Certain Ministers feel they can contain, discourage and distort the proceedings of the Black Friday March and the zeitgeist surrounding it. They’re calling shots from old and tired playbooks. They’re running lateral passes when the Bahamian people have moved to the spread offense. (Sorry for the football metaphor.)
The Hon. Leslie Miller thinks the old rules apply where everyone either wants to be a politician or grovel to one. Everyone in between is to be ignored. Hence his recent ramblings towards the community march organizer: Ranard Eric Henfield.
“I was working on behalf of Bahamians since 1962 – your a** wasn’t even born yet.” He continued, “If you feel as if you are capable enough I dare you to put your name on a ballot, ‘Mr. Big and Bad,’ show your a** and see just how much the Bahamian people believe in you.” Mr. Miller went on to offer the activist $1,000 for every vote over 200 if he did run.
This thinking and posturing by the Hon. Leslie Miller is exactly the mentality that hundreds of Bahamians marched against. Arrogant. Dismissive. Imperialist.
Mr. Miller, and those like-minded, would have you grovel, eat whatever they force down your throats and then thank them for it. I gather from Mr. Miller that if you are not in Parliament your opinion means nothing. I gather from Mr. Miller’s comments that he wants the organizer to play out the game in a setting politicians are more adept at. Mr. Miller assumes that the organizer’s refusal to run would embarrass him into submission. Mr. Miller has missed the point of the demonstrations.
The Hon. Fred Mitchell claimed the organization of the march was Oppositionist propaganda. That a protest would do “diddly-squat.” That PLP Supporters would not be caught dead participating in the action. Arrogant. Dismissive. Imperialist.
He described the list of demands presented by organizers as not special or revolutionary.
Mr. Mitchell, this is the point.
These are old tactics. Trying to pin the entire movement on one, or a handful, of individuals. Trying to undermine the legitimacy of the voice of The Bahamian people. Mr. Mitchell, you and your party appreciated the voice of The Bahamian people in 2012 when we elected you into power. Why should the voices be silent now?
The Prime Minister has agreed to meet with the organizers of the protests. The problem with that is the myriad of issues brought up by the people are outside the scope of the individual organizers’ initial “demands.” It has become a movement outside of being contained with one-on-one meetings with “key stakeholders.” The entirety of Bahamian people are the key stake-holders.
This is what the opponents of the march fail to grasp or unfortunately do understand but try to twist. This march was NOT about an individual. This march was NOT about a political party. This march was not about red, yellow or green.
This march was a condemnation of old political attitudes of arrogance, dismissiveness and imperialist-style ruling. All parties, not just the one currently in power, have had more than their fair share of exuding these attitudes.
This march WAS a primal shout from the Bahamian people demanding to be listened to more often than once every five years.