THE GREAT HATIAN/BAHAMIAN DEBATE

Facebook
Twitter
Reddit
WhatsApp
Email

There is a spirted debate going on in the country now about Haitians and their continued stay in The Bahamas. There are some political and economic realities. First, the Haitians helped to build and help to maintain the country as it is today. If they left, the country would collapse.  The dominant English based culture and Black and White elites of that description have a love hate relationship with the Haitians and their offspring. The country is largely integrated but every time there is a pressure point like this storm, this issue comes up. One group is virulent in their view that the Haitians and their descendants must be expelled from the country.  The other group says that they should be regularized. Then you have the nutters who associate with people like Fred Smith Q C and Louby Georges who think that the gates should be opened far and wide. That latter group is being blamed for the tragedy which we believe has unfolded in the Mud, the slum in Abaco now wiped out by the storm, where scores have died because they were afraid to follow the warnings of the authorities to leave because they felt they might be deported.  Over in the States, you have Bahamians of Haitian descent who are bitter at what they perceive to be the treatment they or their families got in The Bahamas and are threatening to create mayhem against Bahamians in the US and at home. The Government must do its best to tamp this down. We cannot afford to have that conflagration. It is not logical. The Haitians are amongst us but they must be in conformity with the law and they must be integrated into the wider country.  Expulsion is not an option. Indeed, the Bahamians now see that the US sees no distinction between us and them and exclude us both from the US. In Grand Cay, at church they in the praise and worship switch effortlessly between Haitian Creole and English. A sign of things to come?