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Reiss should be commended for speech

Impact speech: Jonathan Reiss at the Bermuda Captive Conference

Dear Sir,

In response to the comments of Jonathan Reiss, first allow me to state that neither I, nor Ewart Brown, Eva Hodgson, Renée Webb, Lynne Winfield, or the late historians Cyril Packwood, Kenneth Robinson, Ira Philip or Walton Brown needed or need any validation from Jonathan Reiss, with respect to his view of the role that white supremacy and one of its chief by-products, white privilege, have played in the formation and evolution of the postmodern Bermuda that we live in today.

For most of those named, the moral clarity that we demonstrate or have demonstrated around this issue started to develop at a very young age.

But his comments as stated in The Royal Gazette on Thursday were commendable, timely and worthy of note. The slowly emerging multiracial, racial justice coalition welcomes him with open arms and we need more social-justice warriors such as him from the white community to step up.

Finally, over the past year or so, some of you have heard me state in the House of Assembly that after four decades of unprecedented growth in insurance, reinsurance and other related sectors — I might add the most powerful economic engine in this economy — we still have only one Patrick Tannock, who is the head of XL Catlin Bermuda. This, despite black Bermudians comprising only a fraction less than 60 per cent of our resident population.

But these colour-coded outcomes and gross disparities are replete throughout our society in every sector of our economy and beyond. As an influential white male insider, Mr Reiss helps us to understand why. And his honesty and demonstrable courage in stating as much were edifying.

Once again in closing: now I know that there are some whites who have curiously and perversely begun to assert that they are the new victims of racism in Bermuda. In fact, I suspect like clockwork the same seven or eight commentators will attempt to do the same in response to my comments, as they invariably did just a few days ago.

I would advise them once again, however, to not waste their time.

One final thought does comes to mind, though: will Mr Reiss now be considered an angry white male?