Sunday, July 10, 2016

The Bahamas' U.S. Travel Advisory: Use "Extreme Caution" Around Police

Years ago when I worked as an in-house attorney for an oil company and traveled overseas a great deal, I paid attention to State Department travel advisories for countries where I traveled, especially "developing world" countries.  The oil  company even provided us with its own travel advisories since employees of American oil companies were viewed as possible targets for violence or kidnapping.  Never in my wildest dreams back then would I have believed that other countries would be issuing travel advisories about travel to America.  Yet that is where this country finds itself.  European countries are warning their LGBT citizens to use caution in parts of the USA, including North Carolina just under 30 miles from where I sit.  Now, majority black nations are warning their citizens of dangers faced from American police officers.  

What's brought us to this?  In my view, white conservative Christians who increasingly want to use force inflict their beliefs on others, including the racism that is always just beneath the surface of the leading "family values" organizations controlled largely by southern whites who (i) long for the days of the Jim Crow laws and (ii) believe in a militarized police force and citizenry.  The Virginian Pilot looks at how The Bahamas has joined the list of nations issuing travel warnings about travel to America.  Here are highlights:
Over 90 percent of residents in the Bahamas are black, and Monday is a national holiday, when some travel north from the archipelago to vacation in the United States.
But following deadly police shootings this week of black men in Louisiana and Minnesota - and an ambush of white officers in Texas - the island nation on Friday advised its residents to be extra careful if they choose to do travel here.
The reason: "recent tensions in some American cities over shootings of young black males by police officers."
It was the kind of advisory that the U.S. government has issued recently for travel under the repressive regime in Laos, or to the developing nation of Nicaragua: watch out for the security situation, and beware of street demonstrations, the State Department warned.
On Friday, however, those red flags were turned around on the United States.
The Bahamian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Immigration urged its citizens to exercise "appropriate caution" when traveling to the United States, and especially to cities where recent police shootings have occurred.
The Bahamian government specifically advised its young male citizens to take "extreme caution" with police. "Do not be confrontational and cooperate," the government warned.
And it was the second summer in a row that foreign travelers have received such warnings. Amid riots following police shootings last year, France warned residents against travel to St. Louis, Cleveland and Baltimore.
Canada, Germany and others have in the past also warned their citizens about deadly gun violence when traveling to the United States, but none updated their travel warnings this week.
For its part, the U.S. has its own, albeit more narrow, advice for citizens heading to the Bahamas: don't patronize "jet-ski rentals on New Providence or Paradise Islands," the State Department warned this year. The industry is minimally regulated and crimes have occurred at sea.
Let's never forget that it is not liberals and progressives who have created this toxic atmosphere.  No, its the "conservatives" and the "godly white folks." 

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