Seeing our Island through the lens of race does not bode well
April 21, 2013
As expected, the letter submitted by a teenaged Bermudian triggered the trip wire that seems to be an obsession of so many of our citizenry when it comes to the white hot (pardon the pun) issue of race in our country.
The writer spoke to the behaviour of some Bermudians at a protest on the grounds of the House of Assembly and the egregious and disrespectful behavior towards a Cabinet Minister and the Premier. The writer was correct in the assessment of bad conduct and disregard for the office of Government leadership.
What transpired was a robust demonstration of the right of the people to express dissatisfaction with an utterance deemed to be unacceptable and insulting to a segment of the electorate who found the sentiments offensive.
The protesters were Bermudians who, in the main, happened to be black and, by what we could witness on the TV news, very angry. This is not unusual at all in democracies everywhere. There was no shame in any of the group assembled being black at all.
Premier Ewart Brown certainly received his share of repudiation and insults by white and black Bermudians in similar protests and this was equally unacceptable. The denunciation of Premier Brown by some of our white citizens was of particular note, and no call of shame for being white.
What is interesting though is this, that some Bemudians feel being called xenophobic is the ultimate insult, really? This is not an endorsement of the statement, but the reaction is incredible when considering the following - we had to mislead you, we don’t care what you think and they make me sick.
Questions could be dismissed by a previous Premier as plantation questions and therefore unworthy of a response to the electorate. Mr Acting Editor, no offence was taken and no protest at all and no loud call for an apology, but a stout defence of these outrageous remarks by supporters.
Now, our teenaged writer is to be commended for such a keen interest in politics and it is encouraging. This is clearly what we want to see from the next generation, but it is always about people behaving badly and not skin colour.
This young Bermudian, however, does make a salient point as to the example of what should be expected from adults in an very emotional and strident political environment.
Let’s do more to encourage the next generation to take on the mantle in future leadership of a Bermuda that belongs to them. Seeing our country only through the lens of race does not bode well going forward. One people, one Bermuda. God bless us all.
WAYNE B SCOTT
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