Ignore the pundits and demolish the shantytowns

EDITOR, The Tribune

One by one our sadly out-of-touch public intellectuals and fake rights groups line up to feed the gullible among us their canned, imported take on the moral situation unleashed by Dorian. This version of events invariably rounds on the Bahamian public (supposedly “xenophobic”, yet hosting more foreigners per capita than any independent country in the Americas) and tries to fit the Haitian/Bahamian dilemma into the script of other people’s histories (invoking Nazis, “ethnic cleansing” and Trump).

For the record, Bahamians are not outraged and angry because they hate Haitians or are secret racial supremacists (oddly, against people of similar genetic backgrounds). Bahamians are outraged and angry because a succession of political leaders have failed miserably in protecting them from unregulated immigration and its appalling social consequences – like shantytowns.

Fred Smith, a man once caught on tape describing “black Bahamians” (his words) as xenophobes is suddenly the champion of the downtrodden because he defends the rights of people to abuse our building codes and live in conditions that made them vulnerable to mass slaughter in the predictable event of an Atlantic hurricane.

Bahamians are sick and tired of the out-of-control immigration and the government’s disgustingly permissive response to shantytowns (which contrasts sharply with both the government’s and our pseudo-intellectual community’s typically strident responses to the supposed failings of Bahamians).

In our independent history two ministers, Loftus Roker and Fred Mitchell, came closest to fixing the immigration issue. Both were pilloried for their efforts.

Hubert Ingraham, to his eternal shame, permitted the Mudd to be rebuilt not once but twice following fires that seemed like an omen of what needed to be done with the place. He and others failed to protect Bahamians who (unlike themselves and the rights groups/pseudo-intellectuals) have nowhere to be born or die but in the public ward of PMH, nowhere to be educated but in public schools overrun with illegal migrants and nowhere to live but beside shantytowns which approach megacities while a Bahamian building so much as a backyard shed without a permit would face the heavy hand of the law. That is the real discrimination that we should be talking about – and its perpetrators are not Haitians, but an ignorant and out-of-touch “intelligentsia” and ‘illiterati’.

I have never pretended to be a supporter of Dr. Minnis’ government (in part because I know it to be rooted in a party that represents foreign and capitalist interests disguised as “rights groups”). But if the PM stands firm and ensures that at least one tangible legacy of Dorian is the total absence of shantytowns in the Bahamas henceforth, he will have the support of at least 90% of Bahamians on that issue. Let the pundits, the fake intellectuals and sham rights groups prattle on. Nobody who counts is remotely interested.

ANDREW ALLEN

Nassau,

October 7, 2019