Minority Communities, Devastated by Dorian
Photo Courtesy Meridith Kohut for BuzzFeed News (November 2019)

Minority Communities, Devastated by Dorian

Minority can be defined as, culturally, ethnically, or racially distinct group that coexists with but is subordinate to a more dominant group. In Grand Bahama Haitians are the largest minority group and have a great disadvantage to higher and middle class Bahamians in Grand Bahama. They face so much challenges in The Bahamas such as discrimination, low economic opportunities and the stigma that comes with being a Haitian in this country. When Bahamians travel or migrate to other countries to live a better life, they hate being face with discriminators so why do they do it to the Haitians who are just trying to do the same. The poverty line is at $4,247 of yearly family income. This already places about 13 precent of Bahamains “poor” . Haitians have the highest rate of poverty being at 37.9 percent even though they only represent 7.4 precent of the Bahamas population. These people most likely live in flood zones where surges can happen easy in their area.

Hurricanes are devastating for everyone but they hit immigrants the hardest. Their homes being destroyed making their future uncertain.When hurricane Dorian happened many Haitians lost the little they had and their documents. In 2010, after the catastrophic earthquake that struck Haiti, many Haitians who were displaced, settled in The Bahamas. Obtaining work permits is expensive and not having a passport bars them from owning land or claiming citizenship. Their children are stateless since The Bahamas doesn’t grant birthright citizenships. “Alicia Reckley, 37, a mother of five, was born in Haiti but is married to a Bahamian, and thus is exempt from deportation. But Mrs. Reckley is worried about her 11-year-old niece, who was born in the Bahamas to Haitian parents and has neither Haitian nor Bahamian documents. The child’s mother was deported last year.” (Knowles, 2019.) This is an example of how The Bahamas doesn’t grant birthright citizenships. Reckley and her family reside in the shantytowns, Abaco.

Haitians recovering their belongings from their destroyed homes in Abaco, Bahamas, in September.
Credit, Ramon Espinosa/Associated Press.

Brianna Sacks a BuzzFeed news reporter conducted an interview with a forty-one-year-old mother named, Gina. Brianna Sacks communicated with Gina through a translator who speaks Creole. Gina plays a voice note from her boyfriend, leaving a sad but loving message to the kids and her. Her boyfriend, Avner was arrested by immigration officers after his lunch break near Treasure Cay, a gated community on Great Abaco Island. Avner was helping rebuilding houses in Abaco. Gina talks about being stressed after hurricane Dorian, they had lost their home, money and stable jobs. She thanks God for protecting her and her family during the storm. “Immigration officers had been conducting daily raids in Haitian neighborhoods and hurricane-recovery sites, demanding work permits and residency papers as part of the Bahamian government’s ramped-up campaign against undocumented immigrants.” ( Sacks, 2019.)

Gina burying her face in hands out of frustration.
Photo Courtesy Meridith Kohut for BuzzFeed News