You have to ask yourself the question with a reported 50 per cent reject rate of students who seek a high school education visa for the US getting turned down, that something else is at work other than objective judgements about their fitness to be in the US as students. Then there are the reports about the preemptory and rude treatment which Bahamians receive when they go to the US Embassy to get visa. They are often accused of lying; even when they can prove that the judgement of the officer is incorrect, people complain that they are not given a hearing or an opportunity to say so. They are told they can’t get it and don’t bother to reapply. Of course it is their country and they can do with it what they want but the U S was supposed to be a country for fairness, rule of law, values of decency and respect for individuals. The official protests of the Bahamas Government have been met with outright denial. It does not happen according to the US. A whistleblower reported that within the Embassy there are snide remarks made about Bahamians and about the quality of the country and its governance and the ethnicity of Bahamians.
When you see what is happening in the United States where Whites call up the police on Blacks for the least thing or shoot them dead for nothing, you ask yourself whether there is now bleeding into their official State Department culture, a difficulty it appears with dealing with people of African heritage. The people who are on the frontline of the granting of visas are often in the first or second year as officers. They are fresh out of colleges and new to the system, first jobs overseas. So could the racism which is bleeding into their culture at their level that we see every day on the television screens, could that be bleeding into their interactions with the Black people of The Bahamas and in particular the young Black males who they interact with for visa applications. The people of The Bahamas are afraid of the United States. They protest quietly. Everything hinges on not getting any American official angry in this country whether at the border in the pre-clearance lounge or at the counter in the Embassy. An American citizen going through the pre-clearance lounge said he was shocked at how the officers speak to Bahamians as they go through the system. He was Black and protested as they spoke to him but he raised up his passport and told them: “Just hold it, you had better not speak to me like that, I am an American and I will not stand for it.” But there is the belief that a denial of a US visa puts you effectively in prison and you cannot enjoy the finer things of life if you cannot go to the US. The US officials obviously would know that. However, where there is a fundamental disrespect of people and their requests, and in a world where according to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights people have a right to travel freely from one country to another subject to the rules, protest we must. That country can set immigration rules but those rules must be applied fairly. They should not be applied peremptorily and with prejudice. Our Bahamas is oppressed now by the Europeans who want us to collect their taxes and have made banking so difficult in our country that you want to keep your money in a mattress. What the US is doing with its visa policies is another matter to watch.