I began this year with an observance about the date. In The Bahamas, years with twos, threes and sevens in them are likely to be major anniversaries of things; and as the twos and the sevens are five years apart, they double one another. Years with eights in them are extensions of the years with threes as well.
I say all that to say this. The fact that this is a big year in terms of our history and our identity has been overshadowed by the rather grubby fact that it’s also an election year. The result is that most things have been politicized. What hasn’t been politicized has been put on hold until the election’s over. Good thing that we have to hold it by mid-year; otherwise this entire year could become an exercise in water-treading for anybody who wants to get real things done.
Perhaps this is why we aren’t discussing abolition and what it means for us. This should, of course, be a source of shame for us all. When the United Kingdom is making a big deal out of this year, and out of the anniversary that’s coming up on March 25, we’re strangely silent. Is it because people on the PLP are afraid to make too much out of it because of the long years of invoking slavery in election years (the running of Roots on ZNS, in 1977, 1982, and 1987, the references to Exodus) have rendered the concept of slavery impotent as a political tool? Is it because people in the FNM have rejected the concept of slavery because they believe that it alienates those people who are not the descendants of slaves?
Something to think about.