THE TWO DEAD BAHAMIAN MEN: SO SAD

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Last week, we led at the top of this column with the photographs of two of our finest sons: Alrae Ramsey and Blair John. These were two brilliant young men.  The country and especially their family, friends and colleagues are wondering  how earth their bodies ended up in an Italian river in Turin. Everything was going so right for them and then this.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of The Bahamas was late in getting into the public fray.  From the very start, they ought to have let the country know what they knew and when they knew it and how they were following up the case.  Once they got started, the families thought that they did everything right but it’s this institutional reluctance to let the public know what is happening that hampers the Ministry. We think it’s a culture that infects the ministry and is not necessarily the issue with the Minister.  He has his own issues but that discussion is for another day.

Today, we want to identify with the families of the two men as efforts are made to bring their bodies home for burial.  There are reportedly delays with that because the Italian authorities do not think that returning the body of at least one man is appropriate.

In both cases, these men were sharp as a tack.  They both went to St Augustine’s College in Nassau.  They both went on to St John’s University in Collegeville, Minnesota. They then went on to separate career paths. Their mothers describe them as good children.  This is not the kind of “good children” like when the police have killed some criminal and the mothers run down to the corner to say “they killed my good child”.  These men were good children.

Mr. Ramsey was looking forward to finishing his diploma in international affairs at the Diplomatic Institute of Austria.  He then planned to do a master’s degree, awaiting the tide to turn in his favour at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.  He seemed to be planning a full career as a foreign service officer.  Mr. Ramsey missed his final exam on Saturday 1 June in Vienna and then the alarm was raised. Something was wrong.

Mr. Blair was to become a psychologist. He was at St Mary’s University in Halifax, Canada.  He was a PH D student.  He was in Turin to present a paper on behalf of the university. 

The point we make there is that our country has a hard road to go with young black men. It appears that we cannot get a break. You have thousands in jail.  You have them flunking out of university.  You have them dying of accidents and crime. Then when they seem to be a roaring success, you have this.  One 28, the other 29 and both dead. These just seems to be no reason.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs must press the Italian authorities to find the answers. In that technologically advanced society, there is no reason why we cannot find out what happened to these two men. It just appears that foul play was involved. The autopsy says the cause of death was drowning but that does not seem satisfactory at all. What is the back story?  We must not stop until we know the full story.

Number of hits for the week ending Saturday, 15th June, 2019 up to midnight:  199,242;
Number of hits for the month of June up to Saturday, 15th June, 2019 up to midnight:  351,889;
Number of hits for the year 2019 up to Saturday, 15th June, 2019 up to midnight:  4,526,357