0

EDITORIAL: The language of hate must not prevail

IT seems the language of hate has taken a grip in our nation.

There is, leading our front page today, the story of our Prime Minister receiving death threats, phoned in to his office. That is far from the only hate on show right now. We shall come to that in a moment.

But first let us look at the fire that took place yesterday, in which more than 20 homes were destroyed, leaving around 50 people homeless, and many without any of their possessions.

Most disconcerting of all are the reports that as firefighters arrived to tackle the blaze, there were people nearby chanting “let it burn”.

Let it burn. Firefighters were trying to save lives, and people are calling for them to let it burn.

Now the dwellings appear to have been shanty dwellings, and perhaps should not have been there at all – though one man who has lost all his belongings told The Tribune yesterday how he had been living there for 36 years.

Rosny Fertil is married with children who are nearly finished with their schooling, and has been in The Bahamas since 1979.

Now he says he has lost documents, his bed, clothes. He says his children can’t go to school now.

How did he come to be able to stay in one place like that for 36 years? That is a broader question.

But the issue of immigration has been stoked to stir the anger of people. The people shouting “let it burn” do not know the legal status of the people living there. If Mr Fertil has been here since 1979 and his children are finishing school, then those children have most likely been born here.

Yet we allow hate to encourage the destruction of these people’s lives.

As for the Prime Minister, he is quite right to vow to carry on as normal despite receiving two death threats on Friday.

The exact nature of why someone is threatening him was not revealed, but it follows a protest on Wednesday last week in which a video showed someone calling Mr Davis’ name and then saying “assassinated”.

The two incidents may of course be entirely unconnected, but they are both part of a rising use of violent language in our politics.

From that same event, video circulated of Coalition of Independents leader Lincoln Bain calling for “vigilante action” over shanty towns and calling on people to take matters into their own hands and tear shanty towns down. In other words, calling for people to break the law. What right has Mr Bain to make assumptions over who has the right to live somewhere? That is in the hands of government.

These kinds of words can only lead to violence, and that is wrong.

This is a nation of law and order. Taking action into people’s own hands is a breach of the law.

As Police Commissioner Clayton Fernander said on Friday: “We, as Bahamians, it shouldn’t happen.”

As our Insight writer Malcolm Strachan writes today: “No one who threatens harm against our nation’s leaders can claim to be a patriot.”

But perhaps the most potent words belong to Chief Superintendent Chrislyn Skippings on the scene of yesterday’s fire.

She said: “We’re focusing on saving their lives. They are also human beings. Despite what might be going on in Haiti at this time, as a country we have an obligation to ensure that their basic welfare needs are met.”

Human beings. Sometimes in all this heated rhetoric, we could do well to remember that.

Comments

jus2cents 1 year ago

Thank you! Somebody could have died in that fire, and imagine if it was instigated by those who have been crying out for “vigilante action” over shanty towns and calling on people to take matters into their own hands and tear shanty towns down.

Then what would happen would they be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law?

0

birdiestrachan 1 year ago

They say some one was cooking And might have left the stove unattended that can happen to most, and it has , all have to be careful , it is my belief that much money was lost, shanty towns are a bad idea , But loosing all one has is not easy for any one it is good no .IIves were lost

0

GodSpeed 1 year ago

Bahamians are sick and tired okay? I doubt that you, Mr. Editor, have to live next to these people, behind whatever gates you live at. We don't want Shanty Towns in our country, they shouldn't exist in the first place. You like them so much then invite them into your neighborhood.

0

themessenger 1 year ago

@Godspeed, With a hatred that you display towards your fellow human beings I have little doubt that God will speed you to the place people full of hatred like you so justly deserve.

0

GodSpeed 1 year ago

I have no problem with Haitians who legally migrate, but those illegals that ignore the law and overwhelm the country need to go, they will destroy this country.

1

bahamianson 1 year ago

Excuse me with this american political rhetoric. It is Bahamians feeling disenfranchised. This has nothing.to do with hate but everything to do with watching.people enter this countey illegally and claiming ownership of our countey.

1

themessenger 1 year ago

Yes, Bahamians catching feelings and feeling disenfranchised because they too lazy to get an education, too much attitude to get a meaningful job, too much slackness and teifing, too much stink mout and ways, yes, all a dat is American political rhetoric for yinna who can’t see the forest for the trees!

0

JokeyJack 1 year ago

People in Germany are educated and hardworking. Maybe we should invite 50,000 of them to come here and give them work permits and free land to build on. Since we are "uneducated and lazy". Good idea? What do you think?

0

GodSpeed 1 year ago

lol, do that and they will end up owning the Bahamas, not that that's a bad thing. German people got sense, we'd probably all be better off.

0

themessenger 1 year ago

You could repatriate every single Haitian in the country and life for most Bahamians wouldn't change a lick. They'll continue to do what they've been programed and conditioned to do for the last fifty years, rob, kill, tief and beg. We long since became a nation of beggars and thieves. Get rid of the Haitians by all means, but don't expect a seminal change to the culture of we peeps resulting from it. A year after ya'll run all da hyshuns dem the locals still ga be sitting on da blocks wid dey hand out waiting fa somebody to put sumptin in it, only difference would be there ain no hyshun left to shake down or rob.

0

GodSpeed 1 year ago

Wouldn't count on that. With less cheap Haitian labor about people would have to pay a Bahamian a fair wage.

1

Flyingfish 1 year ago

I think the editor is right we must be careful in our words and action how we treat other, however it doesn't change the situation that these shanty towns don't belong and are a longtime error/sickness that has to be remedied.

You can't have individuals in sub-standard housing, no matter what status they are. It's no different than Bain and Grants Town which needs to be improved however unlike the shanty towns, it is a multi-generational settlement, which houses individuals with legal claims to the land and more often than not legal status. Furthermore during the time that many building were built regulations weren't the same.

These shanty towns, are newly built settlements, with no legal land owners, which are known to house people with no legal status. Therefore, you must address the question "why would you allow more sub-standard housing developments to occur/run rampant." So I do find it sad that people lost their things to fire but in the end it was poor regulations/slackness of previous administrations that stoked this fire. Shanty towns will have to be removed in order for this cycle to be broken. Continued loose regulations is only making the immigration problem worse and adding more problem to this society.

I think frustration at no action being done to correct this issue and cost associated to the Bahamian state is what makes people livid and react so vengefully.

1

JokeyJack 1 year ago

I love the jokey sentence in the editorial. The Bahamas is a nation of law and order.

LOL. LOL. LOL. LOL. LOL. LOL. LOL

1

LastManStanding 1 year ago

I am so sick and tired of hearing the stupid attempts to defend this shantytown foolishness. Buy/build a home and get fire insurance instead of squatting up on land that you are STEALING and maybe this won't be a problem. Maybe the people that support THEFT should finally step up to the plate and practice what they preach by deciding to house those displaced, or maybe it is just too easy for them to preach from an ivory tower, more like gated community, and lecture those of us who actually have to live around this problem.

1

LastManStanding 1 year ago

Also, maybe getting an actual building PERMIT with APPROVED PLANS and BUILDING ACCORDING TO CODE (hard concepts to understand for the mentally challenged, I know) would have prevented the fire from getting out of hand.

1

Sign in to comment