Racism In The Bahamas & Everything George Floyd Taught Us (So Far)
If Naldo and I have anything in common its our general lack of shits to give. I would actually lean further in to that point to say Naldo may arguably be more laid back than I am.
I am not easily upset, brought to tears or recreationally outraged which seems to be the new wave with some of y’all fake influencers. They legit will see something happen globally or locally like a tornado destroying a small village in goddamn Nigeria and they go straight to their socials on some….
But when George Floyd was murdered it changed the temperature in the room and stirred up some very uncomfortable conversations concerning race, prejudice and equality in The Bahamas that left a lot of us blocking and deleting long time friends and family and lowkey kinda divided us. Well, it’s about to get super uncomfortable for some of you so consider yourself warned reading this.
Let me very clear: Racism/prejudice are alive and well in The Bahamas. I think the general notion is that because we’re a majority black country that it’s impossible for racism/prejudice to exist. Explain to me how y’all confused when y’all JUST started accepting Haitians as….I don’t know…..HUMAN BEINGS, like….day before yesterday. There was and still lowkey a stigma on this island of just fucking BEING Haitian.
If you said…
And these are the same people when George Floyd got killed that had the audacity to say, “Y’all stay worryin about America business….worry bout the Bahamas!”
But, and hear me out cause I’m about to say something crazy, hypothetically….and it’s a big hypothetical…..what if we is go to America, ESPECIALLY bag of catshit crazy fucking FLORIDA…..OFTEN?
Make it make sense.
Y’all: “Worry bout Nassau, y’all ain American”
Also y’all, 5 minutes into arriving in Florida…
Beloved, I’m tall and big……George Floyd could EASILY have been me, the false God Ricardo Wells, Timothy Bain or Taige Adderley. We were discussing in our group chat just how much, as big black men, we have to minimize ourselves whenever we go to America JUST so we don’t get in problems or have a police officer kneel on our necks for 9 minutes.
It’s a real and genuine fear.
I am OVERLY polite, I apologize for everything and I speak the QUEENS English just so they aren’t afraid of me or so I don’t come off “intimidating”. In other words we gotta Dakarai ourselves up.
We rarely discuss as black Bahamians “the talk” we all got before going to an American school. And if you’re a white Bahamian that read that and has no clue what I’m referencing then consider this your education.
Black Bahamian students traveling to America, especially the boys, are sat down and given the, “Don’t get yourself killed being rude”, talk. My mother had me thinking Tennessee was Sarajevo.
White Bahamians don’t get that talk and, if you do make any mistakes, the consequences of your transgressions are shallow compared to the depth of bullshit we get into if we aren’t perfect in our response to tense situations. And, by the way, this isn’t anecdotal…..Nal was in Kentucky where they actively had KKK marches….downtown……in broad daylight. First time I ever got called a “nigger” was in Nashville Tennessee.
With the HARD “ER”.
I was so young and green I thought I knew the nigga from Nassau. Dude legit said, “Hey there nigger”…and I almost turned around like….
So try and understand that our approaches to traveling are different. And please know this is NO indictment on you. At no point do we blame you for the state of affairs in the world….but this is sadly the plight of “traveling while black”. You better do them googles, son, or get caught slippin.
Black Bahamians be on google hard before a trip….
So try and understand that with all that info I just gave you, when I went on my timeline and I saw white Bahamians justifying George Floyds death I was SHOOK. Because these were friends, neighbors, people I not only broke bread with but thought would at LEAST be silent and keep it to themselves and not, more or less, say ,“Fuck y’all feelings”, in my face at 6am with rants talking about…
These are the people, when an unarmed black person gets shot in the face their response is typically….
Then when you call them racist they bring out ALL the, “I have a black friend/spouse” receipts.
Um…..y’all know y’all can be racist and like and or be married to black penis/vagina too right?
I’ll do you one better: I KNOW most of you have black family, kids, friends etc but you can still be SUPER racist. I had a white woman, who was married to a black man, tell me plain as day….
And we know the code language….I’ve heard all the “I’m not a racist” intro lines:
“I’m not a racist but…..”
“You know you my boy and I don’t care bout color but….”
