Sunday, July 10, 2016 at 9:29 AM

Happy (almost) Independence Day, Bahamas!

Posted by Anthony L. Hall

Bahamas Flag V3


The Bahamas celebrates 43 years of independence today. I heartily join in hailing our motto: “Forward, Upward, Onward, Together” … my Bahamaland!

We are a relatively young nation of only 377,000 people. Yet not even the political and cultural hegemony of the United States can chasten our national pride.

The Bahamian government threw this into tragicomic relief yesterday – when it showed the U.S. government that two can play the “travel advisory” card:

The Bahamas has issued a rare travel advisory for its citizens visiting the U.S., recommending particular care for young men in cities affected by tensions over recent police shootings.

The advisory warns citizens to not get involved in protests and avoid crowds.

It comes after two black men were shot dead by police in Minnesota and Louisiana, and five officers were killed at a protest in Dallas.

(BBC, July 9, 2016)

Screen Shot 2016-07-10 at 8.50.42 AMGranted, there’s a little cutting off nose to spite face in The Bahamas issuing a travel advisory for the United States.

But this Promethean pride is precisely why we make such a mockery of our “independence” by continuing to pledge allegiance to a British Queen — when we should be referring to Her Majesty as nothing more than our children’s fairy godmother; and by continuing to appeal to a UK Privy Council as our court of last resort — when we should be appealing to a Bahamas Supreme Court.

I’ve been pleading the latter case for years to no avail, including most recently in “For Independence Sake, Caribbean, Abolish Privy Council,” February 1, 2016. With all due respect to the Caribbean Court of Justice, however, I’ve always maintained that there’s no point in ridding ourselves of a colonial arbiter of our legal fate, only to subject ourselves to a regional one.

But don’t get me started on how silly we look aping the royal pretensions and appurtenances of our former colonial masters. This includes everything from wearing those stupid white wigs in court, which I lamented on behalf of my profession in “Hey, Tony, What’s Up with the Brothers Wearing White Wigs,” March 2, 2007, to coveting titles like “Sir” and “Dame,” which I decried on behalf of all former British colonies in “Australia Bans British Honors. Other Commonwealth Countries Should Too,” November 3, 2015.

I mean, how is it that so many of our people see no self-abnegating contradiction in coveting such titles. Not to mention that they are often based more on a bribe given than any merit earned. I ridiculed this corrupt practice ten years ago this week in “Pardon Me, Sir, but How Much Did You Pay for Your Knighthood,” July 14, 2006.

Yet the London Daily Mail had cause to report on it just today – with respect to no less a person than Baroness Scotland, head of the Commonwealth, and an Antigua-Barbuda envoy – in “Stop Posing as a Knight, Palace Warns ‘Baroness Brazen’ Sidekick,” July 10, 2016.

The point is that the time has long since passed for us to completely sever the umbilical cords of colonialism and stand proud as a people … beholden and answerable only to ourselves, and free of pretentious British honours.

Only then will we be able to take unencumbered pride in our independent song, “March On, Bahamaland.”

Related commentaries:
Abolish Privy Council..
Idle-minded debate
Hey Tony
Ban British honours
Your Knighthood

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