EDITOR, The Tribune.
I must confess from the outset that I too had joined the chorus of irate Black Bahamians subsequent to revelations in Parliament by Prime Minister Philip “Brave” Davis that the former Free National Movement (FNM) government had paid Susan Holowesko-Larson $1,750 per week to chair the National Food Security Taskforce.
I was under the assumption that one shouldn’t receive remuneration for their work in a non-profit organisation, until I took into consideration American Christian leader Franklin Graham’s annual salary of $900,000 for his work in Samaritan’s Purse and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.
I wanted a complete and thorough investigation into the dealings of the FNM and the Holoweskos, with the purpose of humiliating both.
I had jumped to the ill-advised conclusion that the $53m earmarked to the task force was mainly used as a slush fund to reward wealthy FNM donors, such as Holowesko-Larson. I had believed the political narrative that the $53m could not be accounted for until the former chairperson calmly provided exhaustive evidence, which completely upended the malfeasance theory that floated around in political circles, without joining the political slugfest.
In this entire PR nightmare, Holowesko-Larson has remained above the fray, while no doubt cognisant of her family’s good name being dragged through the mud by envious Black Bahamians.
I called this sociological phenomenon Black Bahamian fragility, to borrow the term from American sociologist Robin Diangelo, who conceptualised the process of white fragility as a “powerful means of White racial control and the protection of White advantage”.
It is a means to maintain White dominance within the racial hierarchy. I see a complete reversal of this racial phenomenon in The Bahamas with its population being over 85 percent Black.
Holowesko-Larson, as a White Bahamian, finds herself in the minority. We Black Bahamians continue to blame Holowesko-Larson and White Bahamians for our failure of achieving success. It’s our way of excusing our failure. Black Bahamian politicians have used this powerful weapon to pander to us. This is a strategy that Arab leaders often use on their disgruntled denizens. Deflecting attention away from their failure to elevate their people economically, Arab politicians simply would scapegoat Israel and the US for their people’s situation.
Holowesko-Larson’s racial demographic lost control of The Bahamas 55 years ago. Yet despite half a century of Black majority rule, we Black Bahamians insist on scapegoating the families of the white minority government of the United Bahamian Party for our collective social, political and financial failures.
While the children of the Bay Street oligarchs have wisely invested their inheritance in thriving businesses which employs thousands of Black Bahamians, and have educated themselves and their children, and have raised decent nuclear families, many within my racial demographic have squandered their earnings in the web shops that a Black Bahamian government legalised.
How many White Bahamians do you see doing the famed Bank Lane shuffle? How many White Bahamians do you see having children out of wedlock? How many White Bahamian kids are high school dropouts or are depending on government welfare?
Many of us Black Bahamians have disdained education; routinely engaged in premarital sex, and have a boatload of children for different fathers, who are deadbeats.
Look at the high rate of murders in Nassau; 90 percent of these brutal killings are Black on Black. You rarely see White Bahamians being hauled before the courts for murder and rape. Moreover, look at the drug infested ghettos in the inner-city areas of Nassau - which were created by Black Bahamians. Look at the high level of crime and moral corruption in The Bahamas. Black Bahamians have themselves to blame. We need to take responsibility and stop scapegoating the Holoweskos for the disaster which we created over the past 55 years of Black majority rule. Our prison system has failed miserably in reforming prison inmates, most of whom are Black.
Our educational system, created by Black Bahamians, continues to fail Black Bahamian students, many of whom are functionally illiterate and cannot fill out a job application upon graduating from high school. Our health system, directed by Black Bahamians, is an abysmal failure.
Fifty-five years since toppling Sir Roland Symonette and Sir Stafford Sands, Black Bahamians cannot even feed themselves. We have to continue depending on an industry Sands created, despite our collective hatred of him. It’s time that we Black Bahamians admit that we practice a subtle form of reverse racism towards the Holoweskos. They’re what we can only dream of becoming. It’s time we confess our Black fragility.
I must apologise to Holowesko-Larson for judging her, not on the basis of the content of her character, but solely on the colour of her skin.
Freeport, Grand Bahama.
April 25, 2022.