We must indoctrinate, Bahamas
FR. SEBASTIAN CAMPBELL
Published: May 30, 2013
Grand Bahama redeemed Empire Day on May 24, 2013. The very medium used to indoctrinate minds in the colony of The Bahamas was re-employed to educate impressionable minds in an independent Bahamas.
Anyone 40 years and older is a victim of the colonial masters who whipped them into a colonial mindset intended to last a lifetime. May 24 was a red-letter day on the calendar. A day reserved to celebrate British colonization of its territories.
Colonization of the mind was intentional and was meant to keep the colonized mentally shackled to the colonial masters. On May 24 in pre-independence days, schools were shut down tight; business places all locked up; no excuse was tolerated not to march. March we did, while waving the Union Jack and singing, lustily, old colonial enslaving songs only to be culminated with the official flag raising and plaiting of the maypole. And, yes, there were speeches, by leading officials, clearly orchestrated to tighten even further the shackles put on us by the colonial lords.
They cleverly found a way to make us happy in the chains and prayed they stayed on forever. You call it a travesty? It was a cleverly designed system of indoctrination. Primary in their plans were the children. This gives it longevity well over horizons of all times. Oh, if only we, today, in all spheres of leadership can only be as smart as the colonial lords and invest at all times in children.
The church must also wise up to this for a stronger future. As we celebrate our 40th anniversary of independence we are showing little prudence here. The celebrations should be all about our children; the bridge to the future. Why aren’t we as smart as the colonials?
Only because of the colonial masters intentional campaign of indoctrination we have Bahamians, 40 years and older, still yearning to stay in Egypt. Ironically some want to live in two worlds, colonial Bahamas and independent Bahamas. Enslaved minds holding tenaciously to colonial appendages, wearing colonial wigs and gowns, swearing allegiance to Her Majesty the Queen her heirs and successors, holding on to titles of QC as though there can be no higher national recognition.
Priscilla Rollins prophetically sang at independence in 1973, “Independence morning is like a baby borning...”. That baby is about to turn 40 years now. Why is that baby still craving milk and doesn’t want to leave the parents’ home? How mature really is this baby? We must grow up, Bahamas. Stop being babies in our thinking.
I congratulate the Grand Bahama Independence Committee for leading the way in our celebrations of independence. Schools were shut down on Friday, May 24, 2013. It allowed for well over 10,000 people to adorn national colors and march through the city of Freeport to Independence Park.
Can you imagine, thousands of Bahamian flags waving in unison on a procession of people almost two miles long? I am happy to have heard about it and to have participated fully in the days proceeding. There were kindergarten, primary school and all the other groupings present. Leaders in the Ministry of Education in Grand Bahama deserve a standing ovation. You broke through shackles that enslave your ministry. This gesture should take place in all our schools on all our islands as we celebrate our 40th anniversary of independence.
This was an innovative way of bringing education to our children. It was well executed. The message was loud and clear to all age groups. The rally that followed was magnificent. My only criticism is that it should have proceeded immediately on arrival at the park. The children were well-rehearsed and skillfully rendered their pieces. Well done teachers.
I move a resolution, in need of a seconder, that similar children’s marches and rallies be held for all our children, in all our schools on all our islands at independence time every year (all in favor, please say I). We must be one in these celebrations. It’s a lame excuse to assert that some children are in exams. All our children are not in exams at any one given time. The same as Grand Bahama was able to make it happen, the whole Bahamas should. I fear that most of our grandiose celebrations will be weakened in that children are not intentionally worked in. Ministry of Education and private schools, it’s not too late. We can do it before all our schools close for the summer. We owe this to our nation.
Indoctrinate now. Our children are the bridge to the future. Let it not be seen that the colonial masters were wiser than we are. Let us learn from their method. Things Bahamian we are losing only because we slunk. May 24, it was Empire Day and it is still is in the minds of those over 40.
As we marched, some of them relived the old days; they saw it as redeeming the times. I advance that on a day set aside, every year, before school closes, there should be a march and rally across our archipelago. Let it be our moment to teach the lesson and what it means to march as one Bahamas united in love and service.
• Fr. Sebastian Campbell is rector at St. Gregory’s Anglican Church.