Hypocrisy Destroying The Bahamas

Wednesday 26th, February 2014 / 10:19 Published by

hypocrisyI had the opportunity to read Candia Dames’ article entitled “High stakes and political posturing” published in The Nassau Guardian on February 10, 2014. The article sought to highlight the strengths and weaknesses of persons who may seek to become the leader of the official opposition, the Free National Movement. In the article Dames indicated that some FNM insiders considered that one of the hurdles Dr. Duane Sands, one of the possible contenders for the crown, will have to overcome is the fact that he is twice divorced.

I must admit that I was initially stumped as to why this particular fact would make Sands a “challenging sell” then it dawned on me. A divorced (be it once, twice or more) man or woman does not conform to the image that we have of our politicians. We would much prefer a married politician – notwithstanding the fact that the said politician may have a sweetheart on the side and fathered children out of wedlock; or given birth to a child who, biologically, does not belong to her husband. As long as the said politician “keeps up appearances” then we, the Bahamian society, will deem that individual to be acceptable.

It seems to me that Bahamians are far too tolerant of hypocrisy and that we consider it to be the norm. Oh, how we protested Sunday shopping in our Christian nation. However, when we are in the United States we cannot wait for the malls to open at 10 a.m. on Sunday to allow us those last precious shopping hours. We vociferously defend against children born in The Bahamas to illegal immigrants having the right of citizenship at birth; yet many of our Bahamian women fly to the United States to give birth so that their children can enjoy all of the benefits that being a citizen of the United States affords. We are quick to re-elect a pastor convicted of having unlawful sexual intercourse with a dependent as a member of the church’s governing body; and ask police officers to arrest persons found in the “illegal” numbers houses when many officers may themselves “play numbers”. We appoint a person to be the chairman of a government corporation whose business owes that very corporation thousands of dollars, yet he is expected to ensure that the said corporation disconnects the accounts of persons in arrears. We appoint another person to chair the board of a national bank who was himself indebted to the bank for hundreds of thousands of dollars. We bemoan the high levels of crime in this country but will buy electronic equipment from persons for prices too good to be true.

For the record, I have represented clients who have petitioned for and defended against petitions for divorce. I have family members who have been through divorces. I have yet to hear any person I know say that making the decision to divorce was an easy decision. It represents failure. However, it also represents the acknowledgement of the reality of the situation; that all means have failed and it is time to move on. I would much rather this type of person lead me – one who can acknowledge reality rather than one who maintains a “facade” because it is expedient to do so.

My hope is that we will wake up and focus on what is important. We should not determine our leaders because they manage to maintain the patina of what we, this hypocritical society, say is acceptable. It is my opinion that hypocrisy is the root cause of all of the problems that we face in this country: “Deport the illegal immigrants, but leave my undocumented worker”; “pay your real property taxes but turn a blind eye when I fail to file my declaration of assets, income and liabilities”; “pay VAT even though I have not paid my real property taxes”; and on and on.

We cannot continue to try to maintain this fairy tale. We are facing very real problems in our country and the only way to solve them will be to first admit that they exist. Pretending otherwise will be to our detriment. Aspiring leaders (of all parties) who cannot or will not admit the reality of our situation should not be elected to lead.

By:  Alice in Wonderland

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