EDITOR, The Tribune.
I must once again give a salute to the amazing Lady Pam Burnside. She states the truth that this country will never move forward until the majority of the people are elevated to receive the goodness and richness of our land. Majority is ruled, rather than given the power to rule. It is blatantly evident that the oligarchy and the rich still wield the heavy hand in this land.
There is fundamentally no change from one political party to the next. Each one fundamentally yields to the dictates of the Bay Street Boys (black and white) and the Eastern Road Knights (both black and white). Some black have been duly seduced to join the clan. They rule the masses by virtue of their economic power and no political entity has had the cohunes to draw the masses into sharing the enormous wealth of this country. At this very moment, there are billions of dollars sitting in the banks of The Bahamas, including the Central Bank and untold millions stashed away in foreign banks.
The inability of any government yet to impost income and or corporate taxes, will forever leave some forty plus percent of the population living at or below poverty level. This dreadful inequity speaks to the realty that post Dorian and into COVID-19 more that 46 percent of the population was living at or below poverty level. That situation, combined with the enormous misappropriation of NIB funds to sustain other situations, has left that entity basically in the doldrums financially within a few years.
We speak excitingly about the millions and millions of visitors coming to our county. But how will this phenomenon benefit the poor in this country, apart from not yet a liveable wage, but minimum wage? Come the next major storm or any other catastrophic event, what will our people fall back on? One may suggest that Bahamians like too much to look fancy or waste money on unimportant things. That may indeed be the truth, but how fancy can you be with less than $300 per week. But how about them being able to inherit some of the riches they have labored to enable the inordinate rich in the country?
I would suggest that the vestiges of enslavement are right at home in this country. We still bow to the entrapments of the former rulers. After almost fifty years of so-called independence (I personally organised thousands of students for the event of Clifford Park, as teacher and Teachers Union VP) how far have we come? We still subject our people to the honours of another nation. We celebrate Boxing Day – an event marking the ignominy dished out to our forefathers. They could not celebrate Christmas. They were enslaved and had to serve their masters on that day. So, the left overs from the tables were BOXED and the day after Christmas they had their recompences. Wow, how bound are we to the vestiges of the slave masters. The renowned lawyers in our land! Why do they still bear the garments and titles of a foreign ruler?
Are we yet still not proud enough, enlightened sufficient to devise titles for our people. This was my thought 50 years ago watching the Union Jack come down and our glorious flag being raised with pomp and circumstance.
With Madame Pam Burnside, I pray that even before we deem to celebrate 50 years of independence, we devise a strategy to elevate our people, especially our politicians to the real level of freedom we the people deserve and for which our forefathers so diligently fought.
Human Rights Bahamas
January 17, 2023