Wednesday, Jul 8, 2020
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Bahamian Black lives matter too!

Many Bahamians stood alongside our American neighbors in solidarity with the protesters throughout the United States and other parts of the world, protesting over the senseless killing of African American George Floyd by the Minnesota police.

Many Bahamians who either lived abroad, attended school or traveled themselves have been subject to racism and bad treatment at the hands of the very people that are sworn to protect them.

Closer to home, on Monday June 8, 2020, 10-year-old Lorencia Simmons Walkes passed away 10 days after being shot in the head on May 29, when three occupants of a car came out of the vehicle firing aimlessly into a crowd, shooting three persons – killing one person on the spot and injuring two others. Lorencia succumbed to her injuries in hospital.

As a father and grandfather, I can’t imagine the pain and anguish her family is going through, especially the mother and father. The mother who carried this child for nine months and nurtured Lorencia throughout many sleepless nights. The level of emotional anguish her parents must be enduring in attempting to make sense of her senseless passing must be unfathomable. What type of persons arbitrarily shoot into a crowd at 1 p.m. in the afternoon? Why in God’s name they would do this?

When I first heard the news, I had to pull on the side of the road to comprehend what I had just heard.

Lorencia will never graduate from high school, will never attend a prom, will never be sang sixteen candles on her sixteenth birthday.

Lorencia will never get the chance to go off to university, never get a chance to do things young women do. Lorencia will never enjoy falling in love or feeling the heartbreak when her romance ends.

Lorencia will never experience the joys of finding her one true love and having her father give her away on her wedding day.

No, Lorencia will never experience any of life’s joys and heartbreaks, because someone decided to be a bad man and rob her of the future and the dreams of her parents.

So my fellow Bahamians, this is what we all should be all protesting, the killing of a helpless 10-year-old named Lorencia Simmons Walkes.

Further, it doesn’t matter that Lorencia was a black child; she could have been brown, white, Chinese, Haitian, Jamaican, etc. We are all God’s children and perfect in his sight.

Rest in peace Lorencia, you deserved better than this. Sleep on princess.

• William Wong is a two-term president of the Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and Employers’ Confederation, two-term president of the Bahamas Real Estate Association and a partner at Darville-Wong Realty. He is also a former president of the Rotary Club of South East Nassau and is currently a member of the Rotary Club of West Nassau. E-mail: williamuwong@gmail.com.

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