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If hateful people get their wish

August 8, 2011

Dear Sir,

This post is directed to supporters of the graffiti or the commentators who posted trash on The Royal Gazette website about the Filipino community following an earlier article reporting the graffiti.

Firstly, thank you and kudos to all the positive letters and posts that stomped all over the disgusting graffiti about foreign labour. They have restored my faith in my neighbours. I am assured there are a lot of good people out there who know better and do better. I would also like to thank The Royal Gazette for removing and editing the racist comments on the comments section of their website. Good neighbours and good newspapers — please continue to be vigilant in making your voices heard about this unacceptable behaviour!

Social issues aside, it is clear that hateful people simply cannot do the math. I am guessing that the Filipino community is made up of possibly 2,000 or more, and there are maybe another 2,500 to 3,000 other foreign workers in the hospitality or domestic sector on the Island. That makes a total of approximately 5,000 people in this sector. Memo to the graffiti scrawler — your manifesto scribbled all over the Island is lacking.

If the hateful people get their wish and have all the foreigners removed, the consequences would be devastating to the economy. While this opens opportunities for locals to work in these positions, which is a good thing; it will also create huge gaps. Consider the jump in rental units that will be empty — all of those Bermudian landlords will have a hard time filling those units. There will be loss in revenue for Bermudian utilities and services — Belco, BTC, cellular and Internet providers will all lose customers and if you have no customers to serve it could lead to layoffs.

Bermuda's grocery stores and gas stations and retailers are also be in the same boat — less people will be around to inject dollars into the economy. One way these vendors can stay in business is to increase their prices and no Bermudian family wants this either. Sluggish consumer spending will create more dissent and dissatisfaction among Bermudians. It's a vicious cycle that is hard to break, just look at what is happening in the USA! But I guess the haters don't watch the news or read newspapers. Hateful people are likely not aware this is already happening as companies elect not to renew work permits and expats decide Bermuda's fun in the sun lifestyle has gotten cloudy. What solution do the haters have for these problems?

To the graffiti scrawler — your wish has started to come true as foreign workers/expats are already making an exodus. I did not see any of these issues addressed in your scribbles. What say you? I'm Filipino and I am proud of my heritage. I lived in Bermuda for nine years before returning to Canada. I met my husband in Bermuda and we married for love. I did not marry him for Bermuda's treasured citizenship (and I now hear government is considering making it easier to get PRC cards in an attempt to keep people on Island. Haters — where is the graffiti about this? Lol.)

We are a family of five — five less people on the Island equals five less bodies spending money on the Island. I'm no economist but I know numbers don't lie and our absence times 1,000 other bodies and their families would not a good thing for Bermuda's economy. Hateful people are entitled to hate whomever they choose — but they should know that their hateful wish stabs the graffiti scrawler in the same hand that wrote out those desperate remarks about foreign labour.

MELANIE MATTHEWS

Canada

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Published August 09, 2011 at 11:00 am (Updated August 09, 2011 at 11:28 am)

If hateful people get their wish

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