Letters

Where are the Africans’ rights?

Dear Editor,

Blessed love and greetings. Human Rights Day is observed by the international community every year on December 10. The United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) in 1948. The formal inception of Human Rights Day dates from 1950, after the assembly passed Resolution 423 (V) inviting all states and interested organizations to adopt December 10 of each year as Human Rights Day (http://un.org/en/observances/humanrightsday). All states involved and in agreement with the UDHR are required to seek out such rights for all citizenry.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights Articles 1-30 seek to promote the protection and preservation of the basic human rights of all individuals the world over. The UDHR covers a broad range of political, civil, economic, social and cultural rights.

As of 1973, The Bahamas became a member state of the United Nations (UN). Chapter II, Article 4 urges that its member-states accept the obligations contained in its Charter. This is to say that all member states must adhere to the mandate and principles established by the organization. Persistent violation of the principles may lead to a member state being expelled from the UN (Article 6). To add further, The Bahamas was elected by the United Nations’ General Assembly in October 2018 to serve on the Human Rights Council (HRC). We, the membership of the Ethiopia Africa Black International Congress (EABIC), worldwide human rights representatives of the poor and have-nots, urge the Bahamas government to comply with the mandate established in the UDHR. The UDHR, Article 18 states that, “Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.”

The UDHR provides a full complement of rights that are continuously trampled upon by the Bahamian government. Our people do suffer for a lack of knowledge. We’ve seen mass incarceration exercises taken place throughout the Rastafari community. The Bahamas’ Dangerous Drugs Act, 2000 destroys the community’s ability to freely worship their deities and continuously adds to the division of families along the way. Fathers are incarcerated, leaving behind women and children to fend for themselves in a predominantly patriarchal society. Thus contributing to the many social ills facing the country.

Article 15 of the UDHR addresses the rights to a nationality; we chose our nationality long before the Bahamas got its in 1973. One must accept the fact that before the establishment of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, we were and still remain Africans. A lion born in an alligator pond is still a lion. That is to say, an African born in this western hemisphere is still an African. This is all a part of the ploy to turn the people away from Africa; but you can fool some of the people sometime, but you cannot fool all. You can take us away from Africa but you can never take Africa away from us; Africans we are and Africans we shall forever be. Countries like Ghana, Sierra Leone and Nigeria have already called us home. We call upon the government to open the lines of dialogue with these nations seeking the return of their children.

Where are the Africans’ rights? The world continues to watch as everybody receives their rights; the sharks received theirs and even now, the pedophiles are seeking theirs—but the black man has yet to receive anything. Persons will argue that progressive strides have been made to better the Africans’ position and specifically point to the obvious amount of leadership positions held by Africans. However, it is fruitless to consider these moves as progressive as the systems were never changed, only the faces.

While we await the fulfillment of such rights, it is imperative that the Bahamian government refrain from the ungodly practice of trimming Rastafari brothers’ and sisters’ hair/dreadlocks when they are incarcerated by this judicial system. It is not only our right but our expression to defy the western world’s colonial oppression. For what is the foundation of freedom and what are the reasons that men cherish it if they are not equal before the law?

Allow us to make this call upon the governor general, the prime minister of The Bahamas along with the members of his government, to rise to the occasion and begin the much-needed dialogue with us the EABIC to seek out a swift resolve. We are not politicians; we are freedom fighters in salvation, knowing that no law is greater than the law of Moses and Jes-Us Christ, as they are the worldwide foundational principles of human rights. It has been more than 500 years since Ethiopia has called us home; Africa now!

Leaving you all with seven words of love: God is love, let us all love.

 

– Priest Delrado Burrows

royal secretary, EABIC Bahamas Branch

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