Friday, March 23, 2012

Seeds of Revolution

Did anybody else notice how the national pundits in our Bahamas are getting louder in their demands for democracy, transparency and respect for the humanity of Bahamians? One interesting debate to follow currently takes place on Twitter, a place I don’t normally pay much attention to, because I do not believe important insights can be expressed in one hundred and forty characters or less. Nonetheless, in anticipation of the upcoming general election, Twitter, like most other social media, is showcasing a wide range of opinions from various Bahamian opinion leaders.

Several days ago, a new hashtag entered the scene - “#DemandDebates.” As far as I can tell, this originated from College of the Bahamas faculty, who are now pushing for our political leader, for candidates from all parties, to not only face but engage the public and debate the issues facing this country, to present their plans and ideas for solving the various crises plaguing the Bahamas.

Normally, I would consider COB and its faculty to be a haven of moderation; in fact, COB always struck me as somewhat conservative. Yet, I look at their calendar of events for recent weeks, and I see items like a series of symposia dedicated to Frantz Fanon, a revolutionary thinker and theorist of the Caribbean and African diaspora.

If indeed COB has turned into a cell of intellectuals vocally expressing their disgruntlement, imagine how the Bahamian masses must feel in the current situation of economic despair and out-of-control crime. The rhetoric is becoming more radical, more revolutionary.

It looks like 2012 (or the years to come) may see the continuation of the unfinished revolution of the 1960/70s. Will the political caste recognize this in time to ensure that this, too, is going to be a Quiet Revolution, a peaceful, democratic process, or will the continued disregard for the needs of large strata of Bahamian society result in civil unrest and upheaval?

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