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No Shame In Being A 'Darkie'

EDITOR, The Tribune

After reflecting on the racist gaffe committed by a Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) official at a recent rally at Columbus Primary School, I began to reflect on the PLP’s history on race relations. Founded in 1953 by Sir Henry Milton Taylor, Cyril Stevenson and William “Bill” Cartwright - three Conchy Joes - the PLP did a masterful job at utilising the racist rhetoric of the Black Panther Party and traditional Civil Rights Movement leaders such as Malcolm X during the 1960s in its struggle against the United Bahamian Party (UBP) and the Bay Street oligarchs.

In Sir Randol Fawkes’ The Faith that Moved the Mountain, the “Father of Labour” made reference to Sir Lynden Pindling’s dark complexion, which underscores the reality of colour consciousness in The Bahamas during the 1950s and 1960s, where Bahamian mulattoes and Conchy Joes were viewed more favorably than their dark skinned counterparts. This sociological phenomenon has been defined as “internalised racism” by sociologists, and has led to the widespread use of skin enhancing products, such as Ambi. Indeed, dark skinned Bahamian women are conscious of the fact that many men prefer light skinned women with nice curly hair. In most instances, picky head has become taboo among Bahamians and their African American counterparts. I have witnessed Bahamian women drooling over persons with curly hair and good skin colour.

Like Sir Lynden, current PLP Leader Philip Brave Davis’ skin colour is also rich in melanin pigments. The demeaning comments were also inadvertently directed at Davis, who is a dark skinned Bahamian, like tens of thousands of Bahamians his party has traditionally identified itself with. Nearly 93 percent of the population is black. It’s anyone’s guess as to how many within this lopsided demographic is dark skinned.

Be that as it may, the PLP has always been known as the party of the “black masses.” In this regard, the official does not appear to share the same ideals of Sir Lynden and the other PLP pioneers who fought against racism in the 1960s. Granted, she did offer an apology. But I think she did so due to the backlash that came pouring in. By referring to us dark skinned Bahamians as “darkies” in her moment of candour, she was revealing what is in her heart. Had there been no negative feedbacks, I don’t believe she would’ve apologised to the nation.

Interestingly, had a white Bahamian politician like Brent Symonette uttered those racist comments, his political career would have been finished in this country. As much as UBP stalwarts Sir Roland Symonette and Sir Stafford Sands are vilified by race-baiters, I don’t believe any of them would’ve been brazen enough to use such racially inflammatory comments on a public platform.

But it seems as if this official will be getting a pass just because she happens to be black, although not a “darkie.” As a dark skinned Bahamian, let me say to the official that I am not the least bit ashamed of being a “darkie.” I would have it no other way, my purported sister in Christ.

KEVIN EVANS

Freeport,

Grand Bahama

February 12, 2020.

Comments

stillwaters 7 months, 2 weeks ago

Bahamians are always calling each other nigger, darkie, shine......all the time..she stupidly did that on stage.....now we all acting like we never heard the words.

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themessenger 7 months, 2 weeks ago

Yah nigga, niggas dis, niggas dem part of the every day conversation. Just don't let it be one of the fairer complection to utter these favorite words of we peeps, time to burn the town down. What does it say about us when we call each other niggas and how's?

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sheeprunner12 7 months, 2 weeks ago

To many Bahamians are a bunch of self-hating, self-defeating people ………. its a mystery that we are still doing so well as a country ……….. ONLY GOD WHO HEARS THE PRAYERS OF THE REMNANT KEEPING US COVERED WITH HIS GRACE AND MERCY.

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