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August 02, 2011



While a complex issue with no easy answer I think we should remember something.
When you reward bad behavior you encourage more of it.


Excellent article. I am of Haitian descent and although I was born in the Bahamas before independence(citizen without exception) my citizenship has always carried an asterisk next to it.The asterisk can not be physically seen but everyone knows it is there. If you check closely it says, Bahamian but of Haitian descent. That exception carries with it everything that is directed towards an illegal immigrant.In fact, if it was legal for me to be deported, I believe that the majority of Bahamians would support my deportation. Sometimes I listen to the poison that is expressed on the talk shows and the agreement that the sentiments invoke lead me to conclude that I am part of the "most unwanted". At present, I have protected my children from it, but I relised that they must face it one day.


In order to "bear in mind" the gray areas and complex aspects involved in the Haitian immigrant situation, one would have to think critically and humanely. Generally speaking, Bahamians do not care to do that, so articles like this one are left largely ignored.Instead, they tend to bash Haitians with their baseless, ignorant comments that are sadly seen as fact by many.

While this article offers alternative suggestions and realistic statistics, the Bahamian public would much rather continue their discriminating rant against Haitians (blaming others is always easier).On the contrary, recent statements made by members of the DNA are only riding on the ridiculous hate-filled emotions of Bahamians; they aren't doing much to change the situation in a humane way.

The Bahamian mindset needs to be revamped totally in order for us to work together and solve this problem humanely. Until Bahamians are able to think openly and without prejudice, it will be very difficult for any governing party to take the steps to change the current situation fairly.

And so, as usual, most issues boil down to education. With increased focus on education and improved family values, perhaps many of us would not be living in such a dim hole, untouched by any moral guidance. In an informed and educated Bahamian society, more people would stop to analyse and think critically about a situation before pouncing on the solution that serves only them best.

We are in a grim state; the mere reaction to Desmond Bannister's proposal to teach English in the primary schools shows just how ethnocentric Bahamians really are as a people. The response has been a clear "no way", with harsh threats for Haitian children and their families to instead be pushed out of the educational system and shipped back to Haiti like cattle.

So the question remains: If Haitians shouldn't be allowed to integrate into Bahamian society in order to become productive members of the community, does this mean laws will be enforced? The Bahamians collecting rent from Haitian squatters on govt. land, will they continue? The Bahamians paying Haitians below minimum wage salary to do their dirty work, will that stop?

Or do we only want to use Haitians as a scapegoat for our pressing societal issues? I may not have all the answers but I do know one thing: advocating hate and promoting racism and discrimination against this group of people is wrong and will not help us in the long run by any means.

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