Dear America, Your President Is A Terrorist
Donald Trump is a racist, a xenophobe, a misogynist, a homophobe and now a terrorist leader.
Trump, the US’ embarrassing 45th president, provoked a deadly attack on the US Capitol last Wednesday, the likes of which that country had not seen since the War of 1812.
Incited by Trump’s inflammatory pronouncements of a stolen November election, thousands of his right-wing supporters stormed the US Capitol smashing windows and vandalizing sacred spaces in a bid to stop Congress from certifying Joe Biden’s victory as president.
Five people were killed as a result.
America’s allies immediately condemned the actions calling them ‘shocking’ and ‘disgraceful.’ It was horrifying to watch the violence unleashed in DC last week, but not entirely unexpected.
Trump has been incendiary from before the start of his presidency, serving as puppet master to his mob-like base.
This cultish group has repeatedly demonstrated its terrifying loyalty to Trump. And his decision to sic his base on the US Capitol last week was further proof of that.
At the twitch of his itchy Twitter fingers, he galvanizes and unleashes his supporters on society.
Social media platforms have only recently taken the decision to deactivate his accounts. Twitter permanently banned his account and Facebook has banned him “at least” until his term in office ends.
Quite frankly, they took too long to act. Trump consistently used his social media channels as a bully pulpit and a virtual megaphone to destroy his enemies. And they only waited until the clock was winding down on his presidency to act.
Five people are dead and Trump’s blood-soaked hands are stained forever.
Now, there are loud calls for the president to be impeached days before he is set to demit office. If it proceeds, it would be the second time he has been impeached.
Thank You, “Butch” Stewart
The Bahamas owes a debt of gratitude to Sandals Resorts International founder and travel industry giant, Gordon “Butch” Stewart for his commitment to and investments in The Bahamas.
Stewart died last week following an undisclosed illness. He was 79.
Sadly, few people outside of the hotel industry know much about Stewart, a Jamaican marketing genius and a dreamer who entered The Bahamas and transformed an ailing government-owned hotel into a world-class property.
Those old enough to remember or with a sense of history recall Stewart’s purchase of the Balmoral Beach Hotel in Cable Beach. At the time, the hotel was bleeding money and the government of the day had a hard time getting rid of it. Stewart eventually took it off the government’s hands at a fire sale price.
He took that property, increased the number of rooms and transformed the property into the Royal Bahamian Balmoral Hotel Resort and Spa.
The road wasn’t exactly easy for Stewart. At the time, the hotel union felt Stewart and his company did not have the capacity to run the hotel – an unfortunate, yet common sentiment at the time.
Noted labour attorney, Obie Ferguson, who is also the attorney for the union that represents Sandals workers, recently admitted that the hotel union had a lack of confidence in Caribbean entrepreneurs at the time.
Stewart went on to develop several hotels in The Bahamas – the Sandals Royal Bahamian resort in Cable Beach, New Providence and Sandals Emerald Bay in Exuma. His company also owns a property on Fowl Cay.
Contrary to popular belief, Stewart didn’t create the all-inclusive resort model. That honour goes to Sir Billy Butlin, a British entrepreneur and pioneer in that area, although, entrepreneur and water polo champion, Gérard Blitz has also been credited with popularizing such resorts in the Caribbean.
Unlike many hoteliers who placed heavy emphasis on their resort’s beach offerings, Stewart created a diverse product with specialty restaurants and multiple room categories. He also ensured that there was a heavy focus on his properties’ lush gardens.
Despite his company’s success, it was not without its problems. Sandals famously forbid same-sex couples from staying at the resort from 1981 to 2004. As a result of the longstanding ban, relatives or friends of the same sex were blocked from staying in the same room – an unintended consequence, no doubt.
It’s unclear if Sandals’ change of heart was due to its evolving position on same-sex couples or due to the bad press and subsequent threats of legal action it faced from gay and lesbian advocates.
In 2003, London’s mayor, Ken Livingstone famously criticized the resort for its ban. Sandals’ ads were subsequently removed from London’s subway system. This was a major move considering that the UK was Sandals’ second top market.
Notwithstanding this controversy, Stewart’s legacy is not only respected, but cemented in the hotel industry.
People like Stewart and Atlantis founder, Sol Kerzner, who passed away in 2020, were dreamers, visionaries and most importantly, risk takers. They took risks that few Bahamians would take. We should forever remember and celebrate these men for choosing The Bahamas and revolutionizing our tourism industry.