We have learned nothing from our past and have foolishly gone full circle back there. Back to the racism of not being able to do in our country what foreigners can. Bahamians get your heads out of the sand and march on these casinos en masse. Spin, spin, spin! If not, why not? What do you stand to lose at this point? You are about to be arrested any way for your casinos. May as well get arrested for theirs.
My God, we are again being treated like second-class citizens in our own country.
I am convinced that our leaders – FNM, PLP, DNA and Christian Council – realize that we deserve better. We (black and white Bahamians and residents) can not be restricted to a corner of our own country and economy while the FNM behaves like a bitter little child, the DNA remains silent, the Christian Council uses the fear of God and its ulterior motives, and the PLP refuses to act to preserve the dignity of Bahamians. Our leaders are acting like lassies, while fearful cowering Bahamians are being relegated to the back of the country.
Who will stand up for the rights of Bahamians who have enjoyed certain liberties deep in the shadows for so many years? If the cafes are indeed illegal and if indeed there is proof that lotteries are being conducted, why arrest the poor plebeians who can not defend themselves in court, while the kingpins ride by in their Mercedes?
Why harass Bahamians who feel it is their fundamental right to enter a business under the assumption that if it has a license it is open and operational, then by extension legal? If it is indeed illegal, simply shut down the businesses. I have used the web cafes on many occasions for the purpose they are licensed for: “To check my email.”
If others use it for other reasons then why should I be subject to prosecution?
If the commissioner of police, and I sympathize with your position, is fully aware that some illegal activities are being conducted then arrest the owners and shut it down.
They are violating the conditions of their licenses, not the patrons. If I am drinking in a restaurant without a liquor license do you arrest me? Should the patrons on Potter’s Cay Dock and Fish Fry be arrested if the establishments do not have a liquor license?
I find this entire fiasco nothing short of insane and ludicrous.
The FNM needs to face reality and stop jostling for political mileage. The DNA needs to speak up for an industry that should be regulated and Bahamians allowed to be participants, but most importantly owners. The church needs to accept the fact that it has created the greatest country divide and has set Bahamians back centuries by its actions. Its collusion with persons with mischievous ulterior motives has certainly not worked in the best interest of the country or Bahamians at large.
The owners of these cafes need to stop being selfish and seek to have an all-inclusive open gaming environment. They must not seek to create a caste system and hoard everything for themselves.
The PLP needs to grab the bull by the horn and make a firm choice to legalize gaming in this country. I am convinced that Bahamians will forever be grateful for such actions. Will there be negative effects? Yes. Will there be more positive effects? Yes.
Is this the kind of hypocritical racist Bahamas my five and two year old have to look forward to? Is this the legacy that Rev. Ranford Patterson, Branville McCartney, Dr. Hubert Minnis and Perry Christie seek to leave for this country?
That they failed to defend the civil liberties and rights of every Bahamian? That police and dogs are unleashed on our people who only seek to do what we see the white man doing on Paradise Island? (I actually cry shame on the FNM and Christian Council for calling for police to arrest our people). That every foreigner can come and expand casinos throughout The Bahamas and black industrious Bahamians are left defenseless in a corner of our community?
I hope not.
By: Sidney Strachan