By Jerry Roker
for Bahamas Press
The Bahamas must embrace and welcome the talent, ideas, life-skills and experience that every Bahamian offers, as we push forward to creating the 21st century Bahamian society we all aspire to design. Every Bahamian must step forward to make a difference for our nation.
But we harbour among us a group of arrogant, chest-thumping zealots who believe they are this nation’s intellectual elite, who tout their pseudo-intellectual leanings as though they are the Bahamian intelligentsia, but hardly provide any positive, constructive role for our society. These folks align themselves with Opposition politics, and denounce Government as dumb and unintelligent.
This group believes they are the nation’s paragon of virtue and moral living, ignoring their own questionable personal ethics. They bandy around words like accountability, transparency and corruption with little content attached to these terms, propagating meaningless connotation of popular soundbites.
Certain media houses, some with their own personal, subjective axes to grind, use hysterical soundbites from these babblers to distort the image of The Bahamas.
The FNM has culled together quite a few of these myopic minds in its fold. The DNA maybe in its drive to attract membership and support, left its ranks opened to any and everybody, and so anybody with disgruntled and discontented feelings against Government and the FNM gravitated to that party.
These pseudo-intellectuals use social media to propagate views and opinions that lack objectivity, rational analysis and objective thinking.
So, with an Opposition party backing them, and with certain media houses lending credibility to them, this group gained a lot of traction, in the process damaging the image of our nation.
The DNA seems not to care who it attracts to its ranks, with any and everybody who shows up at its doors welcomed: the common meeting point seems to be hatred for the PLP and vengeance against certain FNM leaders, and revenge for perceived personal wrongs. This common theme in many folks who turned Opposition against Government seems to be the primary driver in Opposition politics.
Of course, nothing is wrong with a group of disgruntled souls, believing themselves to be the nation’s intellectual elite, taking to social media and Opposition-minded national forums to vent their views: after all, we’re a fully developed democracy, and we encourage diverse opinions and freedom of thought and freedom of expression. The Bahamian national stage is democratic, free and open.
However, we must be careful that we put things into proper perspective. These pseudo-intellectuals not only believe themselves to be The Bahamas’ greatest thinkers today, but they also believe there are the best and brightest among us.
We must encourage and attract young intellectuals to the national conversation, and to cause authentic engagement. But such young minds must engage citizens with objective analysis, rational sense and independent thought.
Our nation would only achieve its potential if we tap into the human capital of every Bahamian citizen, including our bright young folks. The inherent intellectual asset resident in the talents, skills, life experiences and knowledge of the Bahamian nation, wrapped up in every Bahamian, is vital to us achieving what’s possible for us. Every Bahamian plays an important role in developing the Bahamian nation. Our individual human capital adds up to our national human capital.
This idea of our human resource capital is important: it’s the most crucial asset we own as a nation. But we cannot allow a few vocal, vociferous voices to hijack this capital pool believing they form the national elite of our human resource capital, and that they know how to think for us, and what they say is absolute gospel.
This group has been operating with immunity, touting themselves as sensible, rational and virtuous. But their constant negativity, unproductive rhetoric and harsh language show them up for their deliberate damaging of the image of our Bahamas.
People who really care for our nation would not allow their own base emotional reactions to cloud their contribution to the Bahamian social space.
Citizens who really care to play an engaging, constructive role on the national stage would go out of their way to be productive, rational, objective in sharing their views, opinions and ideas with us.
But this pseudo-intellectual group never, ever sees anything positive about The Bahamas, instead using their vociferous platforms to shout down anybody they don’t agree with, cussing down anybody not lining up with their feelings, and assassinating the character of folks who support the freely and fairly elected Government of this nation.
We must welcome Bahamians to play a role in our nation, especially our bright young citizens. Bahamians are enterprising, bright, innovative people. We generate new ideas and innovative solutions as a way of life, as our lifestyle. So we welcome the hand and heart and mind of every single Bahamian in the task of development and propelling us into a classy 21st century society.
But we want such engagements to make a positive, constructive difference, to inspire us and lift us, to motivate us, to cause us to believe in ourselves.
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