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The bogeyman within our midst

Dear Sir,

It does not bother me in any way to explain to the people of Bermuda, or for that matter, the rest of the world, any of the experiences covering the life that I have witnessed and lived here.

Most of those that I have lived among had to live a very basic and simple way of life to get by.

We are the ones who had to carry the economic weight through low wages and put up with negative laws and policies made for us by people who had never spent a quick moment living in our shoes.

I come from that group of people, Mr Editor, who are succeeding generations of those who were once Bermuda’s slaves. We were the only group of people that had to put up with segregation and all the other negative, legislated acts that were made into law by the same people mentioned earlier.

It is their rich grandchildren of today who now rush to the podium to defend their cause with hot air and empty words. The neighbourhoods in which I lived did not look anything like those in Tucker’s Town or Fairylands, or any of the other manicured, rich areas of Bermuda.

It would be of little interest to me, Mr Editor, to be wasting my time listening to some Richie Rich white guy who has never lived on my side of Bermuda’s social divide.

Then for him to stand on podiums in such clubs as Kiwanis or Lions, running his mouth in ways that are not really going to help us in any way to suppress the many social problems that plague us, that makes no sense.

My suggestion to them, Mr Editor, is if they don’t have anything to say that’s worth listening to, then they should just keep quiet and stay put in their ivory towers.

Mr Editor, I would be wasting my time buying your newspaper just to read the nonsense some of these “gold spoon in the mouth” types of people are espousing.

For all I know, these stand-in alarmists may well come out of one of those old, rich oligarch families that may have been for decades living on my tax dollars by way of receiving a steady flow of these multimillion-dollar government contracts.

Yet here they come trying to convince me with what they want me to believe is good advice. Nonsense.

The problem I find with some in Bermuda, Mr Editor, is that there are those who think every day is Hallowe’en and that we, the not-so-rich people of Bermuda, need to be frightened back into our place by some rich bogeyman that lives somewhere over there in Fairylands.

The fact of the matter, Mr Editor, is we are a country that is plagued with all kinds of bogeyman who appear to be hiding behind every tree and jumping out at us trying to frighten us away from issues that they don’t want us to pursue.

For some of us, it doesn’t seem to take much to derail us from where we need to go by those detractors whose objective it is to confuse us with all kinds of complicated jargon designed to lead us away from those important programmes that this country honestly needs to put in place to improve our social conditions.

Mr Editor, I truly believe that every citizen of this country — rich, poor and in between — has a right to express their opinion, whether I agree with them or not.

I do believe that is how democracy is supposed to work, but it would be pure folly for one born with a silver spoon in their mouth spitting all kinds of so-called educated nonsense all over us from out of both sides of their mouths.

Mr Editor, the facts of the matter are that we have been for decades, bamboozled from left to right, up and down on many issues we still seem afraid to deal with even today.

So be aware: until we rid ourselves of those fears that tie us down, the bogeyman will always find comfort within our midst.

E. McNeill Stovell