Why cannot Craig Have a Bank? Didn’t the Symonettes built one?
Why should Craig be denied?
By Jerry Roker
for Bahamas Press
Nassau, Bahamas – That a supposedly main-stream newspaper can editorialize that the likes of a Craig Flowers a black local businessman should not be given a bank license is truly instructive. It tells me that UBPism is alive and in good health in my country. The reason they gave was tantamount to saying black folks cannot be trusted to follow the regulatory rules associated with ownership of a bank. What hogwash!
In 2015, white people are sufficiently brazen to emphatically say that when it comes to ownership of the Bahamian economy, certain segments are off limits to people who look like me. This is indeed very troubling, if not frightening.
Walking among us, are some folks who want us to forget and never ever even mention those demoralising days when our nation suffered enormous socio-economic devastation. Why is it so crucially important, vitally critical, for us to keep at the back of the national mind the road we traversed as a nation? Our story remains relevant for its hardnosed life lessons. We cannot ignore the road we traversed to get where we are today. We must constantly look back, just to keep a proper perspective. To never repeat the mistakes we made in the past, we must keep an eye on the rearview mirror, even as we design the way forward and keep our focus on achieving our national potential as a thriving, fast-developing 21st century society.
History serves a purpose. History is life lessons. What happened to Black Bahamians when the UBP ruled The Bahamas under rigged and bought elections must never, ever gather dust, buried under the idea of “the past”.
There is a view, even among us “freed” people that we should never talk about those awful times when we were social outcasts in our own homeland, when the minority heaped scorn and disdain upon the majority.
Why should we keep these things always at the back of our mind?
Simply because such history serves as life lessons, teaching us what could happen to us again, warning us like an SOS red flag that we must never fall into that trap again.
But, more importantly, talking about the past shows us why we are where we are today as a nation. For the past four-plus decades, our nation had to go through a rigid repairing process, to re-align the foundation and structure of our national institutions, State agencies, legislations and governance systems to the true meaning of the values we hold dear: democracy and development.
That period of repairing,1967 to present, the freely and fairly elected Governments of The Bahamas spent billions of dollars to:
1. Build new schools
2. Overhaul health care centres and hospitals from their state of disrepair and falling apart into sturdy structures
3. Build new clinics, particularly on the Family Islands
4. New roads
5. Expand and upgrade Nassau Harbour
6. Expansion of the availability of portable water
7. Expansion of electricity even to those islands and settlements where it made no economic sense(according to the UBP)
The list is much bigger. We’ve had to be repairing over the past near five decades, while still initiating new development.
But the people who caused such immense collapse and stunning suffering upon the Bahamian nation want us to forget about what they did to us, how they caused things to fall apart, how they reduced our country to a pitiable rubble. Forget those days, they say, and let’s just look at what’s going on today.
Looking back now, for the FNM to align themselves with this grouping of persons, who totally emasculated us a people, is disgraceful beyond infinity. But it speaks to what lengths some would go to satisfy their thirst for rulership. When people live a life of expediency, as opposed to what is morally proper, it tells you everything you need to know about them.
To the best of my knowledge and belief, the UBP has never apologized for the way they treated black people in this country. It is never too late to do what is right.
But they have the nerve to tell us what we should own or not own. The devil is a liar!
To isolate our vision to just what’s going on today is to take ourselves outside the context that shaped our path to where we are today. Why are we only now a middle-income developing country? Simply because we had to employ that massive repairing plan, to fix all the broken stuff across the country.
The context of having to fix up a broken society is a crucial context that needs our constant consideration.
The Bahamian story wraps around the context of those years of rigged and bought elections and denial of freedom of expression and freedom of movement. The Bahamian story is contextual, and for us to ignore that context would be awfully silly of us.
I understand the motive of those who campaign to convince young people and the nation that we should forget those horrible UBP days: who wants their wicked sins and their dark soul exposed?
But we must consider the overall public good of the Bahamian nation.
And that public good calls for profound reflection and constant consideration of our full historical context, the entirety of our evolving story.
Whoever shows up as the bad guys who crippled the Bahamian body politic and wounded us so badly must face the legacy of their wickedness.