NASSAU, BAHAMAS — The Ministry of Tourism received backlash on Sunday after posting a photo featuring a white father and son on its Twitter page to recognize dads on Father’s Day.
The photo was removed after criticism mounted on the social media platform.
The pushback comes amid an ongoing global debate concerning race, racial privilege and the treatment of black people by authorities in many jurisdictions, including the United States.
Responding to Eyewitness News, the ministry said a black family was featured on The Bahamas’ primary social media channels, including Facebook and Instagram, and a white family was posted on Twitter.
Of the photo, it said: “The Twitter post was deleted due to the negative backlash and we did not want to further upset Bahamians on Father’s Day.”
According to the ministry, its Twitter account is not run by an agency, but is managed in-house, by Bahamians.
It added that the photo was an “organic post” and not part of a campaign.
The Twitter post read: “Today we celebrate Fathers all around the world, especially the ones right here at home. Continue to [lead] with unconditional love and adventure.”
In response, one user said: “I understand ‘branding’ and ‘target audience’, but goodness. We couldn’t find a Bahamian for this pic?”
Another user wrote: “So [when] we gonna talk about the MOT obsession with whiteness on all their social media platforms.”
In contrast, the reactions were favorable to the ministry’s postings on Instagram and Facebook, which featured a black man and woman, and their two children sitting together on a paddle-board in shallow water.
The caption read: “Today, we’d like to celebrate all the wonderful fathers out there, near and far. Happy Father’s Day from your friends here in The Islands of The Bahamas”.
It received more than 400 likes and at least eight comments.
A user with the social media handle ‘bkasmitty’ wrote: “Thank God it’s a picture of a black person/family because it seems like every time I do research on the islands and look up Bahamian social media, it’s always a white person or white people and it’s confusing because I thought it was a nation of beautiful black people, but the social media shows otherwise.”
Another Instagram user with the handle ‘onegrloneworld’ said she “loved the imagery”.
Mother’s Day was recognized on May 10.
At the time, the ministry posted a photo on a black mother and son, whose arms were wrapped around the smiling woman, near the beach.