Friday, Jul 3, 2020
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We must not accept shantytowns

Dear Editor,

There are certain matters that are beyond politics. We are a small country of 350,000 people. These islands belong to the Bahamian people. These are beautiful islands. We must protect them.

Countries have borders. There are laws about entry. There are laws about building. There are sanitation laws. There are laws against stealing electricity.

We Bahamians have to follow these laws. If we don’t we face penalties.

Mostly undocumented people from Haiti live in shantytowns. If Bahamians have to follow the laws about where and how to build, if Bahamians have to follow the sanitation and public health laws, then these undocumented people should have to, too.

We cannot allow foreigners to invade our land and set up illegal, squalor communities. In doing so they take our territory and lower the standards of our beautiful Bahamas.

Whether PLP or FNM or DNA, all Bahamians should support the Minnis government’s shantytown policy. Look at Marsh Harbour. In the heart of that community is the biggest shantytown in the country. It has its own rules.

Is that what we want for The Bahamas? To allow spheres of independent shantytown law on our islands?

Once the shantytowns get to a certain size they fall out of the control of the government. They become no-go zones for police and security forces. We must not get to that place.

The fight to demolish shantytowns is a fight for the sovereignty of our country. There are those who like shantytowns because they want Bahamians to one day be the minority in their own country. They want shantytowns everywhere.

It is important for Bahamians to stand with the Bahamian government in this struggle. Know there are two sides: those who stand with Bahamians, and those who seek to make Bahamians a minority in their own country.

Haitians and Bahamians have equal human worth. No Bahamian should harbor hatred toward a Haitian just because of where the person is from. But the reality is quite simple. There are 11 million people in Haiti. It is the poorest country in the hemisphere. If we allow uncontrolled masses of Haitians to come here this will become Little Haiti and the same chaos they have there will be our fate here.

The Haitian people have to fix their country. It has a sad history of bad leadership and abuse from the Western powers. We should empathize with Haitians, but our empathy must be mixed with common sense.

There must be controlled migration flows between nations. Each sovereign state has the authority to determine which foreigners it would like to add to its population. A country would destroy itself if it allowed an uncontrolled flow of poor and desperate people.

There has to be work and housing and social support if poor and low-income people are to be welcomed in. Otherwise, they will cause disruption in your country.

Shantytowns are not something we Bahamians can accept. We can’t go to Albany, or Lyford Cay or Old Fort Bay and set up a shantytown. We’d be arrested if we tried. Undocumented Haitians should not have privileges we do not have.

Do not side with those who want to take over your country. Sensible Bahamians should want to see the shantytowns removed.

– Darwin R. Luther

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