Please allow me space in your valued chronicle to express my longstanding concerns as it relates to our collective social response to our Haitian brothers and sisters.
Recently, I was privy to a group of professionals discussing the current Haitian immigration crisis in our country.
The heaven that I have read about will classify those who conveniently disguise hatred with “national interest” as undocumented!
For every Haitian for hire, for every Haitian vote courted (across all administrations), for every early Abaconian farm made to thrive under Haitian supervision, therein has existed a silent demand for “dem set”.
I am no less “true true” Bahamian because I advocate for these people. I am a son of the universe with a deep appreciation for the dignity of ALL people; dignity and respect is human birthright!
Nobody is “illegal”.
“Undocumented”, yes – and should be processed quickly by the laws of this sovereign country; but this subhuman vitriol and rabid exclusion across these islands towards Haitians negatively consumes too many of us.
I am hoping that our nation’s leader doesn’t bow to the overwhelming pressure to broadly discard these humans as if they are secondary.
He would be wise to know that it is the nature of this village to disrobe him as quickly as they have made him king. His must be leadership that considers the future and humanity.
I also hope that, in his administration’s wisdom, it becomes clear that it took us decades to get here. It will take measured, humanitarian and internationally compliant means to get us out. Measured!
All I wish for us to remember is that in our staunch positions, we should appreciate that we all share the same needs as human beings — we all have our fears and complexities, wear our badges of honor, seek love and validation, battle insecurities, but are generally decent enough.
Rule of law protects us, and I appreciate what is inscribed on our sacred doctrines. What I can’t appreciate is the snide that comes with the xenophobic dialogue.
Ironically and in daily corporate, “indigenous” Bahamians are snubbed by less-qualified “documented” suitors who clog upward mobility for Bahamians with superior skill sets.
It is other Bahamians with clout and influence who invite and greet these folk with gifts and remuneration triple to ours. They enjoy our hue-steered confidence and hospitality — hospitality from the same ones who call Haitians all manner of darkness.
It would be glorious to experience this decades-old uprising in corporate where the takeover of sorts is sanitized and appeased by big titles and small pay for the locals.
I have my scars and continue to heal and grow as we all do, but I challenge myself daily to be a better man and to act as consciously as I must.
No scripture or creed, just basic innate goodness that we all have. That’s my human duty.
– Kirkland Pratt