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Bahamian Redneck Culture

EDITOR, The Tribune.

In a Ramble Bahamas write-up entitled The Contract, authors Jessica Dawson and Tracey Thompson wrote that between 1943 and 1965, approximately 30,000 Bahamians worked on The Contract in the United States. In the early 1940s, the Bahamian economy, particularly in New Providence, was in complete shambles, owing to World War II.

Most of these Bahamians worked in the Deep South, in states that comprised the 11 Confederate States which severed ties with the Union in 1861. This ill-advised move, opposed by General Robert E Lee, would lead to the Civil War of 1861 to 1865. Notwithstanding the Lost Cause propaganda spun by Confederate sympathisers and Dixie Southerners, the war was fought over the controversial issue of slavery, as was convincingly argued by Dr Joel McDurmon in his The Problem of Slavery in Christian America. Being mostly populated by Southerners, oftentimes derisively called “crackers” and “rednecks,” Bahamian contract labourers would encounter systemic discrimination in the Deep South states and throughout the United States where they worked, as the two Ramble Bahamas authors mentioned.

Consequently, the Bahamian Contract labourers interacted with the progeny of Confederates, adopting their cultural values and social patterns, which have had devastating consequences for The Bahamas. These Bahamians would then give birth to the Baby Boomers in the early 1960s, upon their return home. The Baby Boomers then gave birth to Generation X, who would birth Generation Y, popularly known as Millennials. Each of the subsequent generations since the early 1960s would inherit the antisocial behavioral patterns of The Contract generation. In his 2005 publication titled Black Rednecks and White Liberals, African American conservative and economist Thomas Sowell took aim at Alexis de Tocqueville and Frederick Law Olmsted for attributing the anti-social behaviour of Dixie Southerners to slavery. According to Sowell, the cracker subculture goes back for centuries with the ancestors of Dixie Southerners, who hailed from the northern borderlands of England, the Scottish Highlands and Ulster County, Ireland, before the Anglicization of those areas.

According to Sowell, these uncivilised Europeans had an aversion to work, were prone to violence, negligent towards education; were sexually promiscuous; lacked entrepreneurship; were improvident and religious; and were preoccupied with entertainment. Lynchings, burning of crosses and mob violence predated the slave era in the antebellum South and the formation of the Ku Klux Klan in 1865 in Pulaski, Tennessee. In fact, according to Sowell, these destructive practices were routinely carried out in Europe by the barbaric ancestors of Dixie Southerners centuries before they had ever seen a Negro. According to Sowell, prior to the Civil War most lynching victims were white men. Blacks became the main targets of lynch mobs after the Civil War.

Sowell alleged that as late as 1850, more than one-fifth of Southern whites were illiterate, compared to less than one percent of New Englanders, and that white southern soldiers scored lower on mental tests than Black soldiers from New York, Pennsylvania and Illinois during World War I.

While out of wedlock pregnancies were rare in New England during the 19th century and before, they were quite common in the Southern states, as Sowell alleged that in one particular Southern backcountry, the illegitimacy rate was a staggering 90 percent. What’s more, according to Sowell, these Southerners also showed very little interest in saving their money, quoting one Jacob Riis who said that Dixie Southerners “loved fine clothes and good living a good deal more than a bank account.” Does all this sound familiar?

In meticulously documenting all the foregoing data, Sowell’s entire point was to demonstrate the continued cultural influence of the rednecks and crackers on the residual population in America’s Black ghettos, which are plagued with the very same social ills that were once common in the antebellum South. The same can be said for The Bahamas, with its high murder rate, national D average and high illegitimacy rate, among other social ills. White and Black conservatives in the United States, most notably Rush Limbaugh and Candace Owens, love detailing the many social ills plaguing Black America while conveniently ignoring the enormous role Southern whites from the antebellum age played in shaping that racial demographic. Despite being a dyed-in-the-wool conservative employed at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution for many years, Sowell is brutally honest with the data presented in Black Rednecks and White Liberals. Dr McDurmon quotes Sowell as stating that had a substantial minority of white Americans opposed Jim Crow and its attendant violence against ethnic minorities, America would’ve achieved civil rights decades before the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

I believe that the counterproductive values of Dixie Southerners were transferred to Bahamians who worked on The Contract. These Bahamians would then pass on these destructive values to succeeding generations – values that we are still struggling to rid ourselves of – some 77 years after the first group of Bahamians stepped foot on American soil to work on The Contract.

KEVIN EVANS

Freeport, Grand Bahama.

September 21, 2020.

Comments

themessenger 3 weeks, 4 days ago

Man, the white people can't catch a break, we blame Bahamian white folks for everything under the sun so why not blame the American southern white rednecks for all the social ills plaguing our society including the high murder rate, national D average, and high illegitimacy rate and destructive values. Brother Evans das some strong Koolaid you drinking.

