both sides of the aisle...and perfect victims do not exist. What you may be seeing is the reflection of how treat them (the Black Bahamian). So absolutely, rise above your own "attitude", treat all people as your equal and you may see a change in their responses.

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paul_vincent_zecchino 3 years, 10 months ago

Dunno, everyone's different, so's their experiences. Ours in the Bahamas, after sixty years of visiting regularly, are good. Bahamians we've met are well spoken, courteous, on the level, welcoming, hospitable; white, black, paisley, no matter.

We like them, they like us. We keep coming back, as do our friends who say likewise.

Yeah, we can always find excuses to get at one another, 'this one looked at me crosseyed', 'I don't like the way she answers the phone', but where's the fun in that?

Things are turning around all over, changing for the better. There's a sea change underway.

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jusscool 3 years, 10 months ago

The Coral Beach Condominium has been at the back of the minds of many Grand Bahamians for years now. And now because of the bad decision of one homeowner and one lawyer its in the spotlight. Mr.Smith ,your too much of a brilliant lawyer to make such ignorant comments like that. You might have very well dig your own pit!

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bluesky 3 years, 10 months ago

Why did the Grimmers invited Fred Smith to Coral Beach anyway, they should have known he is a loose cannon.

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Cas0072 3 years, 10 months ago

Given the history that Mr. Smith shared in this article, where he experienced racism in the Bahamas, abroad, and seemingly from all angles because of his multicultural appearance and experience, it is unfortunate that he operates in the way that he does. One would think that only Bahamians are capable of discrimination since he is always quick to be the foreign advocate against anything Bahamian, quick to paint all Bahamians with the same brush, and now he inserts racism. He has been successful in fanning the divide between Bahamians and those of Haitian descent and any foreigner with a gripe against the Bahamas. So why not exacerbate the divide between white and black Bahamians? I am shocked that he even apologized because this is his MO.

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bandit 3 years, 10 months ago

I don't think it's white people that Bahamian hate. I think Bahamian just don't like foreigners period. Whether you are white, black or any other color.

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Stapedius 3 years, 10 months ago

Totontogal cut the BS. The racism in Canada and England are quite pronounced. So please don't behave as if the Bahamas exclusively has race issues. Every country has problems with race, class etc. I don't know why Smith would bring it up with the condo's problems. If its a legal issue or there is an objection to the legal process then deal with but why is it necessary to bring race into the discussion? He accuses Mitchell of using race to prove a point but he does the exact thing. They are both sickening.

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John 3 years, 10 months ago

racist ˈreɪsɪst/Submit noun 1. a person who shows or feels discrimination or prejudice against people of other races, or who believes that a particular race is superior to another. "I had a fear of being called a racist" synonyms: racial bigot, racialist, xenophobe, chauvinist; anti-Semite "the party organizer was exposed as a racist" (racially) discriminatory, racialist, prejudiced, bigoted, biased, intolerant, illiberal; anti-Semitic "a racist society" adjective 1. showing or feeling discrimination or prejudice against people of other races, or believing that a particular race is superior to another. "we are investigating complaints about racist abuse at a newsagents"

Bahamians are not generally racist toward white people or any other race for that matter. If you talk to tourist visiting here they will tell you that Bahamian people, in general, are some of the easiest people to bond with, to get along with and to trust. Now this will change when you meet Bahamians who have had foreigners as bosses, as neighbors or as business associates or partners. Many have had bad experiences with cruel and mean and degrading bosses, with neighbors that try to make their lives a living hell of misery, if only to force them out the neighborhood, or business relationships that went wrong because of dishonesty or deception and these are the Bahamians who are more wary of trusting white people or foreigners in general. They are not racists, they are cautious.

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birdiestrachan 3 years, 10 months ago

Mr: Smith has always sought to discredit the Bahamas and its people. He has made it a point to single out Black Bahamian People. Why do that? Then he turns into a big cry baby and talks about how he was discriminated against. Now those white folks who seek to hold Fred up should be ashamed of themselves. All should strive to be respectful of each other and there should be no excuses. Fred lives among Black people. But it is said he has Dogs, High Fences and security guards. only the good Lord knows who sold him their generation Property. Their fore fathers must be turning over in their graves.

