EDITOR, The Tribune
When I was much younger, there was a saying about “holdin’ on ter ya ma gown-tail”. In more demeaning tones, it was said “under ya ma gown-tail”. I knew what it meant then, and I wonder how many of us would understand that bit of Bahamianism today. Since this country’s Independence, nearly a half century ago, it seems that there is still a pervasive mentality of being attached to that colonial past; gown-tail. Sometimes I might say that we appear to be dragging “‘ ‘ol massa’s slippers”, but loose footwear like those may slip off, however unintentionally. No, being under the gown-tail of ‘ol misses seems more apt. It might be cool under there, or sometimes hot, but for sure there’s no light under those circumstances. So, the consecutive leaderships of this country for more than forty years appear too blind to see or do things in an “Independent” way. What you t’ink?
Please don’t see this humble opinion as a mad criticism. Rather, please consider it as a poignant, objective observation. When a four-feet tall, fully grown adult, in this society, is referred to as short, it should not be considered a criticism, but merely an observation of fact. Examples abound, but my supporting arguments will take the route of brevity. Either you see the point, or you don’t. Either way, The Bahamas is not likely to change overnight. Accustomed to the dark, some of us are likely to shun the light. So, before there is that 100th anniversary of Independence, enough changes should have taken place to have a real cause for true celebrations. What you t’ink?
Here are a few questions that may appear to be rhetorical, but are, oh, so real. Your considered answers may or may not reach me. However, they might be shared with others who could be a part of that momentum for some positive changes. Ok. What use is the Governor General to the governance of this country? In fact, what real purpose does the Senate serve? Has there ever been a time in the long history of proclaimed ‘parliamentary democracy’ that the Senate refused to pass a bill forwarded from the House? Should general elections be mandated for a particular time, say, March every five years, instead of at the whim of the Prime Minister? Could the system be designed to have a specific number of Ministers, instead of fluctuating numbers? Is it possible to have ‘the best person for the job’, rather than a random member of Parliament ... whether that individual has an inkling about those portfolios or not? In my earnest efforts to be brief, here are just a few more. Will the country ever outgrow that particular building at Bay & Parliament Streets, for the steering of the directions of The Bahamas? Would Members of Parliament actually be required to reside in their constituencies? And, is it anywhere in the imagination of any elected official to consider the development of a new city, somewhere outside of New Providence, as did some foreigners in the establishment of Freeport? What you t’ink?
At this point, we can go on with business-as-usual, ad infinitum ... Queen’s Highway here, Queen’s highway there ... The spectacle of big, grown, black men and women parading around in their lil white wigs for those judicial pomp and pageantry can continue on ad nauseam ... Then, what about that crew still scurrying about, behind the scenes, trying to get one of those titles (Sir/Dame) from Her Majesty, even though the Queen wouldn’t know them from the man-in-the-moon? Or, ... we might take a peek from under those colonial gown-tails, and see what we can see. A good buddy of mine used to say “see what ya lookin’ at”. I will close this bit with one of my own sayings: “You can have foresight, insight, hindsight, no sight ... you choose”.
Dey jump off da boat ‘cause da people dem in front uh dem jump off da boat. In this global dynamics today of ever-increasing turbulent seas, we may choose to stay where we jumped off the boat, treading water, or use some singular good sense, and swim to shore. That seems simple enough. Still, metaphors aside, I will admit to not having all, even most, of the answers. But, I believe that I have a few of the really important questions that The Bahama should be finding answers to, at this time in its Independence. What you ti’nk?
Admittedly, some of us don’t know any better. We tend to be very limited, and brush things off with the notion that we met our foreparents doing it, so that’s why we do it, still. Someday, somebody is going to offer a good explanation as to why almost every parade, celebrating anything, has to march on Bay Street. Even though the people targeted to watch the parade do not live on or near Bay Street, it’s amazing that such a route becomes the norm. For example, a celebration of Bain & Grants Town might start at East Street & Wulff Road, and end at the University of The Bahamas. Yet, some genius will include Bay St. in that march. Shouldn’t we be smarter than that, especially since we now have our own university? I’m not about to hold my breath, but I do look forward to the day when those in the immediate vicinity will aptly describe the Emperor’s new clothes. Just as a parting shot, did anyone else notice that some of our Parliamentarians continue to say “Beehamians”, while a few of the female announcers at ZNS persist in renaming the country; “Bahamiss”, without nary a ‘point of order’ (objection) or disclaimer, respectively? There is no shortage of work to be done here, but we have to see it to do it. I seriously doubt that we would ever see it from under the gown-tails. What you t’ink?
Nom De Plume
July 8, 2019