I realise that most races have been held as slaves at one time or another, and the practice continues today in some parts of the world, but one of the most dastardly parts of the Atlantic slave trade was how fellow human beings were treated as as if they less than men and women.
And it seems that many of us feel the same way about illegal Haitians here in The Bahamas.
We hear it in disparaging conversations about Haitians and we see it in the way they are rounded up by the Immigration Department when they decide to do their raids.
Oh I agree they are illegal and we must deal with it, but do we have to pretend these people are not human beings?
Watching a Minister of Immigration dressed in army fatigues during a pick up or herding and storing these folks in a manner not becoming of ourselves is not worthy of a "Christian nation".
While I realise "There has always been a love hate relationship between Bahamians and Haitians. We love them when they do the physical labour we don't want to do, but hate them when they start to aspire to do more for themselves," and we can't continue to have shanty towns etc, but when last have we heard a constructive debate about it in Parliament? Ever?
We have to treat each other as if we are human.
As the logo above, designed for the British anti slavery movement by Josiah Wedgewood, asks, "Am I Not A Man And A Brother?"
This is a question we should be asking ourselves when we know in our hearts we treat Haitians like they are not.
(Click on the image to read an essay by Lawrence W. Reed, of the Foundation for Economic Education (Fee.org) entitled, A Student's Essay That Changed The World.)