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Closing the racial divide

October 29, 2011 Dear Sir, In view of Sir John’s failure to address the racial divide or to acknowledge either its origin or implication and the OBA’s promise to do politics differently, I would like to direct to a wider audience a question that I recently directed to lawyer Charles Richardson. I wrote: Dear Charles Richardson, You recently commented “I want a Bermuda where the concept of race is an anachronism and the very idea of there being any distinction between the two races is considered nonsense”. How would you propose that we reach that ideal state considering where we are at the moment? Even if you are not currently interested in being a candidate you must have some idea of the steps to be taken to get there. I cannot believe that you would say, as do so many: “We must just get along and stop talking about black and white.” We have two very distinct communities, even if there is “integration” on the fringes of each society. I do not need to tell you that the primary source of investments and the profit from them is in the white community, which has generational wealth and privilege to sustain them. Most of them live in spacious surroundings and they all find a niche in the economy, irrespective of their qualifications or lack thereof. They are politically united in their sense of racial supremacy. The few blacks who may have investments have probably acquired them recently in their own life time. Whites are the managers and investors. At the same time, and you will experience this even more than I, all of the social problems (most of which are the direct or indirect result of generations of racism and economic exclusion) are in the black community. Most of them live in crowded conditions and many of them fail to find appropriate employment in spite of their qualifications. They are politically divided, with too many of them anxious to appease whites blaming blacks for the evils which accompany the racial divide. If whites have a problem, it is taken care of and does not reach the attention of the public. Blacks are the ones who are incarcerated and in the kind of poverty which welcomes charity from wealthy whites. These enormous social, economic and cultural disparities did not evolve naturally. They are the result of generations of deliberate government and social policy and practice. They were intended to psychologically demean and economically exploit and exclude blacks. It took 400 years of slavery and almost two hundred years of official segregation to create this racial divide with all of its destructive implications for Blacks. So what do you propose to get rid of this racial divide besides wishful thinking?

EVA N HODGSON Hamilton Parish