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benniesun 3 weeks, 4 days ago

As a boy growing up in Nassau I remember when the murder rate was less than one per year. It was around one per year for a while then took off. I agree that it was influenced by whites, but by way of indoctrination by their movies and television shows.

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Porcupine 3 weeks, 3 days ago

benniesun,

There is much written on the power of the media to shape societal values. The only thing I asked my wife when we got married was that we never have a TV in the house. As I both read, and watched the trends of most societies over the last 45 years, I can say with certainty that what has shaped social values is the crap shown on TV and the movies. The desensitization of violence has occurred directly as a result of the gratuitous violence shown on TV and the movies. They call it "programming" for a reason. The media exists to sell things, and only represents the interests of the 1%. The CIA has had operatives in every major media outlet in the US and elsewhere for all of our lives. The "conservatives" in the US have had it wrong from the very beginning, just like they do now. Imagine a Christian actually supporting Trump. It is not intellectually or morally possible. Yet, some still try. Mr. Evans continues to blame others for our abject failures.

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joeblow 3 weeks, 4 days ago

... just 50 years ago, both children born out of wedlock and their parents were frowned upon. Today it is the norm with all of the social ills it causes. At what point does personal responsibility come into the picture. No white person from 75 years ago influences my decisions today. Bahamians chose to reject the Judeo-Christian values that created character and integrity and it has been all downhill since then! Sorry Kevin!

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benniesun 3 weeks, 3 days ago

@joeblow - Sorry to disappoint you on this but the whites gave us the Judaeo-Christian religion, our education (indoctrination), our system of government, all of our entertainment and history. Remember it is the victor who writes history not the vanquished. We are at the mercy of the information that they pass onto us, and we live our lives and make decisions from the info they decided to pass to us. There exist secret restricted book archives which we do not have access to (eg Vatican), so we do not know the truth about this realm.

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joeblow 3 weeks, 3 days ago

...your statement does not change the fact that the values Bahamians had that caused lower rates of crime, single parent homes, more social order and respect for others and their property 50 years and before were Judeo-Christian in origin. They were not humanistic, Muslim or atheistic values! A discussion on what is truth or the difference between religion and relationship with God can be had another day!.

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trueBahamian 3 weeks, 3 days ago

We are fed lies in a lot of books we read. History is often filled with lies. It's important to challenge what you read sometimes. As children for example, we were taught that Cristopher Columbus discovered San Salvador and other Bahamian islands. In that history we are told he met the Indians (Arawaks) that were here. No one ever asked the question, well how did he discover a place where the Indians were already living in? Clearly they discovered it before he did. Also, there is evidence that Africans (don't know which countries) knew the route to the "New World" for more than a century before Columbus accidentally found his way in this direction.

We are taught the brilliance of the Greeks. But, we are not told that the great names in Greek history studied under the Egyptians (black people). Take Pythagoras for example. Pythagoras studied for 30 years (if I recall correct) in Egypt. Pythagoras is known for his theorem on right angles triangles. Here's the kicker for this, each great civilization contributed to the field of Mathematics. The Egyptians were known for triangles. So, Pythagoras took his Egyptian training and got credit for their ideas.

The utopian concept that we think can not be achieved was actually achieved by Africans. When we look at military prowess, we are not taught how the Zulus defeated repeatedly the mighty British army. The British had modern weapons for that time that they brought to fight the Zulus who fought with Spears. Yet, the Zulus won. Some of us may have heard of one of the great Zulu leaders, Chaka.

When we speak of religion, once again be careful what you read or are told. Think about Mormons believe blackness is a curse from God to one of the sons of Nkah for laughing at Noah. So, all black people are a curse. Christians believe that only those who follow Christ will go to heaven but those same Christians will say that the Jews are God's chosen people. If they refer to the sentence that only Christian's can go to heaven then the Jews don't get a pass. On a side note, the Jews today that live in Jerusalem that claim they have a right to the land they're on have no historical ties to that land. A lot of the mare from places like the Ukraine, etc. Everythingyou learn, you hear, you believe from time to time you have to exam if it is true.

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trueBahamian 3 weeks, 3 days ago

We've all seen the blond, blue eyed Christ. If her believe in Cristianity, we accept that Christ was a Jew. So, how does a Jewish guy two millenniums ago have blond hair and blue eyes.

The news we watch, particularly overseas, it's packaged to feed you. You're not given information and left to make an opinion. You're given an opinion.

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joeblow 3 weeks, 2 days ago

@trueBahamian... I suspect the blond hair blue eyed Jesus was not a portrait, merely an artists interpretation. There are also paintings of him in 14th century garb. The rational know that is not meant to be taken literally! BTW good luck examining and questioning EVERYTHING you believe using the assumption that your deductive processes are actually correct (do you see the conundrum?)!