“I don’t care if you’re blue, red, yellow or green….”
“Why don’t ALL lives matter?”
…and my ALL time favorite…”I have a black friend and he agrees that….”
And the black friend always looks like this…..
People, its ok to see color.
It’s not a bad thing AT ALL. EMBRACE your color. If you a ginger then brag bout Ireland and your heritage…. ween mad. If you’re Greek then talk your shit, beloved. We fuck with y’all the long way. Race, culture, complexion…..they all make this world beautiful. We just ask that you recognize what being black comes with outside of The Bahamas that’s all.
And sometimes in this bitch too if we being 100.
Meanwhile, the rest of us were forced to be on manners…..
But I digress.
Some’a y’all never see color until a comic movie announces that there’s gonna be a black Superman then all of a sudden its….
Or, the new line is, “Y’all are watching too much American liberal media, turn the tv off”.
Y’all know we experience racism over there too right? Like, without the TV and social media, y’all know they don’t care if we Bahamian like AT ALL right? They just see a black person. You’ll swear we have a get out of racially charged murder free card.
Covid showed us all who the riders are and who the passengers are. The passengers are in the car with us but they never speak up or defend us amongst their own. They enjoy the spoils of the ride but never wanna chip in for gas. In fact there’s a lot of white Bahamians that will “black it up” in your face but when they get in an all conchy joe room its…
I don’t understand how y’all googled “The Bahamas” as a place to move to, saw it was predominantly black and was like…
Beloved, make it make sense.
I abide by one rule of thumb when it comes to white people in general: Will they walk that line with you when it counts. Not because they’re married to black people or date them. But just because it’s the right thing to do when the time comes. And, no….not every black person deserves energy.
And make no mistake…..I saw a lot of white Bahamians who were more angry than us. Them Treco girls ESPECIALLY Ramanda was WITH THE SHITS.
And understand….she’s in America….she DID NOT have to stand with us.
…meanwhile, on social media, that queen was ACTIVE cussin people out….she chose violence on our behalf every goddamn day….
Please don’t let the tone of this article let you think that I think ALL white Bahamians are racists. I could name white Bahamians all day that put their money where their mouth was or at least asked questions so they can be more educated. And no, we may not have agreed ALL the time but they didn’t hide from what the world was showing us.
They didn’t run.
They had the conversation and were able to manufacture informed mature opinions. So when we, as Black Bahamians, say Black Lives Matter….it’s not that we’re clout chasing or following a fad. You have to understand we have to love ALL of us.
It’s a luxury for y’all to be on some…
We have to love and support even the worst amongst us cause we get broad stroked with ANYONE black.
They hit us with the…
Y’all have “lone wolves” meanwhile some of y’all look at us like we’re fucking black Voltron formed up so we have to have the answers or be a part of EVERYTHING black that happens ANYWHERE.
I said earlier that I’m not an emotional guy which is true. But the last time I cried I did so for Nal’s son Kaizen. Renaldo, during a podcast with Dakarai and I, expressed how he had to explain to his son what happened to George Floyd.
Kaizen was confused.
He could not comprehend why someone would hurt or hate you solely because of your color. He cried. I don’t think out of sadness but because I’m sure, as a child, he was frustrated to even FATHOM how someone could kill or hurt his father or himself purely because he was darker than someone else. He couldn’t comprehend it in his 10 year old mind.
And Kaizen is a fucking great kid…..who would wanna harm this lil dude?
Let that sink in.
Let it sink in that these were the conversations we had to have with our kids, with our families. Imagine his outlook. That broken my heart….I shed tears during the podcast because what are we doing if we’re not trying to love and educate each other? If we can’t just come to the table and say we’re wrong for how we treat Haitians, if we can’t take a seat and say there is REAL racism in this country and it needs to be addressed, if we can’t look ourselves in the mirror and say we ARE our brother’s keeper white OR black…..then we are doomed as a nation.
I love ALL of you….wait….
So, while we’re sending out thoughts and prayers for America, as we should……let’s also get on our knees for our little nation because lord knows we need a moment of truth and reconciliation sooner I fear than we think.