1. When Hitler’s propaganda ministry sought to arouse national sentiment against the Jews in their midst, it used the term, “The Final Solution to the Jewish Problem” (German “Endlo-sung der Judenfrage”) This shaped and manipulated the people’s response to the Jews so that overnight numerous Jews found themselves dispossessed of their homes, their possessions, their jobs, their businesses; many ended up in “concentration camps,” herded like cattle into cattle cars for expulsion from the homeland and extermination in the notorious prison camps that operated with military
precision and efficiency, destroying some 6 million Jews. The Jewish “problem” had been “solved.”
2. The lessons of history are instructive, even chilling. For those who pay attention to its subtleties, the lessons of language are no less chilling. Hitler posed the issue of Jews to the German people as a “problem” requiring a “solution.” Of course, a “problem” is a bad thing; equally, a “solution” is a desirable thing. Hence a solution to a problem is
eminently desirable; one who assists in the accomplishment of such a solution is a patriot, a good citizen.
3. The presence of large groups of Haitian and other immigrants in our midst is frequently posed as a “problem” in the Bahamian media. Of course, when a small island nation confronts a constant and seemingly endless stream of illegal immigrants from a poor nation close by, it is undeniably a serious issue, one that taxes the resources and the ingenuity of the group that inhabits what is for some a highly desirable destination or transit point to the promised land of the United States. However, the question is really one of how to cope with this phenomenon while at the same time retaining our humanity and acknowledging the humanity of those who seek refuge here.
4. Other than being seen as a problem, the illegal immigrant is also at times labeled a “criminal,” an ill-co…