Wrath of a nation unleashed online as Bahamas Twitter stands with Buddy Hield

a6f5ccb27cabfdb73f90081db4883467Travel writer Nellie Day and Twitter user @genocideblacks both understand what it means to feel the wrath of a nation. The Bahamas might be small in size with only 350,000 people, but as one social media user found out this week, when it comes to insulting their culture, stating incorrect facts or insulting national heroes, Bahamians can put aside their differences to bring down haters with a powerful punch.

Travel writer Nellie Day and Twitter user @genocideblacks both understand what it means to feel the wrath of a nation. The Bahamas might be small in size with only 350,000 people, but as one social media user found out this week, when it comes to insulting their culture, stating incorrect facts or insulting national heroes, Bahamians can put aside their differences to bring down haters with a powerful punch.

As one of the more tech savvy nations in the Caribbean, a vast majority of the Bahamas is caught up on social media. Some of the islands are so close to Florida, on a good night you can actually see Miami’s city lights on the horizon. The proximity enables the Bahamas to have American influences in music, entertainment, news, culture and sports.

So it was no wonder most of the country was on Facebook and Twitter waiting to see which basketball team would win the NBA draft war for Chavano ‘Buddy’ Hield. When it was announced that he would be a New Orleans Pelican, Bahamians celebrated pledging to fly over to watch a game and started shopping for Buddy merchandise. The team and Hield’s verified fan page instantly gained thousands of new fans, backing the young man who grew up in poverty on the second most populated island in the Bahamas.

On draft night, Twitter user @genocideblacks took several shots at Hield calling him a big virgin. He later used profanity and racial slurs to insult both Heild and his home nation. Bahamians, who tend to flock to Facebook and Whatsapp, reactivated their Twitter handles to unleash their fury with some of the most colorful colloquialism.

Conch (a sea snail with an extremely hard shell which is a delicacy in local cuisine), bus’ up (severe bodily harm), jook (stab), Kalik bottle (locally produced brand of beer), cutlass (machete), and cunny (derogatory term for female genitals) were suddenly retweeted by users who began rallying their support for #TeamBuddy. Most were used in warnings and threats to @genocideblacks if he did not stop his rant.

The Twitter user questioned how Heild just made the team and had so many stans (super fans) in such a short time. He was clearly unaware of the tremendous pride Bahamians have in their golden son. Welcome signs were erected in his hometown with his photo and there are already talks of streets and official gateways in the country bearing his name or image.

What the user who has not followed Bahamian news didn’t realize is that Bahamians forced travel blogger Nellie Day to write a retraction and delete her account for her less than flattering and highly inaccurate commentary on the Bahamas. What he didn’t realize is that WNBA 6th draft pick Jonquel Jones and Heild grew up as kids together and are now the reason why the entire country is in celebration mode. What he didn’t realize is that there were Bahamian media outlets following both of them to bring the news to their nation where they are seen as national heroes for pursuing their dreams and reaching the top in such a short time. What he didn’t realize is that you do not insult a national symbol of hope, without facing the dire consequences when you trash talk. And what he does not realize is that the Buddy bandwagon is taking on more and more passengers as the young man from “the rocks” who showed up to draft day with his mom in tow and scripture and Bahamian flags sewn into his blazer and shirt, continues to rise, shine and represent. What he also didn’t realize is that 242 is a number that is recognized and acknowledged by a humble young man who remembers and honors his roots. What he doesn’t realize is that Jamaican and Haitian Twitter are showing their support as another Caribbean star gets set to shine.

Fast facts: Klay Thompson of the Golden State Warriors is also Bahamian through his retired NBA father Mychal Thompson. Both Thompson and Heild have been getting major shouts out from another Bahamian who made it to the NBA in the person of Rick Fox. We won’t get into the scores of other Bahamians from Sidney Poitier or the others who acknowledge their roots like Lenny Kravitz and the Mowry twins. But as they say in the islands 242 to the world, and cyah dat to yuh mudda. Tweet long and prosper

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