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Many blacks accept second-class status and economic disparity

Dear Sir,

The former Anglican Bishop of Bermuda, the Right Rev Ewen Ratteray, has expressed the concern that some of us feel over the black-on-black violence, which is an expression of a lack of a sense of self-worth and a lack of a sense of value for black life; either that of themselves or that of others.

I believe it is both a result of, and a reflection of, the lack of a sense of self-value within the black community as a community. In the past, if there was an expression of black frustration, it was directed at the establishment and/or representatives of the establishment that had imposed, and continued to maintain, expressions of racism in segregation.

That was when blacks saw themselves as a community and reacted as a community to the overt expression of government-sponsored racism and segregation, and achieved some community-wide progress through the efforts of the Progressive Group and the Committee for Universal Adult Suffrage.

Unfortunately, with the formation of party politics, which divided the black community — although not the white community — and the more subtle expression of racism and the racial divide, which has ensured the continued economic disparity between the black and white communities, many black people no longer see themselves as part of the black community and have therefore accepted the economic disparity and the second-class status of the black community.

They have therefore sent the message that we, as a black community, have little value or worth. It is a message that too many black males have accepted, with the results that we see in the violence that frustrated black males are directing at each other.

If we, as a black community, were not so accepting of the economic disparity and our second-class status as a community, that might send the message that “black lives do, indeed, matter” and young black men might give expression to their frustration, as did the young people who led the Progressive Group and the CUAS.

But, unfortunately, we cannot turn back the clock, so those who believe in prayer need to pray for a miracle.


Speaking out: Ewen Ratteray, the former Anglican Bishop of Bermuda, raised concerns about the community being desensitised to violence last week

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Published June 01, 2016 at 9:00 am (Updated June 01, 2016 at 8:49 am)

Many blacks accept second-class status and economic disparity

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