Silence is symbolic. Typically, it is used to convey an abstinence from speech or an event.
In our country’s case, The Bahamas’ notable absence from the United Nations debate on systemic racism and human rights violations signifies that despite our sovereignty, we remain under the heel of white supremacy.
Led by 50 African nations, this urgent forum was an opportunity for our representatives to stand in solidarity with the Black populous worldwide against racism and the persecution of Black people.
Instead, their vacancy, followed by a blithe statement, emphasized their non-alignment and disinterest in an equitable society. This eagerness to remain noncommittal during racial and economic unrest is a disappointing yet predictable consequence of colonialism and an asymmetrical relationship with the United States.
The Bahamas’ silence on this crucial issue illustrates not only a Black people globally, but toward its own people, who are disenfranchised within these shores.
The economic, environmental and societal obstacles we face are a direct consequence of colonialism.
We, the Bahamian people, are tired of the inequality that plagues our shores.
Since our enslaved ancestors set foot on these islands, The Bahamas has continuously disenfranchised its citizenry: the paltry minimum wage in comparison to The Bahamas’ rank of sixth in the countries with the highest cost of living, the intentional mistreatment of Abaconians and Grand Bahamians after Hurricane Dorian, to the recent decision not to retain 32 junior doctors.
Further, we do not have to look to our ally in the west to view police brutality, as our country has instances of its own.
We must look back at our history and remember Sir Lynden Pindling, whose throwing of the mace not only symbolized the passion of the Bahamian people, but a rejection of white supremacy and inequality.
We must decide if we will continue to sit idly by as our beautiful nation remains a playground for the wealthy white expatriates who experience a Bahamas unlike the majority have ever seen.
We demand the tabling and implementation of economic, educational and criminal justice reform that will ensure an equitable society for Bahamians locally, and future graduates returning home.
We are a group of Bahamian intergenerational activists striving for a brighter Bahamas, inclusive of race, gender, sexual orientation and religion, with Allaya Hagigal and Denzel Bazard as our current spokespersons.
Our power as a people is, and will always be, far greater than the people in power.
We are The Unchaining. Expect us.
— The Unchaining