(Editor’s Note: Today we publish a story about the U S Embassy in The Bahamas giving money to The Bahamas, it says to fight corruption. This from a country where corruption is endemic and chronic and now at the very top levels of its government. In the comment, we made the point of the increasing reports of hostility toward Black Bahamians at the U S Embassy in Nassau which may be as a result of the atmosphere that has leaked into their public policy as a result of their politics in the U S. There is no political outreach from the embassy and there has been no political level appointee in this country for several years. Andrew Burrows, formerly of ZNS, took a trip with his daughter to Orlando, Florida on holiday and reported this on his Facebook page. We thought it is instructive of what you face when going to America now. Increasingly Bahamians are saying it starts at the border here in Nassau at the LPIA and at the U S Embassy.)
MY FIRST REAL LIVE EXPERIENCE WITH OPEN RACISM
By Andrew J Burrows
I’ve been on vacation the past three weeks. During that time, I’ve also been on a social media break, only really returning this week.
While it would be easy to say my own self will and discipline kept me offline, the truth is the screen on my cell phone is cracked so those notifications that got my attention, can’t anymore. My phone comes on when it wants to.
I wanted to share an experience and an observation that, for my American friends, it may be worth tuning into. While on vacation in Orlando with family, I had an encounter with overt racism that was stunning to me. Stunning because for all of our faults, Bahamians really don’t have the kinds of problems you’d read about or see on youtube in America and elsewhere. We just don’t. I mean, sure, we had a past where the mostly white oligarchy kept the masses uneducated and economically dependent while at the same time disenfranchising a large swath of the population. But that was as much about money as it was about race. We’ve moved forward slowly since 1967 but still not at the progressive pace that we could have. The fact that political season seems to be the only time it comes up makes the goal of a true understanding more of a challenge but suffice it to say, I don’t think we have a problem on the scale of other places. That’s my opinion.
So here’s what happened. At one of the outdoor malls, I took my 5 year old into the Carters store. I wanted to allow her some independence in picking out her stuff so we went through and she was picking and matching outfits, all at the same time, carrying on a very animated conversation about every and anything. If you’ve met Paige, you’d understand that her conversations run the gamut. So there we were, filling up the trolley (Bahamians!) and having a good old time.