Happy Majority Rule Day, Bahamas
This week we dwell on the enshrined moments in our history where we reflect on the courage and bravery of men and women who charted the destiny of a nation toward the inclusion social, political and economic justice of all Bahamians. Majority rule symbolizes the fabrics of an enduring promise of a collective society of economic and political hopes against the barriers of a ruling class.
Despite our turbulent and nonviolent history, the ironclad governance of United Bahamian Party was not strong enough to withstand the movement of a people that became the vehicle which provided a ladder of economic and social hope to all Bahamians, and not just a privileged few.
January 10, 1967 was the ending of an era stained by an environment of segregation but the beginning of a journey out of the arms of Bay Street Boys toward an idea of a just, fair and inclusive Bahamas. That grand idea became the pen that told the story of a Burma Road Riot, for equal pay for equal work, and the women’s suffrage movement, carrying the burdens of fighting for dignity and equality for all Bahamian women.
That historic pen continued to the birth of the Progressive Liberal Party, formed from the rumbles of the aspirations and desires of the Bahamian people for dignity and political participation. That landscape of our history gave us the General Strike, women’s right to vote, Black Tuesday and majority rule, which shattered the control of an oligarchy.
The commemoration of Majority Rule Day is not the end of a victory but a reminder that the economic injustices of those days are camouflaged through our society. In our country, the shadow of indignities continues in the unfair treatment of Bahamians by foreign employers. We have to ensure that The Bahamas does not become a servant class society, where Bahamians are the laborers of a ruling class. The economic systems that marginalized many Bahamians must break, and the full intent of majority rule must be achieved.
Majority rule is a shared achievement by all Bahamians and an example of a non-violent change for equal treatment. Young Bahamians are the trustees of the promise of majority rule. Those who toiled before us endured too many countless days of indignity for our freedom for us to be ashamed or suppressed when telling the story of from whence we came.
Young Bahamians must equip themselves with the stories of an imperfect history and know that the power to reshape our country is always within their reach.
– Latrae Rahming