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bluesky 3 years, 10 months ago

From a Foreign Coral Beach Owner; I have been coming to the Bahamas since the early 70's and I have not experienced racism among the people in Freeport. Bahamian people are very kind loving people. If Fred Smith feels that way to the Bahamian people, he is the one who is a racist and he should leave the Bahamas and go back to Haiti where he belongs. He is the one mistreating the people by accusing them to be racists when they are not. The Bahamian people love the foreigners. I felt at home with my Bahamian friends. I feel I am a member of their family. . The Bahamian people do not deserve to be mistreated by Fred Smith. Why is he living in Freeport and allowed to make a living here when he hates the Bahamian so much. He is projecting his own feelings about the Bahamians. He is biting the hand that feeds him.

I hope that the Bahamian people get together and petition against his actions.

Very very concerned owner and friend of the Bahamian people

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shonkai 3 years, 10 months ago

Let's not confuse Bahamas with Nassau. I find for Nassau Mr Smith is correct, family islands not so much. Anyway, next week the black bishop of some church will say the same and everybody will agree. Proving Mr Smiths point.

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TalRussell 3 years, 10 months ago

Comrades! Yes or no.... Doesn't this show bad judgement? This demonstrate one of the most disgusting displays of disrespect for your adoptive country that I've ever seen.
Some want go low on the citizenship question, while for the time being I will go high - but I'm not sure for how long I can hold out.
The immigration story of one man's - should not make us want lash out on the principals of why we grant citizenship's to others but it's so damn hard defend one who sure as hell seems delight in punching his adoptive Bahamaland - in Her face.
Comrade, I will continue to welcome you as a "one of us citizen" but you have give me a helping hand up to want like and respect you....okay?

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banker 3 years, 10 months ago

Ummm ... Fred Smith's ancestor is from Eleuthera -- his family has been in the Bahamas since 1648. He comes from the Simms line. 150 years ago, William Simms had a daughter Arabella, and she was his great great grandmother. Fred Smith’s father, born in Nicholls Town, Andros, was Frederick (Freddie) Charles Smith, Freddie’s older brother was Wilfred (Pemmy), who had a crawfish import-export business on Prince George Wharf, and their only sister, Mrs Mary Doris Stevenson, was an accomplished interior decorator, who operated “Interiors”. He is part of the Smith, Knowles, Cartwright, Deal and Bowe families. Drug-running PLP George is his second cousin.

Fred Smith’s father, Freddie, operated a mailboat between Nassau and Gonaive Haiti, where he traded with Izaac Richards (Arabic name Ghiscian), and befriended his daughter, Julia Richards. Julia was born in Madaba, Jordan, the Christian capital for Middle East Catholics. Her father was a Bedoin and her mother Armenian. They married.

They had four children — Norma, Gladys, Joyce and after a few years Fred Smith, QC. The four children were born in Port-au-Prince and registered with the British consulate as citizens of Great Britain and her colonies. They became Bahamian citizens — as did all of us — on July 10, 1973.

So oooo oooo ............... .... back to ... you were sayin' ?

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TalRussell 3 years, 10 months ago

Comrade Banker, should a naturalized citizen hold the position of Bahamaland's Prime Minister, Governor General or Supreme Court Justice?

