We would be ill served
March 28, 2012
Your correspondent Arcy Dubya proposes that we rename Par-la-Ville Park (the name is French for ‘by the town’) to Rebecca Middleton Park to “confer some of the recognition this poor woman deserves for the horrific treatment she received at the hands of two locals”. At the outset I wish to make it quite clear that my humanity compels me to sympathise with Rebecca and her family. It is apparent that her reliance and trust in strangers was an error of judgement but her loss of life was too heavy a price to pay. Bermuda and Bermudians have paid a price also. We bemoan the fact that this tragedy took place on Bermuda soil. We also note that many of the key players were not even Bermudian, but we are deemed responsible. Of the two accused, one is local, and it is arguable whether he had a major or minor role. Nonetheless he is deemed to have equal culpability. Was the lead investigator local? Was the Attorney General local? Was the judge in court local?
A clinical professional who I believe hails from Canada and has a local practice also felt sympathy and befriended the family, After some ten years she writes a book in which it is suggested that the crime was racially motivated. Is this an objective view? Or does she conclude that because the victim and perpetrators are from different racial groups the incident is racially motivated? I would now question her professional analyses if such startling conclusions are made so readily. Let us remember Tyeisha Cox. I will not say anything about who she was. It is probable that only a certain segment of our population will remember her name. That segment will also remember that an Englishwoman was charged after Tyeisha’s death. It will remember how a UK policeman diminished his countrywoman’s responsibility by speculating that many drivers would do as she did as opposed to whether what she did was lawful.
She left Bermuda within 48 hours of the court hearing, thus thwarting a possible appeal. Shall we rename Par-la-Ville Park to honour the memory of the completely innocent six-year-old? Could Arcy Dubya tell me the name of the dead victim or the disabled victim of the drunken English driver who drove his employer’s vehicle and got into an accident? Our community is ill-served if we only mourn the loss of life of certain people and others are disregarded. If Par-la-Ville is to be renamed, let us commemorate an individual or a collective accomplishment, rather than attempting to expiate the collective guilt some wish to impose upon us by renaming the park after a crime victim. Do we know if she ever even saw Par-la-ville Park?