EDITOR, The Tribune.
An open letter to the Bahamian people and the Ministry of National Security.
Dear Bahamians and the staff of National Security.
I think we all know how fed up with the years of how the country is going, but as of right now. We’re distracted yet again on a matter that shouldn’t be getting this much attention. That matter is immigration and how foreigners are residing and making money in The Bahamas.
We all noticed how much money it may cost to get any immigrant back home, and sometimes, there’s bad apples that mess up the whole basket. Right now, there’s too much noise on immigration, and what do you mean by noise? Too much attention on the matter, that’s what I’m talking about. Haitians make up the largest demographic for foreign illegal migrants.
When you look at social media, more of the comments about Haitians are starting to worry me. Why say so much bad about them? Why frame them of being selfish, being parasitic or other derogatory names? They’re still trying to live a normal life. Even though shanty-towns are far from normal standards. I agree on deportation and the needs of regulating, but being worked up against not only immigrants, but at a demographic.
This is nearly like prejudice at another set of people, even if we prove otherwise. Bahamians who are well used to a balanced economy and a successful tourism market versus Haitians who are mostly poor, run down and never had a successful industry? It sounds like economic prejudice because we had money from tourism. we can travel freely and enjoy life’s rewards while they can’t make a dime back home or in the Bahamas, and get screwed over every turn. I still know that there’s law and order, but seriously. It doesn’t have to be slandering one illegal demographic, calling them parasitic and leeches is just disgusting, saying that a civil war between Haitians and Bahamians will start is when things go too far and it’s basically hate speech. This is what I hear from some people on Facebook.
The ridiculousness is only amplified when we ignore criminal gangs who are basically running schools to recruit hundreds of teenagers into a war on the streets, while the government is catching immigrants who aren’t even killing others unless a gangster got into a sloop and landed in Nassau, but 75% to 96% of Haitians aren’t actual criminals. Otherwise, National Security needs to step up against the criminal elements in the country. In reality, immigrants are locked at the lowest threat, because most of them don’t point a gun at your back. Yet we seem to be boiling over at people who are simply looking for a better life, sure we need law and order, but what about focusing on gangs? Did everyone forget that they still exist?
My letter is directed to Marvin Dames, the police and the Defence Force once more and the immigration department because the criminal gangs pose the biggest risk to the Bahamas. For too long, we’ve essentially allowed them to kill too many Bahamians from the 80’s to today, hundreds of people died since then. And almost none of the gangs have been disbanded. Even worse is that they prey on high school kids, and dozens and probably hundreds of them end up in gangs every month or so, yet the police are basically throwing parades and walkabouts when they themselves are at risk and poorly equipped.
Why am I saying this? Because crime is a justified threat, and if we can’t stop the gangs, then we lose tourism, which will starve us out of money, then the travel sanctions start hitting us. Terrorists and drug cartels will more likely enslave Bahamians to be recruited under their ranks or to destroy us all. Immigrants are really just trying to survive, not trying to “take over” the Bahamas. This fear should be on gangsters, not against poor people. For the Bahamian people, you shouldn’t be afraid of Haitians, at least most of them are harmless unless some of them are gangsters themselves. There is no war between Haitians and us, but against the gangs. Who have taken the lives of many Bahamians, and taken your children away from you to be recruited as a thug, drug dealer or prostitute. They’re winning, while we’re blinded by another minor issue. Schools already belong to the gangs to recruit as they wish. The gangs are prepping for another month-long massacre, and we still have our guard down.
For the Ministry of National Security. Direct your attention to dismantle these gangs, put millions of dollars into improving the police force to properly fight this threat and the Defence Force for new bases to patrol the country effectively, which will strengthen border security. We shouldn’t care how much money it takes, Law enforcement and the military are never cheap. It comes with a price, and paying that price is more rewarding than playing cheap. Mexico learned that the hard way.
We know the biggest elephant in this room. Gangs, and we should pour our efforts into dismantling them and controlling crime, and then tourism will remain safe, and ourselves will be able to enjoy without the threat of being executed by thugs, having our children under their ranks and we see the same, horrid results of the past. We need a future, which will mean that immigrants will be put aside for now.
March 4, 2018.