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banker 3 years, 10 months ago

Yes. I am reminded of the occasion when I once was visiting a Canadian bank, and we took the train from Toronto to Ottawa, and we actually attended a Bahamian Independence celebration with the Bahamian High Commissioner. (I believe that a regular poster here made some of the food.) We were then taken to the grounds of Rideau Hall, where the Canadian Governor General was, and to my astonishment, she was the one of the sexiest, graceful, beautiful, intelligent Black women that I have ever met -- Michaëlle Jean. She was a Haitian refugee that emigrated to Canada and rose to be Governor General. After all, Pindling was a Jamaican-born.

http://tribune242.com/users/photos/20...">http://thetribune.media.clients.ellin..." alt="Michaëlle Jean -- Haitian refugee Governor General of Canada">

http://thetribune.media.clients.ellin...">Michaëlle Jean -- Haitian refugee Governor General of Canada by banker

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TalRussell 3 years, 10 months ago

Oh Dear Comrade Banker, you're "bowing knee bone' is still connected to the hip bone of an time to do away with expensive colonial relic - same relic the King's Counsel, did his curtsying before to swore his royal allegiance citizenship.

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banker 3 years, 10 months ago

Nah .. it's just a ... je ne sais quoi ... I am not a believer in God, Queen and especially Country, but I wish that I could be. The Zimbabwe and South African police have a similar motto: Pro rege, pro patria, pro lege -- For King, For Country, For Law. And I suppose that believing in God, Queen and Country worked for awhile, but it doesn't now. They worked in the age of innocence, but they don't work now.

We are past the age of innocence. We have eaten the forbidden fruit of personal and intellectual freedom and tasted exquisite fruits of chasing the American Dream and Mammon.

But what I do admire about the Canadians choosing a Black refugee as a Governor General is the enlightenment, sense of fair play and the egalitarianism that it exemplifies. It is the equivalent of this scenario: Do you remember the Japanese guy who lost all of his money at the casino, was thrown in Fox Hill Prison and forgotten for ten years? He worked as a parking lot attendant once he got out. Suppose someone in the Bahamas tried to make him the governor general. Do you think that we are enlightened enough to do so?

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TalRussell 3 years, 10 months ago

Why Comrade Banker, surely you can come up more positives about Canada - than an absentee Queen? Maybe, Quebec's Maple Syrup?

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banker 3 years, 10 months ago

The most important positive is already stated -- enlightenment. But even they have their blemishes -- look how they treated the Indians. The human condition .... not very altruistic.

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Millennial242 3 years, 10 months ago

I read his comments in the article above. They represent his opinion (not necessarily fact). And while they represent his opinion, I am not surprised by his assessment. I am a black Bahamian with several white foreigners married into my family. I have first hand examples of what he is eluding to. Let's try to accept self-awareness for 2017...I don't agree with his generalisation of Bahamians, but certainly can see how he came to such conclusions...admit that.

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TalRussell 3 years, 10 months ago

Comrade Millennial241, our tourism industry's foundation was built from the building blocks of a nation of friendly natives - dispels your argument. But if you insist, we need go much deeper and wider and that might upset your sensitivity terribly.

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Millennial242 3 years, 10 months ago

Hi Tal. I respectfully don't insist, and doubt my sensitivity would be impacted in any way. More concerned about National issues during this election year, as opposed to one lawyer's opinions expressed in a private meeting. Hope the media starts channeling attention to the real issues going on in this country...crime, credit rating, corruption, etc.

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TalRussell 3 years, 10 months ago

C'Mon Comrade Millennial242, this can be debated all day but the fact is - he said what he said....right?
Singer Bob Dylan, wrote a song that best describes the King Counsel's thoughts. You should download for your listening education - cause this kind "divide" talk is not new. Not new at all.

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sheeprunner12 3 years, 10 months ago

Bahamians ....... black and white ........... are not racists ........... they are insecure zenophobes with a colonial inferiority bias, a false sense of regional superiority and a shallow sense of cultural identity .............. other than that, we are a wonderful, friendly, laid-back people

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birdiestrachan 3 years, 10 months ago

Banker thanks for telling the Bahamian people who beget whom . and Fred Smith's genealogy from the beginning of time. Fred Smith does not consider himself as a Black person.. so what is your point. Fred purpose in life is to discredit The Bahamas and Black people.
those whom he represents have a problem with Black people on their beach and in their gated community. .If Fred said what he did in a public meeting. I can only imagine what he says about black people when he is with those who think as he does. But that is who he is.