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benniesun 3 weeks, 1 day ago

@joeblow - I have stated before that we were put here to develop a righteous discernment and to live by that righteous discernment. There are many different flavors of Christianity and many different versions of the bible - which one is the true one? The muslim's Torah is based on the christian's first five books yet they slaughter each other. Cannot the christian (ruling) god produce a coherent and definitive book that is clear, concise and understandable? Shouldn't that god put a picture of himself is that said book, so there is no misunderstanding about what god looks like? Why is it that the majority of shepherds in 'the houses of god' are spell casting, uncaring, money grubbing con men? In my life experience I have found that the minions (henchmen) take on the characteristics of the ruler.

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benniesun 3 weeks, 2 days ago

Great comeback; however, the topic is vast and vexing because a person has to question "EVERYTHING" and very few have the mental capacity and fortitude to do so. We have lost our realm and identity and vehemently reject the fact that our race are the original "PAGANS". The evil supernatural being(s) ruling this realm through deception, perversion, inversion and chaos have cast a spell blinding us to the truth. The bible was given to the Adamites by their god. Check out Bertrand Lewis Comparet (January 25, 1901 - October 10, 1983; https://comparet.christogenea.org/ser...">https://comparet.christogenea.org/ser... ). He along with others have confirmed that blacks are a pre-adamite people (existed before Adam - Cain got a wife from them). Research will show that according to the bible Satan ruled in eden before adam; others confirm that Satan's civilization was very advanced and destroyed by evil Yahweh and his hordes ( https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/8705...">https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/8705... ). Ra (aka Pan, Osiris, Saturn, Satan - corruption of Saturn, etc) was demonized by Apep ( aka Jehovah aka Yahweh: god of chaos, deception, inversion and perversion) and enmity set between his and adam's seed. The so called good book is not ours but it is for the invaders, whose god commanded our enslavement. That book identifies our soon to be resurrected God as the antichrist. We are the originals - the so called pagans who are awaiting the resurrection of our God who brings the Daylight and who is the DayStar. The one whose light will enable our spiritual sight.

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hrysippus 2 weeks, 6 days ago

Hey, Truebnanian, you are repeating some very silly statements that you probably saw on social media somewhere. Columbus discovered the New World for the Europeans, of course the Caribs were already here.. Did the Zulus win the Battle of Rourke's drift? Of course they did, ten thousand Zulu warriors against six hundred (I think) British soldiers. Now ask which of these two sets of soldiers had more killed in the battle, and then ask yourself; who really won it?

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Greentea 3 weeks, 4 days ago

Your are talking trash. "Consequently, the Bahamian Contract labourers interacted with the progeny of Confederates, adopting their cultural values and social patterns, which have had devastating consequences for The Bahamas." What kind of crap is this? My grandfather was on the Contract and he not only picked fruit in Florida but up the eastern seaboard into New York and Vermont. But more than that he was all class. An ethical, family focused, honest, God faring and decent man. In my life I can say he is one of the finest human beings I have had the pleasure of knowing. Without the contract families would have starved. The only negative impact of the contract on the Bahamas was that it spurred the depopulation of the family islands. Don't blame your antisocial children on that generation. that is all you.

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proudloudandfnm 3 weeks, 4 days ago

This article is just dumb.

Have a good day...

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Proguing 3 weeks, 3 days ago

Typical ideology of the 21st Century, blaming others for your shortcomings

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Chucky 3 weeks, 3 days ago

Only a complete idiot would believe anything in this “article”.

It’s funny, there were 3x as many French Canadians working there, yet they don’t espouse those values.

A fool and his pen will write, and the idiot will read an believe.

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BONEFISH 3 weeks, 3 days ago

The letter writer is like a lot of bahamians. Self righteous ,bigoted and dishonest intellectually. That is why the Bahamas is in the state it is. Simply blame the foreigner for your failings and don't take any responsibilty for them.
.

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jamaicaproud 3 weeks, 2 days ago

I thought Haitians were the Genesis of all the issues in thenp Bahamas. Now we hear it's because people went to the US to worked and picked up bad habits from people who originated in Scotland. What rubbish.

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pileit 3 weeks, 1 day ago

The editor must have allowed this to print just to see if readers are paying attention.

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DRIVER31 3 weeks, 1 day ago

I have to agree with Mr. Evans on one thing...The Contractors gave birth to every generation after them....thats it. WE the generations AFTER The Contractors are responsible for ourselves...We are taught right and wrong, but our decisions to do-either-or is our own...Seems like according to SOME people, Finger Pointing is our National Sport, Ignorance is our National Dish, and we pledge our allegiance to everything but doing what we know to be right. ...Lets Do Better Bahamas.

PS. Mr. Editor- Just because it sounds smart, doesn't means you put it in the paper, it hurts your credibility.

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