Editor, The Tribune
The Tribune of the 8th January 2018 reported on an address recently given by The Leader of the Opposition regarding the significance of the national holiday designated Majority Rule Day celebrated on January 10th each year. It has always been my view from the promotion to implementation of the Majority Rule holiday, coupled with the change of name of the holiday celebrated on the 12th of October each year, from Discovery Day to National Heroes Day, that the entire idea was myopic and wrong-headed.
Firstly, a national holiday should not be officially branded along racial or ethnic lines. In the case of Majority Rule Day, that designation excludes a whole segment of our community, ie the minority. What are they to celebrate? A holiday so named does not promote national unity.
If the opposition party wished to and could not resist establishing a holiday to memorialise January 10th beyond its inherent historical significance, then “National Heroes Day” was a more logical designation for that holiday. Of course there must then be in place some official mechanism by which such heroes are to be identified and declared. If there is, I am personally unaware of it.
Secondly, of all the countries in the world, The Bahamas is the one that is universally accepted as being the landfall of Christopher Columbus on 12th October 1492. Why throw away any part of such historical distinction? Even the USA, to which he never sailed, celebrates Columbus Day on the 2nd Monday in October each year. The Bahamas can ill afford to squander so much free international advertisement. If a name change had to be made, October 12th ought to have been redesignated Columbus Day to highlight the country’s association with the “discovery” of the “New World”.
The conduct of Columbus and the other Europeans who followed in his wake is irrelevant to the narrow issue raised here.
Cedric L. Parker