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bluesky 3 years, 10 months ago

Why is Mr.Joseph Darville not speaking out on behalf of the Black Bahamian owners living at Coral Beach., does he share the same view as Fred Smith QC?

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jus2cents 3 years, 10 months ago

You can plainly see Fred Smith hit a touchy nerve, the comments above... in their vitriol and veiled racism and anti Foreigner rhetoric are pretty much endorsing his statements. People don't like to self examine we don't like to hear the worst about ourselves, but This is a subject that needs airing and analyzing because it IS holding us back as a people. Any Bahamian that really looks into their soul knows that a bit of what Fred Smith said is true. We smile and welcome the foreigner, we placate and take care of them, we even become real good friends with some them. But behind their backs (friends and all) we talk different about them to Our people. (Right or Wrong?) And yes, maybe because of our history where we were encouraged to have the Black Crab mentality (that only hurts us and not the boss-dem) and from the first Conquerors and Pirates, and the Wreckers and the Rum Runners and the Drug Runners the blood of all those "Takers" who took advantage of 'foreigners' yes we are a nation built on 'getting what we can' from anyone different to us. Its also wonderful mix of amazing pioneers, strongest and best of Africa, hotpot of explorers and dreamers from many nations, it is a country of potcakes and yes some good men like Fred Smith.

Own it, change it, do something positive, but don't hate it when you hear something that makes you react in anger...look into yourself and ask, "Is there some truth here I can learn and grow from, to make my life and my country better?"

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bluesky 3 years, 10 months ago

This has nothing to do with racism. This is an attempt by Mr. Smith to scare straight the Foreign owners into supporting his client Bruno Rufa and getting paid his one million outstanding legal fees. The owners saw through it and kicked out Rufa and his board, now Smith is threatening to sue the owners if the new Board don't pay up. owners are rebelling and refusing to pay for Bruno Rufa's personal legal matters and criminal matter.

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birdiestrachan 3 years, 10 months ago

Jusszcent speak for yourself. There are many people who are very comfortable and confident with who they are and what they are about. and they need no man just like themselves to verify them.. The last President of the USA was one of such persons. We are black, but comely. And when can stand and hold our heads high with any race or any Country. We see all people as people made in the image of God. At the end we will all suffer the same fate.

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ThisIsOurs 3 years, 10 months ago

"You’re all white for the most part and it’s a big problem for a lot of the black Bahamians that you’re down here. Believe it or not, they want your money, they want you to spend it, but they don’t like you."

"The fact is that The Bahamas is a very racist, very xenophobic, nationally insecure and a very hateful place to foreigners."

What is he apologizing for??? I don't even need to see this IN context to acknowledge its "truthiness". It's uncomfortable true, but it's true. These statements could be made of the native population in any country with an immigration problem. We could switch black with white Bahamas with southern states and there we go???don't apologize Fred Smith

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birdiestrachan 3 years, 10 months ago

Fred Smith in his mean and spiteful ways is always doing his best to hurt the Bahamas and it"s people. He said and this includes all of us "The Bahamas is a very racist, Xenophobic , Nationally insecure and very hateful Place to foreigners"

What money is he talking about, the Average Bahamian want them to spend? buying what? Fred seems to be the one who is benefiting from the money spent. As bad as the Bahamas May be Fred smith stays right here. Fred smith said what he meant, that is who he is. so why make a mockrey by apologizing He is only sorry the tape was exposed.

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ThisIsOurs 3 years, 10 months ago

"The Bahamas is xenophobic" absolutely true, you only need to look at how Haitians, Africans, Caribbean Nationals are treated. "nationally insecure" absolutely true, look at how easily illegal migrants get into the country, Soviet block, Haiti, Jamaica, Cuba, China, look at the number of illegal guns on the street? If that isn't evidence of national insecurity I don't know what is. "Hateful place to foreigners", Bahamians are NOT accepting of differences, cultural, physical, philosophical, it's just the facts....

Saying it isn't true and knocking it because Fred Smith said it, doesn't make it any less true. Admit it and fix it

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