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Davis: We Support Worldwide Protests Over Floyd Killing

PLP leader Philip Davis. (File photo)

PLP leader Philip Davis. (File photo)

By LEANDRA ROLLE

Tribune Staff Reporter

lrolle@tribunemedia.net

PROGRESSIVE Liberal Party leader Philip “Brave” Davis said yesterday his party stands in solidarity with the protests across the world over the killing of George Floyd, the African American who died last week while being detained by police officers in Minnesota.

Videos of Floyd’s death made its rounds on social media early last week, showing a white police officer kneeling on Mr Floyd’s neck for more than eight minutes while other officers knelt on his back.

Mr Floyd repeatedly gasped “I can’t breathe” before he died.

The incident has since sparked public outrage and protests nationwide in the US and elsewhere in recent days, with reignited calls for justice against police brutality and an end to racial discrimination.

Calling the protests a recognition that police violence against African Americans is “rarely prosecuted”, Mr Davis yesterday pledged the PLP’s support against police brutality and injustice against black people.

Local activists have said while Bahamians are rightly outraged over Mr Floyd’s killing, the spotlight must also be shone on the Bahamas’ issues with police brutality and excessive force.

Speaking during his monthly press conference at the PLP headquarters, Mr Davis said: “Many Bahamian families have a son, or daughter or nephew or cousin or grandchild who study or work in the United States. We stand in solidarity with the peaceful protestors.

“We understand how high the stakes are. We know the costs of systematic racism, the costs of justices postponed. It is not just policing that needs reform. Racial inequality remains widespread in housing, employment and education.”

Mr Davis continued: “This is true here at home as well. The wealthy and well-connected have been able to weather the storm with their lives mostly untouched. This is not the case for the large majority of Bahamian families, however - for whom these lockdowns and economic crises are catastrophic.”

Mr Davis said if the PLP is elected to office in the upcoming election, the party hopes to bridge the gap of economic inequality.

“We intend to through intervention and through our social programmes to reach and ensure that the aspirations of many Bahamians is not stifled in any way,” he told reporters yesterday.

“And we hope to be able to bring those who have to understand and appreciate that they have a role to play in ensuring that the common good requires meaning that which is good for them as well requires them to give back and to reach their hands down and pick up their brothers and sisters.”

Saying Bahamians have lost confidence in the Minnis administration, Mr Davis also called for the government to be more transparent with the Bahamian people concerning the future of the country in the aftermath of COVID-19.

“The Bahamas is reeling from the impact of COVID-19, but the government continues with its ad hoc, imbalanced and scattered approach to the re-opening of our economy,” he said.

“…The number of cases continues to rise in 20 US states. This is before the projected increase from the protests, the size which we will not know for several weeks. What the Minister of Tourism and the Prime Minister owe the Bahamian people right now is honesty about the challenge before us.”

He added: “It may be true we cannot afford to wait for a vaccine to open our borders. But it may be that in order to protect Bahamians, we need a faster, more reliable way to test people seeking in.”

During yesterday’s press conference, Mr Davis also responded to Finance Minister Peter Turnquest’s recent comments about the government’s rental assistance programme.

Last week, Mr Turnquest revealed that the government does not plan to intervene in and settle disputes between landlords and tenants who qualify for the COVID-19 rental assistance programme.

“This is still a landlord and tenant relationship,” Mr Turnquest said. “The government is not minded to get involved with it from a legal point of view.”

Saying the government is “bad at prescribing solutions”, Mr Davis told reporters: “No lie lasts forever.”

“…This government has been prone for their, (what) I call, for their propaganda and twisting of the truth and their continuing description of how they are feeling, and you just have to follow what they’re saying.

“As I was telling others this morning, they are good at describing problems…but they are very bad at giving or prescribing the solutions.”

The Cat Island, Rum Cay and San Salvador MP was also critical of government’s continued enforcement of the COVID-19 curfew measures, saying the measures are no longer necessary now that the country has already begun re-starting its economy.

“I think Bahamians now understand what we are faced with,” he said.

“They have been cooperating, but it is more palatable for them to feel that way that they are cooperating rather than them being coerced to cooperate and if you put more emphasis on cooperating than coercing then I think we will be better able to fight this virus and pandemic.

“And so, as we reopen the economy and as we re-open the borders, I think curfew should go.”

Comments

moncurcool 2 months, 1 week ago

The PLP had 25 years under Pindling and 10 years under Perry to bridge the gap of inequality and never did it. When Davis shows me he can bridge the gap of inequality in Cat island that he has represented for years with not one thing to show I will believe his word.

Yes, injustice is wrong and yes we should stand with the protest and the cause in the US. But until Davis willing to stand up and admit you mislead parliament about the insurance for BAMSI, Davis best keep quiet. Tried of politicians with political rants and not willing to stand up and do something.

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joeblow 2 months, 1 week ago

The history of the Bahamas shows that those of the same race can be more oppressive,. abusive and exploitative than those of other races.

The term racism is a way to justify the hatred, ignorance, oppression and abuse of power that manifests when one race perpetuates certain acts against members of another race, but we don't use that term when the SAME acts occur within the same race! We make the wrongness about the RACE and not the ACTS. How can any problem be solved using this approach?

We need to focus on the wrongness of the acts and not the races who perpetuate them. Statements like those of Davis and others only serve to divide people alone race lines.

"Racism" cannot exist where people simply treat others with the same respect they want to be treated with as HUMANS!! This is why looting and destroying the property of others can only deepen the divide between people not sole they "racial" issues that exist.

