Young male? Bahamas issues travel advisory for travel to U.S.

Recent tensions over the police shooting deaths of two black males has prompted the Bahamas Ministry of Foreign Affairs to issue a travel advisory for its citizens traveling to the United States.

“We wish to advise all Bahamians travelling to the U.S. but especially to the affected cities to exercise appropriate caution generally,” said the advisory, which was posted on Friday. ” In particular young males are asked to exercise extreme caution in affected cities in their interactions with the police. Do not be confrontational and cooperate.”

The warning comes in wake of a week of growing racial tensions.

Alton Sterling, who was selling CDs in front of a convenience store, was shot to death by Baton Rouge police. Several witnesses filmed the incident.

Not long after that shooting, the nation was rocked by the death of another black male at the hands of police.

Philando Castile was shot multiple times by a St. Anthony, Minn., police officer during a traffic stop for a broken tail light. His death was filmed by his girlfriend on her cell phone.

Then, in Dallas, five police officers were killed by a sniper who claimed it was in retailiation for police shootings of African Americans.

“Our major concern is young Bahamian males traveling to the U.S.,” said Randy Rolle, the consul general for the Bahamas in Atlanta. “It’s alarming when you see the level of unrest that’s happening.”

He said people back home are playing close attention to what is happening on U.S. streets.

“They’re talking about this throughout the world,” he said.

The advisory urged those traveling to contact their nearest consular offices if there are any issues. The Bahamas has consular offices in Atlanta, Chicago, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., New York and Miami.

“Do not get involved in political or other demonstrations under any circumstances and avoid crowds,” the advisory continues…While it is prudent for travelers to conduct themselves in an orderly manner at all times, in light of recent episodes of involving police officers and young black men in the United States, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Immigration wishes to advise the Bahamian public to exercise due care and attention especially when traveling to particular cities in the United States.”

It’s interesting how the shootings are being viewed overseas.

Businesswoman and television personality Felicia Mabuza-Suttle lived through the brutal apartheid system in her native South Africa.

So imagine her surprise when she started getting texts and emails from her friends back home worried about her safety in the United States.

“My friends in South Africa tease me, saying you ran away from it here and now you have to confront it there,” said Mabuza-Suttle, who lives with her husband in Roswell and still has a home in South Africa. Their two adult daughters, who live in Europe, have asked them to move out of the United States.

“My husband (who is from Milwaukee) says every black man has a fear of the police. He says you don’t understand because you’re not from here.”

One time she was driving into their gated community in Roswell. An officer turned around and followed her and only left when he saw her go up to the door and use a key to go in the door.

The most recent incidents have shaken her confidence in police.

“I moved to here because I wanted to be in the land of the free,” she said. Now I feel South Africa is safer than America.”


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