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Our divisions are the reason we need to listen to one another

When I was growing up, my parents told me, when you are in a public gathering with strangers, there are two topics to avoid: race and religion.

Race and religion are difficult topics. They have caused riots, wars and no one leaves a social gathering satisfied. Instead, individuals can get angry, upset and dismissive.

Therefore, I do not bring up those topics for discussion unless I am comfortable enough with the individuals to carry on the conversation.

Samantha Nearon is a young, educated Bermudian who longs for her countrymen and women of all races to learn to live together in harmony and shared prosperity

Present day, we live in a world where it has become more important than ever to have those uncomfortable conversations. Oftentimes, people can be called courageous and heroes for being the ones to speak up and out about the change that needs to be had among race in our society.

I am not an expert. In fact, I’m far from it, but what I do know is that Bermuda is my home. We live in a close community and share so many experiences together, whether we live here full time, holiday or live abroad. We call Bermuda our home. Either way, there is an undoubtable level of care and understanding that we must have for each other.

Bermuda has a tumultuous history of segregation and racial disparities that we are all affected by. This brings me to my point: in a world that just witnessed an historic riot that happened at the United States Capitol.

Right-wing supremacists/domestic terrorists raided the US Capitol Building to stop the smooth transition of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris from being the next President and Vice-President of the United States.

In the mix of the terror, frustration and sadness experienced by millions of people all over the world, we are challenged with the opportunity to come together and have those difficult conversations to resolve the sensitive differences that plague society — as ironic as that sounds, leaders around the world have a huge mission in front of them.

At this point, you may be asking yourself, what does this have to do with Bermuda? Well, we’ve often heard the phrase, “when America sneezes, we catch a cold”. Well,

America got the flu and it is a matter of time in which we will be soon laid up in our beds here in Bermuda.

What are we going to do today? How do we in Bermuda nurture ourselves, heal our wounds and protect our scars in a calm and collective way?

We must acknowledge, that we, too, are divided. How do we put in the work to come just a bit closer together? Listen fully? Acknowledge the wrongdoings of our past and plan opportunities of growth together?

We will never be perfect; no one is, and that’s not the point.

The point is that we accept one another as we are and continue to carry on the positive legacies of Bermudians lending a helping hand to one another, regardless of who we are, what skin colour we have, our last names or any of those differences —and bring each other together.

Samantha Nearon is a young, educated Bermudian who longs for her countrymen and women of all races to learn to live together in harmony and shared prosperity

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Published January 18, 2021 at 8:45 am (Updated January 18, 2021 at 8:45 am)

Our divisions are the reason we need to listen to one another

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