Zhivargo Laing, the former Minister of the Government, was the chaperone when it happened. He reported on his radio show 19 July that while on a field trip with Bahamian young people in Atlanta, Georgia, a white man in their hotel hurled racial abuse at them, telling them to go back to Africa and that President Trump was going to take care of it. The children were shocked. But we shouldn’t be. That is what America has become. Their diplomats are constantly saying that Nassau is an unsafe place, lecturing The Bahamas on human rights but the worst abuse of the human rights of black people takes place in the US. We have indicated that the rejections of many Bahamians at the US embassy here may well be as a result of the new Trump inspired racism in American politics. The Bahamian Government ought to issue a public warning about the current climate in the US for the edification of our youngsters who are going to go to school there or go there as tourists. Here is what The Tribune reported on 20th July:
“I was here and was able to bear witness to a racial attack, a verbal attack on ourselves and young people that was simply horrific,” Mr Laing said. “To have a grown man just nakedly hurling racial insults, calling our young women sluts; that they were assembling in the rooms to get the food that we were serving to them, to his mind they could be doing nothing but the outrageous so to him they were sluts and we were niggers and we needed to go back to Africa and (US President) Donald Trump was trying to do that, get us out of there and back to Africa – those were the words he hurled at us.
“A white man saw this gentleman hurling these racial slurs at these young kids and walked up to him and asked him, ‘Why are you doing that to these young people? I have daughters. Why are you calling them these names?’ And this guy then proceeds to say to him, ‘You are nothing but white trash to be taking up for these people’… I have to tell you that gentlemen said, ‘I’m afraid you messed with the wrong white trash today’ and proceeded to drop kick this gentleman. Not very long after, maybe about 12 police officers with their vehicle came and they came under the impression that this guy hurling the slurs was being attacked by a mob of black people.
“We explained to the police officers what had happened. They asked him, ‘Were you hurling racial slurs at these people?’ He admitted to doing so. I watched as these police officers’ demeanour changed. You could see them get deflated by what was for them now a different scenario.
“As an adult, I could take your hurling stuff at me. But children? Children? How additionally more offensive.”