Bahamian PLP co-opts the struggle when it’s convenient for them


NASSAU, BAHAMAS–The Bohamian foreign affairs minister, Fred Mitchell sang Bob Marley’s “Redemption Song” in the House of Assembly this past Wednesday in response to alleged attacks from a foreign investor who leads the $3.5 billion BahaMar project.
 
The song is considered to beone of Bob Marley's greatest works and it is derived from a speech given by Marcus Garvey. 
 
Marcus Garvey, who preached Africa for the Africans at home and abroad and African self-determination, founded the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA), in 1919.
 
The UNIA was an organization of several million Africans and supporters throughout the world.
Garvey believed African people worldwide were suffering under colonialism and that taking control over our own lives and reclaiming our Africa was a necessary component in our struggle against colonialism.
 
Bob Marley invoked the concept of African peoples’ struggle for self-determination and unity when he released “Redemption Song” in 1980.
 
He was invoking Garvey’s words and work for African people to be a self-determining people by freeing ourselves from colonialism.
 
Bob Marley was also reminding African people that we couldn’t stand by and allow imperialism to continuously kidnap, murder, overthrow and imprison our real revolutionary leaders and weaken our movement.  This is the historical context that gave birth to the song.
 
PLP not a party for the people
 
On what basis does the minister of foreign affairs sing “Redemption Song” in the House of Assembly? What gives him the right to invoke this philosophy that so many have died for and that so many people gave blood and tears for—a philosophy that the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) knows nothing about?
 
These are the facts: the government of The Bahamas entered into a capitalist agreement with the developers of BahaMar and the Chinese government with their eyes wide open in 2010.
 
The deal, however, has not worked out and now the foreign investor is a bad guy. All of a sudden the foreign investor—who countless administrations have sworn by—is a threat to our sovereignty.
There is no way this political lie can remain unchallenged. 
 
Make no mistake. The PLP is a capitalist political party working in the best interest of foreign interests at the expense of the people.
 
It believes wholeheartedly in maintaining and perpetuating a social system that keeps African people in The Bahamas—particularly the African working class—in an ever-lasting state of colonial economic bondage imposed by Europeans and now increasingly the Chinese.  
 
The PLP cannot show the African working class and the poor in The Bahamas any evidence that it even attempts to break us out of this parasitic and predatory relationship. 
 
We are tired of this wretched, capitalist, unfulfilling life. We need adequate and proper food, shelter and clothing. We want a creative and a productive life. 
 
We need real black power!
 
Our people still cry out for access to land and proper, affordable housing after more than 50 years of neocolonial rule.
 
The black political figures in The Bahamas and throughout the world only recall African history and our struggle when it’s convenient for them.
 
They scramble to fill the people’s bellies with empty words, as election time draws near, but they have not  created jobs and there has been little to no economic development.
 
Real black power would have limited the millions of dollars in concessions that were granted to the project, ensured that construction workers in The Bahamas were hired to build the resort and guaranteed only leased land was used for the development of the project.
 
Real black power would have clearly stated that all disputes arising out of the agreement had to be resolved in The Bahamas and warranted that workers were at the table from the outset of the agreement.
 
Real black power would have taken the tourism industry out of the hands of foreign investors and placed it in the hands of the people. The Bahamas gets none of that.
 
We, instead, get a song and some quote about negroes being on bended knees.
In the words of my African brothers and sisters in the North: Negro, please!
 
Build APSP-Bahamas!
End neocolonialism; build real black power!

 
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