Our past with the Haitians

EDITOR, The Tribune.

It’s heartbreaking in a so-called Christian country, where Bahamians carry their Bibles to church on Sundays to sing Hosanna to their Creator, and yet on Mondays will be shouting hell fire on the heads of less fortunate human beings — the Haitians. Bahamians forget that Haitians are also God’s creation, and in God’s sight they are of equal value.

I would bet my last dollar that on Judgment Day when a Bahamian and Haitian present themselves at the Pearly Gates and beg entrance, St Peter will give the Haitian a pass to compensate for all his suffering on Earth.

As for the Bahamian — why he might be asked to show his papers! Failing to have adequate papers to prove his compassion on Earth, he will probably be directed to the other place to suffer the same hell fire that Haitians were made endure at his hands when on Earth.

Remember, my fellow Bahamians, “You better watch your p’s and q’s ‘cause God don’t like ugly!”

We seem to forget how and why Haitians started to flood our islands.

Remember Sir Lynden Pindling, who told you that during his administration our precious little “Johnnies and Susies” would no longer be “hewers of wood” and “drawers of water” and so Haitians were brought in to do labour that Bahamians were encouraged to dismiss as “ain for us – that’s Haitian work”.

A certain farmer used to boast that during the Pindling administration he could bring in as many Haitian farm labourers as he wanted.

I remember reading in The Tribune his proud boast that be brought in at least a hundred!

In other words human flesh — all Haitians — just to keep Pindling and his “all for me” baby crowd in power!

It soon became a racket where some of the politically favoured got a permit for a Haitian and would then farm him out to someone who had land to till and at the end of the week would collect a portion of the poor Haitian’s salary – usually a salary below a living wage! I wonder how many Bahamians remember those days or even indulged in that evil practice!

Every Bahamian in this country should go through their family tree and try to trace it back to their first ancestor to come here.

In those days, none of our ancestors was a native Bahamian. They were all foreigners in a foreign land.

At the beginning of our history in this country our first descendants were in the same position as today’s Haitians — the native Arawak Indians had already been exterminated.

Each of our histories in this country can be traced to the arrival of a foreigner.

If some of us can go far enough back, they will find that many of their ancestors were either freed or runaway slaves.

These persons settled, worked together and were eventually known as Bahamians inhabiting a British colony, which eventually became independent.

Today’s Haitians are in the same position as were our own ancestors – the only difference being that they – coming from all parts of the world — were then accepted in this foreign land and eventually formed the beginnings of a mixed Bahamian society.

Stephen Dillett, himself a Haitian, who came here as a child, was recorded as the first black Bahamian to sit in the House of Assembly.

He held several important posts in the then colony. It was even suggested that he was himself a slave owner.

Can you imagine in those far off days when our ancestors were all foreigners, having arrived at different times over the centuries, where would we have been if we were not assimilated and accepted as one people — all Bahamians working together to create a nation?

Up until July 10, 1973, when The Bahamas got its independence any child born in The Bahamas, regardless of their parents’ nationality, was a Bahamian.

Today, a child born in The Bahamas of a foreign parent, having no other home, can’t find work to support himself once he has completed school — because although born and raised in The Bahamas, one or both of his parents is a foreigner, usually a Haitian!

So what is our country encouraging him to do — join the thieves to get a crust of bread!

It is time for all of us to waken up, try to understand our own beginnings and work together — Haitians and all — to make this little country the envy of the world.



September 26, 2019


joeblow 2 years, 12 months ago

There is a vast difference between BRINGING in several hundred of any group of people and having tens of thousands SNEAKING in . That doesn't include that amount born after their parents arrived illegally. The Bahamas has been much kinder to Haitians than the governments Haitians have elected to serve them..


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