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Vote over, now we must end violence

Dear Sir,

With much trepidation, I awaited the final tally regarding the referendum on same-sex marriage and civil unions in Bermuda. Less than 50 per cent of the electorate exercised their right to make their voice heard. However, the results are resounding and definitive to me: the “No, No” votes matter. The people have spoken.

It has been a long time since I have felt so proud to be Bermudian. For more than just one year, slightly more than 12 months, barely more than 365 days, this has been the preferred topic of the day. This topic has created much divide, much emotion, much disappointment and, of course, even more excitement.

It has been discussed in many circles: business, political, private, family, school, et al. How much money, time and emotion has been channelled into this cause?

Surrounded by these pristine waters, kissed with warm rays of sunshine, relaxed by breezes of the palm trees, and under and behind the shadows lurk the personification of pure and unadulterated evil, parasites and treacherous people disguised as human beings.

So, to quote a member of our Parliament, “before we go forward together” on this issue that serves to placate the pleasures of a small segment of Bermuda, let's eradicate a far more pressing and vital issue that affects an even larger number of our populace.

Surely our taxpayer dollars can be better spent eradicating violence that has eaten away at our hearts and eroded the very fabric of Bermuda. We are living in an era filled with violence at staggering levels. The shootings, fights, stabbings must stop. Now.

Shootings in Bermuda, according to The Royal Gazette, began in 2009. Why have we not had a referendum regarding this? Don't we believe that black lives matter in Bermuda? Or, perhaps it's because it is blacks slaughtering blacks.

Shootings have sent 29 young men to early graves, forced countless children to be fatherless and traumatised, shattered the hearts and lives of many parents and families. Where are the human rights of those left to bare the burdens resulted from this “genocide”? We stand aside and talk about the shame of these killings. In the meantime, our sons are being systematically and ruthlessly slain; their lives treated as insignificant.

We have allowed our beautiful island paradise, Bermuda, to be denigrated and to be held hostage by a relatively minute and heartless group of individuals.

I am beyond exhausted and overly stressed at the report of each senseless killing. I am asking you, my fellow Bermudians, when will enough be enough? How many black men, our sons and grandsons, have to be murdered before we have a referendum concerning this “life or death” issue? When will we stand united against the black villains who are destroying our homes and the very fabric of Bermuda? When do we declare with a combined, powerful, audible and resounding voice that 29 will be the end? When do we reclaim our responsibilities and stand tall and strong for our future generations? When do we stop sucking our teeth, stop shaking our heads, stop saying, “Not again”? When do we protect our rights as parents? Where are the strong black, conscious Bermudians?

I, therefore, say to all Bermudians: “If we must rebel, then let's unite for this very worthy cause and rebel for justice, for life, for peace, for liberty, for families, for our children, for me and for you, for Bermuda.”

Let us get back to basics. Now. Let us steadfastly and with unshakeable resolve forge together against all manner of evil until this cancer is stomped out, finished, over, done with, ended. Let us ensure that our young men can lead long, healthy and meaningful lives. Let us bury a coffin filled with guns, weapons, anger, hatred, pain, tragedy and all evil. Let us reclaim Bermuda.

Black lives matter, even here on this “Isle of Devils” that we call home. Bermuda for hope, life and love.

Ps. Please do not miss the point of this message. It is not a racially inspired one. Our fallen young men and their perpetrators have made this a black issue, simply because it has for the most part affected only our black families and communities.

NORMA-ANNE SMITH, Save our sons

Hope for life and love: police respond to a shooting in Middletown. Norma-Anne Smith pleads with Bermuda to “ensure our young men can lead long, healthy and meaningful lives” (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

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Published June 28, 2016 at 9:00 am (Updated June 28, 2016 at 8:50 am)

Vote over, now we must end violence

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