LettersOpinion

Race and class in Bahamian politics

Dear Editor,

Dr. Martin Luther King had a dream that people should be judged on the content of their character, rather than the color of their skin, and with respect to public office or political appointments, a person should be judged on the quality of the work that they deliver and whether they are serving in the best interest of the Bahamian public.

It’s unfortunate that the PLP, in the run-up to every general election, seeks to stir up racial tensions and divide the country based on skin color.

The questions that should be asked by the PLP regarding Susan Holowesko-Larson and any other Bahamian, whether black or white, are exactly who is the individual and what have they done or will do to assist with the development of the country.

Any Bahamian holding public office or a political appointment, regardless of the color of their skin, should be judged based on their actions, their competency, their capabilities and ultimately judged on the results that one is expected to deliver within their respective job function.

Should we judge a person based on the color of their skin or the last name that they bear or on the family from which they originate? This is unfair – unfair for a black person, a white person, a Bahamian, a Haitian and for someone who is wealthy or classified as poor or in-between.

White Bahamians holding a board appointment – someone please explain the detrimental effect that this has on the sovereignty of the country or how this somehow sets the country on a negative trajectory to return to our colonial past.

How are they pillaging and pilfering our treasury?

How are they somehow raping the country?

What sweetheart deals have they received?

The fact of the matter is, the white Bahamians the PLP now places under its microscope are competent, they have far international reach and are quite suitable to carry out the job descriptions for the positions that they hold.

I would have no issue joining the PLP outcry if these were blatant political appointments to people who were unqualified for the job.

Why don’t we analyze and debate the success and effectiveness of the boards on which they serve? That would seem to be a more logical and sensible debate.

How about actually holding their feet to the fire and keeping these boards accountable rather than using silly and outdated racial political tactics?

There are thousands of Bahamians quite qualified to contribute to the development of our country whether they be black or white, and there are scores of Bahamians who are currently doing just that regardless of skin color and economic background. The PLP should cease this silly commentary.

At least Dr. Hubert Minnis, as prime minister today, runs his own show, is able to lead his own government, make his own decisions.

The PLP, in attempting to point a finger to one group of people who maintain political appointments, should conduct a full audit and analysis of every board and committee in the country today and participate in a discussion surrounding the fact that people from every echelon of society and economic status are represented on these bodies, and the views of every Bahamian, no matter their color or financial standing, are equally represented.

We have progressed well beyond this time in our country where we are all one, and where the injustices that many of our ancestors endured at the hand of white oppressors have been replaced with vast opportunities to be the leaders of our own nation.

Why must the country be divided during every election cycle?

As a young person very interested in the political system of my country, and coming from a hardcore and devoted PLP family but switched allegiances in 2017, I must say that this behavior is something that I detest and wish could cease; and encourage both political parties to raise the level of political discourse in the country, as both parties have had a wide cross-section of citizens who contributed to the growth and development of The Bahamas and both parties should be applauded for their success at including all classes of Bahamians in this process.

R. Neely-Johnson

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