OBA had chance to discuss race when in power

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  • Starting the conversation: Vic Ball (File photograph)

    Starting the conversation: Vic Ball (File photograph)


Dear Sir,

As I read your opinion by Vic Ball in The Royal Gazette online today (January 15), my major critique is where were your opinions on race, the responsibility of political parties and the primary objections and responsibility of the government during the One Bermuda Alliance’s tenure in government?

Simply put, where was your voice of grave or even moderate concern intelligently articulating why the OBA government, when, in your opinion, “As I am writing this I am aware of how tragically short the OBA came in conveying and communicating this message during its tenure. I have reflected upon the blunders and missteps of its governmental policies ...”

So when did you take note of that? After the OBA lost the general election or during its tenure? Because if it was the latter, then surely you must have been so alarmed and raised your concerns with your political colleagues across the OBA spectrum, ie, to fellow senators, MPs and/or the OBA party? And were you taken seriously then, or was the America’s Cup the all-consuming event that completely blacked out anything else, including the swift political tide afoot by the Progressive Labour Party?

And I do note the clear nobility of your comment: “This opinion piece is inherently limited in its power to change assumptions and assertions regarding race in Bermuda. But at the very least it can bring forward a much required dialogue and provide an opportunity for a changed discourse.”

But why couldn’t anyone in the OBA initiate a conversation on race rather than using social media to turn race into a sociopolitical weapon?

And now the OBA entertains the prospect of conversations on race, noted, when it is no longer in power?

Your time to educate, inform and genuinely dispel the toxicity of race politics was duly ignored, even when the bloggers warned the OBA over and over and over again, and that is clearly documented by the vicious comments levelled at both Commission for Unity and Racial Equality and PLP supporters on social media.

The OBA put Bermuda in this position when it failed to deal with the issue of race during its tenure, and now it wants to appeal to the hearts and minds of Bermudians that it takes the issue of race relations seriously. Seriously, Mr Ball?

Yet, I do applaud you for bringing race into the conversation in an intelligent, cogent and non-emotive manner, but even more noteworthy are the comments opined by David Johnson and reiterated by Axiom on this blog: “The rise of social media and the ease with which same can enhance the polarisation of thought and belief presents a clear danger to any modern civilisation.”

That was probably where and how the OBA lost the hearts and minds of the electorate, and most definitely where it lost the general election.

VALIRIE MARCIA AKINSTALL

London

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Published Jan 16, 2018 at 8:00 am (Updated Jan 16, 2018 at 11:24 am)

OBA had chance to discuss race when in power

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