Sunday, March 8, 2020
It is now certain that we are at the early start of an extraordinary pandemic of the new corona virus 19 - with at least two mutations: S being the original and L being the later one - which is much more fatal than the original.
In this period of great uncertainty none of us knows how future events will turn out - other than knowing that dealing with the virus is not a sprint but a long marathon that is to last probably at least two years.
We have to make a joint combined effort to overcome this global challenge, and each of us has much to contribute in the positive; even though such things may seem minor they will become monumental if done by as many of us as possible.
We are facing a war like scenario to combat, contain and become immune to this new virus. In the emergency situations our institutions will be put under unprecedented stress tests.
Like in any turmoil, some individuals will try to disregard our institutional framework and misuse the fog of first major biological war for their selfish aims.
Irrespective of the country you may be in, I appeal to you to preserve a social order and the type of constitutional democracy you live under.
Every challenge is also a great opportunity to make an historical contribution to a better society, and to be remembered for the positive and heroic deeds we are all capable of.
Both stability and progress toward a better society are essential. Our joint efforts will greatly contribute to our humanity's survival - as we emerge in a better, healthier and more prosperous World for us and the future generations.
I wish you my very best, and remember that tough times do not last - but tough people do.
As challenging as it may seem, let’s unify the World to pursue greater and more ambitious goals then ever before.
Monday, February 10, 2020
By Gladstone Thurston
Downtown Nassau was abuzz with cruise ship tourists.
Decked out in summer wear, they sauntered lazily along taking in this balmy, winter’s day.
Merchants touted their wares; taxis plied their passengers; walking tours showed off sites of interest.
Gay music filled the air contributing to a brisk, upbeat tempo.
But, wait! Screeeech! Slam emergency brakes. Something is not right here!
Not a single one of the songs being played was Bahamian. Not one. Not while I was there.
And as if downtown Nassau today is not anti-Bahamian enough already, merchants are driving perhaps the last nail in their cultural takeover of the capital of the Bahamas.
Back in the day, Bahamian music and Bahamian entertainment played key roles in showcasing Nassau to the world.
I say, unabashedly, that downtown Nassau is all but Bahamian! One would need an electron microscope to find anything Bahamian in the shops and restaurants there.
We are presenting as the face of this nation that which this nation is not. We are giving the world a false impression of who and what we are.
Take a close look, folks. Nassau has degenerated into nothing more than a very expensive flea market featuring cheap tee-shirts and merchandise many say borders on fakery.
If tourists come to the Bahamas to enjoy things Bahamian, then downtown Nassau is not the place for them to go.
We have, appointed to serve this nation, a well-paid minister with responsibility for culture.
To what extent the current minister has been advocating on the part of Bahamian culture, I don’t know.
But, based on the preponderance of non-Bahamian cultural expressions taking root in the Bahamas, we have to question the effectiveness of the minister's policy as it relates to Bahamian culture, if there is one.
Long story short: we call on the minister for culture and the government to rise to the occasion and Bahamianized downtown Nassau.
Failure to do so and we will move for the minister’s permanent recall from parliament.
We also warn those who would want to highjack Nassau, for their petty, personal gain, that unless things Bahamian obtain, we will lead a boycott of the anti-Bahamian Nassau merchants.
Sunday, January 12, 2020
It must have been fifteen years ago that Ian Strachan invited me to speak at a Majority Rule event at the former College of The Bahamas with the recently honoured ex-minister of the colonial UBP regime.
I was fresh from Oxford, recovering, working as a journalist and editor in the meanwhile. Ex-Minister was revealing in this public conversation. He said that he had no white friends because, in his words, all the set he knew were boring and only spoke of money, no thought.
Then, he did something ordinary yet extraordinary as hell for the white elite of the Caribbean (or anywhere for that matter)— he said that as a child he once asked, *Why Grammy so dark?* And they explained why.
Of course, to my eyes, perhaps to Blind Blake’s eyes too, it was obvious. I told him he looks like Michael Manley. Without missing a beat, he said, “First cousin!” We laughed.
To be sure, this late-life phase of pseudo-atonement posed no great risk to him— he had long since made his money by any means necessary; he had long since damaged and denied education for black people that couldn’t pass, meaning for everyone. But it remains intriguing.
What, we must ask, is more fragile, more suspect, more slippery than whiteness in the Caribbean (or anywhere for that matter)? The tarbrush levitates overhead, Avenging Angel. We, Manley Cousin and I, laughed the strange laugh of the Plantation, knowing. How maimed and monstered are we by the eugenics of the Ship.
¿Y tu abuela, dónde está?