LettersOpinion

So what if they die?

Dear Editor,

Just after the election last month, all hell broke loose when we were faced with what appeared to be an invasion of Haitian immigrants.

So much so, that for a short period, COVID-19 was placed on the back burner by some who forgot that the hospitals were full, people were dying, and there was no space in the morgue.

The only thing on a lot of people’s mind was: the Haitians are coming.

They come to take over, they are bringing a lot of sickness.

We have to get rid of them.

Let’s put them back on the rickety boat they came on and send them back where they came from.

These people have risked their lives fleeing an impoverished country by braving raging seas on unseaworthy boats in the hope of finding a better life.

A life that we take for granted, and for us to dismiss them so frivolously is unbelievable.

Mama used to say, “Boy, yinna cold now.”

Do we ever pause to thank God for such a blessing that others are risking their lives trying to get here?

Has it ever occurred to us that God blessed us for this purpose? I fervently pray we are not jeopardizing that blessing.

Deuteronomy 27:19: “Cursed is anyone who withholds charity from the foreigner, the fatherless or the widow.”

Wait, let us consider the following: Haiti has almost 11 million people with only 23,406 COVID cases and 658 deaths.

The Bahamas has only 400 thousand people, but it is just behind Haiti with 22,179 cases and 642 deaths.

Do we see a disparity?

With so many people, why are their COVID cases so low, and with so few people, and ours is almost the same as theirs?

Could this be a coincidence or a reminder that God is in all things?

I challenge every Bahamian: what would you do? Heaven forbid if we were faced with the same dilemma.

I’m not trying to bash or belittle anyone because it is our right to protect our sovereignty, but as a people, we are also mandated to be as charitable as possible.

That is all I’m saying.

Last week, I heard on the news that some Cubans were caught landing here illegally. But that was only last week. What about all of those other times? Because recently, there has been an influx of Cubans landing here illegally.

Some in Nassau, some in Grand Bahama and other cays. Not a peep from the public.

Presently, there are far more Cubans detained at the detention center than there are Haitians.

The Cubans are allowed to languish here getting fat off the taxpayer’s coffer.

While the Haitians are sent back home where there is soaring gang crime, extreme poverty and hunger, and a recent major earthquake hit to face almost certain death.

Why is there such an inequality?

“All people are equally entitled to the respect of their fellow men,” said H.G. Wells.

Yeah, I know what you are thinking: another “Hyshun” is coming to the defense of his homeboy. I said it before, and I’m repeating it. My ma and her ma and pa from Acklins, and my pa and his ma and pa, from Cat Island.

Things are so bad in Haiti, that the former US special envoy to Haiti, Daniel Foote, said, “The collapsed state was unable to support the infusion of thousands of returning migrants lacking food shelter and money without further avoidable human tragedy.”

In his resignation letter, he said he would not be associated with the US’ inhumane, counterproductive decision to deport thousands of Haitian refugees and illegal immigrants.

But it is what it is, and because of it, man’s inhumanity to man, the oppressed will be buried in Potters Field.

Now that the Haitians are gone, at least for now, and as COVID-19 cases decline, let us all go back to being our brothers’ keepers and help each other stay safe by wearing our masks, washing our hands, practicing social distancing, and getting vaccinated.

Haiti needs our prayers.

God bless The Bahamas.

Anthony Pratt

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