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Louby Georges and Rights Bahamas owe the Bahamian people an apology

Dear Editor,

Tens of thousands of documented and undocumented Haitian migrants reside in The Bahamas. Despite its limited resources, the country has been very accommodating to our Haitian brothers and sisters, to the point where immigration laws are routinely circumvented by many Bahamian employers in order to accommodate their Haitian workers who have no legal status.

Admittedly, there have been documented cases of prejudice against Haitian people perpetrated by immoral Bahamians. But this small group of unscrupulous individuals are not representative of the entire nation, nor is it the official position of the government, whether it is the Free National Movement or Progressive Liberal Party.

Consequently, anyone who posits the viewpoint that The Bahamas is anti-Haitian would be guilty of committing the faulty generalization fallacy. Haitian activist Louby Georges and Rights Bahamas are guilty of committing the said fallacy before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) in Jamaica, when the former misrepresented The Bahamas by stating that the country is “guilty of state-sanctioned, institutionalized terror against Haitian communities”, which would give uninformed members of the IACHR the impression that the humanitarian rights of the Haitian people are being systematically trampled on by the Bahamian government.

Another baseless accusation by Georges concerns the purported restrictions on the freedom of movement – an essential element in any democratic society, notwithstanding the fact that political, civic, religious and labor union organizations are all thriving in a vibrant democracy. I know of no outspoken critic of the Minnis administration under house arrest or gagged by the powers that be – a common occurrence in Haiti under François “Papa Doc” Duvalier.

Georges seems to relish the thought that his inflammatory rhetoric and subtle anti-Bahamian press statements cause great angst for many of the Bahamian people he lives among. There have been allegations of abuse of Haitians at the Carmichael Road Detention Centre by members of the uninformed branches. These allegations are no different from those of Bahamians being taken to court en route to the Department of Correctional Services at Fox Hill and are not common occurrences, to my knowledge. If there is any abuse, the relevant authorities should be notified by the legal representatives of the Haitians. Unlike the current situation in Haiti that has existed for decades since the administration of “Papa Doc” Duvalier, objective Haitian migrants would tell you that, by and large, most Bahamians value human life, Haitian or non-Haitian.

Georges’ sensationalism has the potential of doing irreparable damage to the reputation of a country that has graciously accepted him and tens of thousands of his fellow Haitians. Georges has the right to wear his ethnicity and culture on his sleeves. If he wants to openly demonstrate his patriotism for the country of his ancestors, then that’s his God-given right. But that Haitian patriotism should not be seen as being detrimental to the well-being of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas.

The same way he can ostentatiously show his loyalty to the Republic of Haiti, he should appreciate Bahamians being allowed to do the same for their country, which entails defending it when it is slandered before international bodies such as the IACHR.

Georges owes the Bahamian people an apology for misrepresenting them before the IACHR.

 

– Kevin Evans

 

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