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Pride and black heritage

March 12, 2011

Dear Sir,

At this time in our society all Bermudians must make a decision as to how much of their heritage and their land they are willing to give up to others for short term gains but terrible long term losses. When and where do we have the courage to draw the line in the sand?

We need to understand the root cause of the growing violence in our society and I believe much of it is 400-year old anger. These young men don't realise or understand but they are angry at the loss of identity, angry that they see only negative images of themselves, angry that society appears to have forgotten them, angry when they look at the wealth in this country and know that they have minimal chances to lift themselves up.

People, especially young people, need to receive positive feedback; know they matter, know they are valued and see that they are being heard. When they don't, they seek attention, even if it is negative attention. They turn to whatever else provides them a sense of worth and validation even if it is negative and eventually self-destructive. Any psychiatrist or psychologist can tell you this.

The tragic outcome of past racism, prejudice, discrimination, disrespect and apathy is the underlying cause for the economic disparity and poverty that continues to plague so many people and for the growing violence in our community today. Sweeping our history under the carpet has seen our youth grow up with insufficient black role models. We have only just begun to recognise The Progressive Group and their achievements in the civil rights history of Bermuda. When the only history you teach is white colonial history and slavery, whilst predominantly ignoring those that fought for freedom, and the talent and creativity of Black Bermudians … why are we then surprised by the lack of identity in our Black youths? The achievements of Black Bermudians despite all that was thrown against them, is heroic and has never been recognised nor fully told in schools. Quite simply our history fails miserably in telling the whole story of Bermuda and Black Bermudians and their achievements.

Why, in a majority Black country, have we not taught Black History Studies and/or African Studies in our schools and college in Bermuda, when it is taught in universities throughout Canada, Europe and the United States? Why do we not teach the history of ancient African civilisations that pre-date Greece and Rome and out of which came medicine, astrology, astronomy, and geometry? Hippocrates, the so-called “Father of Medicine” studied in Egypt at a time they were already doing brain surgery! Just like current day Italians who are proud and identify with their ancestors … why have we not allowed our Black youth to learn and be proud about their heritage and identify with their ancestors?

All of this is the root cause, and until we face these issues, truthfully and honestly, we will not repair the damage of the past, we will fail to honour our history, our land and those who went before us, and we will continue to lose our young men to a spiral of violence.

We must begin to repair the damage of the past today by honouring our heritage, our history, our people and our land, for us and for the sake of future generations.

LYNNE WINFIELD

Sandys

Apathy must not rule

March 1, 2011.

Dear Sir,

How utterly disappointed so many of us are by our Government.

This morning as I listened to the radio, I was for a few minutes taken back to Paris in 1980, emerging from the Metro on a cold December day and seeing all manner of people crying, but not knowing what the tears were for. My friend and I quickly learned that John Lennon had been murdered. I'll never forget that day for all the emotion I witnessed. Whilst on my way into town this morning I heard several people voice real disappointment with the SDO for further expansion at Tucker's Point. This SDO exemplifies a level of contempt that embarrasses us. Can we have no greater contempt for our remnant woodlands? We should get EMOTIONAL. Rachel Carson's Silent Spring illuminated the damage caused by pesticides. Our Bermuda Government is illuminating the damage caused by CONCRETE. Apathy MUST NOT rule the day. Let's fight for our terrestrial flora and fauna Bermuda! Who's ready to fight a defeat this SDO?

“I conceive that land belongs for use to a vast family of which many are dead, few are living, and countless members are still unborn”. A Nigerian tribesman is credited with that sentiment.

Here's another one to stir your emotions “A country grows great when old men plant trees in whose shade they know they will never sit”. Greek, I think.

Disappointed and angry,

STEVEN DESILVA

Somerset

Reason to object

March 14, 2011

Dear Sir,

Sir John Swan supports Tucker's Point SDO! Coming from the man who was and is a major contributor to ripping the heart and soul out of Hamilton with that monstrosity he has spewed out onto the landscape at the eastern end of Hamilton. His support of this SDO is to my mind a major endorsement to object!

WONDERING AND WANDERING

Southampton

Don't destroy this land

March 9, 2011

Dear Sir,

Anyone, local or visitor, who loves the real Bermuda would hope not to destroy any land of scenic or habitat importance. There is so much land and so many properties that could be restored (Island-wide abandoned buildings and property also the baseland areas, The Holiday Inn, Sonesta Beach etc, all stunning locations with incredible beauty) why look to eroding more land?

Bermuda's natural beauty is vanishing. The essence of Bermuda still remains in isolated areas that should be protected forever. There is nowhere in the world with the beauty and uniqueness of Bermuda. It is not too late. We as a community should have a say. Buy Back Bermuda group has been able to save land from destruction. Perhaps there are others who will give to this.

The scenic route to the airport through the Tucker's Point proposed development site is one remaining pocket of land that gives one a chance to relax one's eyes from the masses of concrete that is sprawling over this beautiful Island.

Many work and struggle to provide and create a destination that has stood the test of time; tourists love the people and land of Bermuda. They are not coming to visit something that looks like what they have at home.

Why are the policymakers not understanding the potential tragedy of losing more scenic beauty? Why is it that some people think it is just nature lovers who stand up to protect the land? We are all one people.

When you see the projects destroying natural habitats, it is tragic that thousands of years of growth destroyed in a week.

Open Space could be a real asset to tourism ... Park Rangers could be trained to protect and guide people. Regular tours could employ masses of people. Guide books could be made, including historical interest areas.

Cambridge Beaches is one hotel that is doing all it can for eco tourism, perhaps leading the way with its Spa and beautiful gardens acres of land hugging the shoreline with a labyrinth and rose garden woodland walks and magical birdlife... a gem saved for future generations.

Bermuda could lead the world in how to work to protect its natural heritage. In fact, nature tours should be a compulsory part of education ...

Many in Bermuda have not had a chance to think about the fact or perhaps have no idea that they are sitting on one of the most unique oceanic island habitats.. a wonderland of plants, animals, birds and fish that are to be discovered..the 'undersea world' better than the Yosemite National Park.

In the Tucker's Point area there is amazing land that could be used with stunning views that need not destroy the natural beauty of that area, the old Government land is acres of open space that they could swap. Also, why not have the investors buy up and extend the Tucker's Point empire into areas such as Pink Beach which is close by and quite stunning?

The people that were out on last Sunday's walk around the Tucker's Point area enjoyed seeing the land (unforgettable beauty) and also being out together in harmony with nature (enough love and energy to reach to the sky).

As everyone knows, there are still wonderful places to visit in Bermuda land that whispers fresh clean air, the sweet scent of herbs in the air the woodlands, palms, cedar trees, edible wild cherries and loquats. The tropical plants and birds darting with joy midst the exotic tree canopy, citrus fruits, bananas, peaches avocado, figs and more!

The rocky coastline with its unique flora the valleys of arable land so lovingly farmed with paw paw trees and coconuts standing proud .. the gardens filled with flora from far flung places the wonders of nature.

Once part of the land is eroded, plants can no longer protect each other from the storms.

Plants allow us to breathe .. .their struggle for survival needs our help before they slowly disappear.

Bermuda is a sacred destination for people who love nature and need a sanctuary away from the hustle and bustle of the world we are sitting on the most beautiful “Creation” (still one of the world's best kept secrets for the millions that have not yet discovered the miracle of Bermuda).

CHRISTINE WATLINGTON

Author, Bermuda's Botanical Wonderland

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Published March 16, 2011 at 2:00 am (Updated March 15, 2011 at 6:44 pm)

Pride and black heritage

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