When the storm first hit, fear and disbelief were the prevailing emotions experienced by the masses.
In the midst of such trauma, we saw the emergence of unlikely, everyday heroes. From the young to the old, our nation banded together to help our fellow brothers and sisters. Irrespective of nationality, class or status, the human element was the guiding force in the unification that resulted after the storm.
As the decimated homes of Grand Bahama and Abaco lie bare and exposed, we now see an exposure of the deepest perspectives held by many in our nation. The rise in xenophobia is something we can no longer suppress, it must be addressed in the national conversation.
Now that we have begun the process of rebuilding, the divide has been re-established with a vengeful force. The lack of humanity in the national discussion is disheartening.
In my eyes, the storm revealed the truth: we are all one natural disaster or devastation away from being refugees in our own right. Global warming is here, sea levels are rising and our fragile nation has already endured the brunt of this reality.
The care and humanity we display today towards others may one day be returned, in kind, to us.
Let us leverage this moment to determine the nation we want to become.
Such a defining moment and opportunity lies before us to determine our national identity.
Are we the nation that will become divided, letting prejudice and injustice prevail? Or are we the nation that will unite and pave the path forward, upward, onward, together?
– Tanae Alicia Beatrice Adderley