Saturday, September 30, 2023


British Royal Couple Boards Flight for Jamaica Where Protesters are Demanding Reparations and Apology

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge board the RAF Voyager Plane for Jamaica this afternoon, where demonstrators are demanding reparations for the slavery sins of the royal family.

Prince William and wife Kate left Belize, bound for Jamaica the second stop of their Caribbean Tour.

A group of protesters in Jamaica, ahead of the royal couple’s arrival on Tuesday.

Protesters held signs like, “Seh yuh sorry,” and “60 reasons to go back home” in front of the British High Commission in Kingston where organisers say the monarchy should apologize for “the exploitation of Jamaica, the transatlantic trafficking of Africans, the enslavement of Africans, indentureship and colonialization.”

The tour which began on Saturday, has spurred reaction from Caribbean people who believe the enslavement and colonialism of its people deserves acknowledgement by the Queen and her family who benefitted from its ‘blood, sweat and tears.’

Famous Jamaican musician Beenie Man told Good Morning Britain that his countrymen want nothing to do with the Queen because the British monarch has done nothing for the country.

“Jamaicans nuh want the queen, me can tell you that. Them nuh like be controlled by nobody. If Harry did deh yah, people would a react different, people would a go meet Harry. But William, nobody nuh want see that.”

He added: “We are just here, controlled by the British, ruled by the British law when you go in the court. It’s all about the Queen and the Queen this and the Queen that, but what are they doing for Jamaica? They are not doing anything for us.”

This comes after a small but similar protest in Belize happened where villagers asked William to leave the land which in dispute with an organization in which he is a patron.

The couple’s next stop is the Bahamas on Thursday.

Columbus Vandal Tells Judge, ‘Nothing Wrong With Me’

The vandal responsible for hacking the statue of Christopher Columbus on Saturday faced a magistrate today for destruction to government property.

Thirty-seven-year-old Shervandaze Smith who has called himself ‘Michael the Arch Angel’ told Joyann Ferguson-Pratt, “There’s nothing wrong with me.”

Ferguson-Pratt debated whether or not Smith was fit to plead to the charges and eventually remanded him to the Bahamas Department of Corrections for mental evaluation since Sandilands Rehabilitation Center has a moratorium on admissions.

Smith told the court he was once a butler at a resort. He lived with his mother but vacated after she said he was mentally unstable.

Why it matters

Smith’s action of vandalizing the statue of Christopher Columbus, has stirred public debate on the removal of the colonial statue.

Though unlawful, some Bahamians took to social media to support the vandalism, decrying the atrocities of Columbus whom many have said is responsible for the demise of the indigenous people, the Arawaks.

Questions were raised on the laxity of security at Government House since Smith was not intercepted by an officer before committing the act.

State of play

The statue remains covered in a blue tarp on the premises of Government House. Prime Minister Philip Davis has spoken on the issue stating that he will not support acts of vandalism.

He said his government will decide to repair or replace the statue.

Lots of Bahamians are Angry with Christopher Columbus

The discussion of Christopher Columbus’ has been reignited in the daily discourse following the destruction of the statue at Government House on Mt Fritzwilliam on Saturday.

The actions of the suspect who seems deranged, have stirred angry emotions toward Columbus and have garnered social media support.

Since 1492, Columbus was hailed as the discoverer of the Bahamas and the new world. He has been hailed a hero and still plays an integral part in the Social Studies program in our educational system.

More than 500 years later, some people have shifted focus to the atrocities Columbus inflicted on the native Bahamians, identified as the Lucayans who were eventually decimated from our islands.

Bahamians like Father Sebastian Campbell have led the way to abolish the memory of Columbus from our national holidays and remove any replicas from our public sphere.

Anger toward colonialists like Columbus increased after the killing of George Floyd by a white police officer in the United States when the issue of racism arose, as statues that symbolized slavery and racism were torn down in some countries around the world, while some were removed by governments.

Though some people signed petitions for the Bahamas government to remove Columbus from Mt Fritzwilliam, there was never any lawless act to attempt to destroy it, until the man who identified himself as Michael the Arch Angel, drew a sledgehammer and extricated the arm and foot of the Columbus statue.

Some social media posters erupted in applause.

Fringe groups like the third party Coalition of Independents looking to be included in the national discourse said it will provide bail and a lawyer for the suspect accused of damage to government property.

It remains to be seen if the government will remove statues of colonialism like Christopher Columbus.  Last year, a strong supporter of the PLP Latrae Rahming who now works in the office of the Press Secretary said his party always advocated for the statue’s removal and the quest for removal was supported by Party Chairman Fred Mitchell.

However, newly appointed Prime Minister Philip Davis told the Nassau Guardian on Tuesday that his government will determine whether the statue will be repaired or replaced, while emphasizing that he is “concerned when I see acts of disobedience that result in the destruction of public property.”

If we begin with Columbus, where do we end? Our country has a colonial past. Our history is colonialism and slavery. How far do we go?

We should use them as reminders as to how far we have come and place them in the proper context of the period in which they lived.

Historian Gail Saunders agrees that it is a complex issue saying only that Columbus’ statue should be in place to remember the Lucayans who were here before his arrival.