Jeff Lloyd rebukes Richard Lightbourn..
The deeply and profoundly disturbing statements made by Montague MP, The Hon. Richard Lightbourn last evening at the FNM’s Convention, took me to an observation made by Mr. Lutz Kaelber, Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Vermont when he said that there was a time in the United States when compulsory sterilization laws were adopted by over 30 states that led to more than 60,000 sterilizations of disabled individuals. Professor Kaelber identified that many of these individuals were sterilized because of a disability: they were mentally disabled or ill, or belonged to socially disadvantaged groups living on the margins of society.
Mr. Lightbourn’s statements also took me back to the mid-1960’s, when the United Bahamian Party (UBP) had contracted a Mr. Peter Knaur to devise a secret plan to ensure that that party maintain political power. One such suggestion, as I can remember, and to which I stand corrected, was a concept known as sterilization – where there was a hidden strategy to disable black Bahamian woman from having (more) children. Few Bahamians knew about it or can remember it. But, I saw a copy of the document myself.
In these aforementioned contexts, and in respect of our own most recent political history of an authoritarian, race-based regime, imposing its unforgivable social restrictions upon the masses, Mr. Lightbourn’s comments are frightening. He suggests birth control sabotage, a virtual and calculated genocide of less-resourced, under-educated, under-served and unaware Bahamian citizens.
Don’t tell me that there is a mind-set resident within our land today that is reminiscent of the days of wholesale extermination as practiced by Hitler and other insane despots. Dangerous, dangerous thinking. This is equivalent with handing over the nuclear codes to a criminally impulsive reprobate mind, who is seized with ethnic cleansing jealousies.
I accept that there are serious problems in this land with proper family planning, and the maturity of our citizens in the conduct of their sexual, financial, social, spiritual and intellectual lives. Yes, I admit that we act more like a pre-pubescent child than as a nation of maturing adults. There are a myriad of intelligent, creative and innovative and painfully necessary strategies to deal with that. But, the mind-set espoused by my dear friend, Mr. Lightbourn, is dangerous, and must be repudiated and denounced with every emphatic nerve one can muster. I just did.