Mr. Oswald Brown was fired from the Freeport News for criticizing Hubert Ingraham; of that I have no doubt. As well, I have no doubt that it was at Hubert Ingraham’s insistence that Mr. Brown was terminated without notice. Ingraham’s signature is all over this whole sordid affair. We have now come to a point-in this quote; unquote democratic country-where the freedom of the press, like most of our other freedoms, is no more. Hubert Ingraham has been allowed to single-handedly curtail “free speech,” in the Bahamas, which is a fundamental in any matured Democracy, which we claim we are.
Brown is not the first or the second to feel Ingraham’s wrath, for criticizing him, and neither will he be the last. Ingraham has now grown to expect that no citizen would dare engage or become critical of him; that he could do as he likes; say what he pleases and no one would dare oppose him. He will become more intolerant of opposition, as time goes by, unless we, the people, grow the testicles needed to stand up to this bully (Ingraham) and say, “enough is enough.”
The print, sound and visual media in the country ought to rise up and say, “Hell no; no more” and lead mass demonstrations against what is happening. Reporters ought to regard the firing of Mr. Oswald Brown as an attack on all of them and their industry and resign themselves to do whatever it takes to force Brown’s re-instatement. If they allow this episode to go unchallenged, there is no telling what next Ingraham would be embolden to do; a firing squad maybe?
In any other country, except for (maybe) China and Cuba, media giants, their reporters and all their employees would have shut the country down the following day after Mr. Brown was let go. I can’t think of any other people, in the world, like Bahamians. We don’t seem to concern ourselves about anything except to have money in our pockets, food whether it’s on our tables or someone else’s, liquor to drink, a couple sweethearts to lay up with, junkanoo and generally having fun.
All the cabinet, civil servants and government workers and all Bahamians, it seem, are scared to hell of this night schooled, academically deprived, pea brain, boxed fish head Hubert Ingraham. We have grown into a bunch of “jelly back” “yessa boss” Negros who regard Ingraham as some god. I am quite sure that that is what the people of Uganda thought, at the beginning, of Armin and Zimbabweans of Mugabe, but we all know the misery these two tyrants brought down on their people, in the end. History always repeats itself; we should never forget that fact.
I would have expected, by now, that at least the almighty Mrs. Eileen Carron, who’s Publication boasts a couple hundred years, would have taken issue with Ingraham’s very obvious interference here, and regarded it as a blatant attack on “freedom of the press,” but her silence is deafening. This is issue is not about Oswald Brown and his being fired; it’s about something more fundamental than that; it is about our constitutional freedoms. Haven’t you noticed that Ingraham never talks about the rights of Bahamians; only his rights as prime minister to do what he pleases and no jack leg dare objects?
Wake up Bahamas before it is too late. We should remember that Ingraham is setting precedent here, all by himself, and ten years from now any other dictatorial minded prime minister can say; “well, ten years ago Ingraham was allowed to do it, so I can by precedent do the same” and he/she would be right.
Forrester J Carroll J.P
Freeport, Grand Bahama
30th January 2010