This article is not intended to be
a scholarly work on the etiology of favoritism, nor is it a thesis on creating a
non-violent environment. It is just a friendly conversation warning you, dear
reader, about the silent Bahamian killer - favoritism.
This killer of the Bahamian spirit walks the halls of the judiciary system,
the corridors of healing institutions, the teaching rooms of educational
centers, and board rooms of cooperate establishments, etc. Where does it really
start? It starts around the dining tables, in the kitchens and living rooms of
our Bahamian homes. It has nothing to do with being single, married, widowed,
white or black. It has all to do with personal integrity, a much needed virtue
in modern Bahamian family life.
The sad part about the problem of favoritism in our country is that too many
participants think it is normal behavior. In fact many have been taught that
respect for a relative or friend is shown by placing them in front of the line
or letting them get away with shady business dealings. Words that can paint
clearer pictures of meaning of favoritism are: discrimination, injustice,
prejudice, inequality, nepotism, and partiality. Do you get the picture? Mothers
and fathers, are you guilty of any one of these? Remember these negative
behaviors start in our home.
A mother and father who have a favorite child cause hatred, jealousy, vicious
fights, and sometimes life-long enemies between siblings. Many of these parents
often become critical or judgmental with evil motives, not only in their family
circle but with others they come in contact with each day. A serious side effect
of favoritism is that of covering up. Our favorite person can do no wrong. Or
"if I wash his hands one day he will wash mine." We become dishonest.
People who practice favoritism cannot be fully honest. They must lie. The
problem is they do it so often that the lie now appears as the truth. To these
individuals, the truth does not matter, itís only what they can get out of it
for themselves. At the heart of favoritism is the malignant tumor called
One of the ways this type of behavior is developed is when our children are
told to shut up and not say a word when they have witnessed what has really
happened. Another way is expecting a doctor, nurse, or bank teller to break the
rules and do a favor just because he is a friend. Another serious way this
behavior is learned is when children watch and listen as a parent calls a police
who is a relative to get their brother out of jail and "get him off the
hook" in spite of the broken law. These children grow up to believe that
who you are is more important than the wrong you did. More power to the parents
who let their guilty sons and daughters sleep in prison cells or police
lock-ups. These are the parents that are building a healthy nation.
Do we really want to get rid of violence in our country. Then, peace can only
come through sacrifice not favoritism. That is, parents willing to tell the
truth although it hurts. Also parents who have the gumption to call the police
when a child breaks the law. It is also a politician, minister of the gospel,
and their family members, getting the same prison time for wrong doings as the
carpenter or road digger living Over the Hill. Parents, we must instill in our
childrenís minds that the law is no respecter of persons.
"We must cease this death-bell activity. There
should be no "who knows who" when it comes to violence
and crime. If a police is to arrest her brother-in-law
who has committed a crime, she must to do so because the
law requires it. She must not do him "a favor" by
turning her head. We destroy the community and the
law-breaking family member, or friend, by "letting him
slide." Government officials, community leaders,
pastors, youth leaders are all responsible for upholding
the law in spite of the relationship to the law-breaker.
Too many people boast of having "friends in high places"
as an excuse for doing wrong. Now we have a nation
soaked in the putrefying lies of indifference and
passivity. Underneath the surface of our refined
protocol of our tourism, church, and school
environments, there is a malignant tumor thatís about to
crack the skin of national peace and expose its ugliness
to the world. Unless we have radical surgery now to
remove the tumor, we might be headed to an unexpected
death of a nation we once loved." (Making
a Non-violent Bahamas)
Our nation is starving for a true practice of justice and fair-play, not just
in our courts, but in our homes. This type of justice can only start in the
hearts of parents. Parents you are destroying your sons and daughters and
eventually the nation when you lie and cover-up for them. Let us all stalk about
streets of our national lives searching for the silent killer - favoritism. Letís
be open and honest.