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Bahamas Caught In the Clutch of the Colonial Mindset

After 43 years of majority rule and nearly 37 years of independence, the clutch of colonialism still controls much of our national psyche and imagination.

As a fairly young country, similar to other post-colonial states, some of this is to be expected.

But much of it is disturbingly backward looking and insidious. The current enforcers of retrograde colonial mindsets are not primarily the British.

Often, the language of the apologists is coded, but clear. But some of it is blatant and demeaning.

And, all of it exposes deep-seated complexes about race and class. Of course, none of this is new, though it is amazing how much of it is a throwback to the days prior to majority rule.

The colonial masters were always quite adept at and diabolical about pitting the various races, ethnic groups and classes against each other (Divide et impera!) from Rwanda to Singapore to the Caribbean.

The colonized beneficiaries of these manufactured divisions internalized them, often becoming the local lackeys of the colonizers, perpetuating a colonial system whose passing they still mourn and which they attempt to recreate at every opportunity, with the ec-hoes of Rule Britannia in their dreams and on their lips.

To wit, rather than debating the contours of Bahamianization today and its critical role in national development, some dismiss the idea outright as a fad or as a failed policy.

Those who seek to assign Bahamianization to the rubbish heap, view it as a failure of black rule.

The subtext is that this is not just a failure by black Bahamians, but that black people – or in the minds of some, “coloured people” – in general are inherently incapable of such leadership.

The world is not frozen in time. Increased violent crime is a global phenomenon, and not simply a matter of black or white.

For some tasks, we will have to rely on foreign expertise. This is the way of the world in a global era and a necessity for a small country. Still because there is considerable talent here, rather than simply bringing in foreigners to fill certain contracts and run critical national institutions and various private enterprises, we should aggressively identify and nurture that local talent.

Posted in Opinions

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