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mandela 2 months, 1 week ago

This is bigger than the FNM, or the PLP, police brutality whether it's between White police on Black citizens as in the USA, or Black police on Black citizens as in the Bahamas. Police brutality must be addressed and stamped out, in this age and time a camera is always around and when injustice is caught on film the citizens must be ready to protest together as a Nation, and it should not matter which political affiliation a person alines themselves with.

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SP 2 months, 1 week ago

WTF?.....Brave Davis had no problem with police brutality and excessive force being used on our people on the paradise island bridge with the vendor beach fiasco and thousands of complaints in the courts of police beating suspects throughout his entire political career!

The PLP as a party was never interested in bridging any gaps in economic inequality or showed any signs of intervention through "social programs", in fact, the record shows they did the exact opposite by stifling as many Bahamians as possible and giving everything to foreigners.

This same clown stood before the nation yelling "Bahamians First" & "We Believe In Bahamians" and what happened? Now he wants us to believe he will suddenly have his minions "reach their hands down and pick up their brothers and sisters"? Lol. This guy must think we eat stupid for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

NOBODY can be stupid enough to believe anything from Davis and the PLP. What they have not done in 50 years certainly cannot be expected now!

STFU Brave!

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Clamshell 2 months, 1 week ago

Please, please, please stop calling this guy “Brave.” It is not his name, there is nothing “brave” about him, and never has been. If he has actually earned a nickname, “Gravy” would be more suitable.

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stillwaters 2 months, 1 week ago

Yeah......I like Gravy better.......Brave , that's being too ambitious.

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The_Oracle 2 months, 1 week ago

When he speaks of the wealthy and connected, hmm, he is referring to himself right? Bridging the gap of economic equality for the individual is achieved through his own efforts, and he stands the best chance when political patronage and connection is not the primary way to achieve a desired result. And yes, Gravy Davis has a ring of truth to it......... Government handouts under the guise of Urban renewal (insert Version # here) has only helped create social and economic inequality and state dependency in the Bahamas. We all know the handout requires political allegiance. (this is true for both parties, but to give credit where it is due, the PLP initiated the public dependency on political masters. Joe blow is correct above also.

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Future 2 months, 1 week ago

The cop and the black guy knew each other. They both worked security together. That cop was married to the Chinese cop sister. The other two cops were their friends. My guess is that that black man raped the cop’s wife and they dispensed justiceSeverely.

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JokeyJack 2 months, 1 week ago

Very likely all kinds of FACTS will come out during trial and a brand new enterprise will be discovered and branded in the United States - I predict that someone will invent a name to apply to it - it might be called "Investigative Journalism".

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SP 2 months ago

Lol..hope he raped her properly!

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John 2 months ago

Accusations of rape has been used by Americans to justify evern the most heinous crimes committed by the establishment, and especially against Black peopleZ. It was used regularly in slavery, even by white women who wanted a certain slave killed. After slavery the accusation of rape of a white women by a black man was used to destroy one of the most successful Black economies in America. How many successful Black men have been accused and even convicted of rape? And even now some of the most powerful or wealthy people of any color have been brought down by rape accusations. The man who stands as president in the White House has had numerous charges of sexual improprieties levied against him. In fact even the Bible tells how Joseph while serving Egypt with his best abilities was brought to his knees, thrown in jail and almost lost his life because of accusations of rape. They say rape is like murder because it destroys the victim forever. False victims of rape is just as powerful because the public cannot ever see the accused with all their clothes on again. The shadow of doubt and public shame will always hang over them.

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bahamianson 2 months ago

At the beginning of the lockdown in March, I was stopped on West Bay Street and questioned . I told the black officer that he was very rude and could speak to the citizens in a better time. He said," That's Just The Way I Speak". It was very offensive. I am a lighter hue, but it wasn't racist , just brutal in the way he spoke.

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tribanon 2 months ago

This 'Gravy' guy is one sick puppy! Who in their right mind would have ever vote again for such dishonest hypocrite? This bent clown easily now stands as a monumental embarrassment for all Bahamians.

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BONEFISH 2 months ago

Phillip Davis has no credibility to discuss the situation in America and inequality in this country.He is just grand standing.He kept his mouth shut in office while serving as a cabinet minister,never once speaking out on these matters.

As for the claim of the commentator,The Oracle.The PLP did not start the system of political dependency.That was started by the Bay Street Boys. The PLP simply perfected it.Like I always say,Bahamian history is not really taught in the Bahamas, people are taught political propaganda.

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John 2 months ago

Do you think police can enter a home in the dead of night in the United States and kill every Black male in sight? Even those who were begging for their lives, between sleep and wake and hiding for cover? Do you think a person who witnessed this slaughter can also meet her demise to a jail of bullets and it doesn’t raise red flags? What about the young man who was on his way to work and was gunned down in a hail of bullets, being hit 18 times by an officer who had a checkered past? Police abuse, victimization false arrest is endemic in this country. The number of fatal police shootings under the last commissioner clearly confirms that. Over 13 in one year and no police officer suspended, fired or brought up on charges. And Juan Q Public would say , ‘leave the police alone and let them do their job!’ But are they really doing their jobs or are they instigating and driving crime in the country? To help paint the picture that The Bahamas is a violent, crime ridden, drug infested place and this is the personality of Black peoples around the world. And hey, NINETY PERCENT of the police force consists of honest, upright, dedicated and hard working officers. But the 10 percent can destroy all the good the others are doing. It can destroy the country and the future of the country. Every police and their actions should be up for scrutiny and investigation. By an independent body.

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licks2 1 month, 3 weeks ago

After his "staring role" in the Toggie and Bobo saga. . .Mr. Davis should not speak!

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