Log In

Reset Password

PLP leaders are winning, but Black Bermudians are losing out

Nelson Mandela, the late former president of South Africa (File photograph by Trevor Samson/AFP)

“I have fought against white domination and I have fought against black domination.” — Nelson Mandela

Ordinarily, I make a conscious effort not respond to my critics when I put out my opinions for public consumption. An occupational hazard of placing opinions in the public domain is to put yourself out there to be opposed or agreed with, complimented or attacked at the reader’s will. This is what I understand free speech and freedom of expression to be about.

I am generally pleased with those who take the time to read my opinions and verbally express their views when they see me. I am also thankful for those that comment online, even those that appear to be politically schizophrenic. My hope is that my views enhance the political discourse, which is desperately needed in our country today.

This time I am making an exception. In a sense, this entire piece is in response to one particular criticism. I was condemned in the comments section in my last opinion entitled, “Has the PLP sold its soul to the Devil”? for having been a former PLP member, as if that makes me a hypocrite.

Evidently, switching parties does no such thing when United Bermuda Party and One Bermuda Alliance politicians join the PLP, even those who become Cabinet ministers. There is even the case when none other than former UBP MP and former OBA leader John Barritt vigorously campaigned in Constituency 9 for the PLP in the last general election.

Unfortunately, Bermuda is reverting to a dangerously racialised jurisdiction. We need only look at our political leadership to see that it is 100 per cent Black in a country made up of 40 per cent Whites. This elephant in the room gets almost no attention at all. There should also be reservations on the gender disparity within the Cabinet.

Nelson Mandela said he fought against White domination and Black domination. Why is this important in Bermuda today? The PLP have racialised our politics so much that decades after desegregation, the prevailing perception is that if you are for the PLP you are for Black political leadership and if you are for the OBA you are for White people.

The Black racial struggle was supposed to result in equal opportunity for everyone based on merit. It was not supposed to be the political disenfranchisement of one race and the total political leadership monopoly of another. By the way, do you think it is currently working favourably for Black Bermudians?

The PLP has gone all out, smearing the ten-year-old OBA with the worst of the racism of the past that it has nothing to do with. However, with this “race card” PLP mindset, the facts do not matter. The PLP runs the narrative that White people rule the OBA from the shadows, even if only a small percentage of the leadership is White.

In light of the present PLP political leadership disaster, keeping this narrative alive in a predominantly Black population is the only explanation for their political confidence. In fact, they are so confident that they believe Black Bermudians will follow them to independence, despite our continuing national decline.

Apparently, to be pro-economy, pro-business and to desire a vibrant labour market as the cornerstone of a healthy and more prosperous country for all makes you white. This narrative is why David Burt and others succeeded in assailing and condemning Curtis Dickinson in the recent leadership campaign. Mr Dickinson was accused of being anti-Black interest, regardless of his humble background and his admirable path to uplifting himself to someone the country should be proud of.

Instead, his accomplishment at being a Wall Street banker and a Bermuda business success disqualified him from the new PLP’s version of “Black leadership”. It seems that in order to qualify to this level of PLP leadership, one must have a proven track record of making poor decision after poor decision that significantly damages Bermuda and Bermudians. The new PLP clearly prefers leadership that leads disenfranchised and downtrodden Blacks into further poverty and ruin.

In addition, our divided nation under the “new PLP oligarchs” is perfectly comfortable with the other divisions its founders and predecessors fought against. The Department of Statistics repeatedly publishes that White net worth and income dwarf Blacks’. However, the PLP is content to allow abject poverty exclusively to affect Black Bermudians whom they claim to be championing.

The PLP has had nearly 100 per cent Black political leadership since 1998 but, Blacks still make up almost 100 per cent of the prison population and almost 100 per cent of gun murders and convictions. What’s worse, our failing education system has an overwhelmingly majority of Black students. While the system fails, it is sure to condemn another generation or two to the negative consequences that sincere Black leadership should be trying to avoid.

“Two Bermudas” is perfectly fine now that the new PLP leadership presides. This term is now just a valuable PLP political asset to be paid lip service for votes at election time and then conveniently never to bring it up again unless a deflection is needed.

People like me represent something that is difficult for the PLP to contend with in its racialised political game plan. I am undeniably Black and from a working-class family heritage. I joined the PLP in 2006 at the beginning of my political career, attracted to the ideology of Black political inclusion for a better Bermuda for all Bermudians. By 2007, I did not like the direction I perceived it was going in. It went from fighting for Black inclusion in an affluent society to the perverted outcome that we are now experiencing today. A few Blacks in the political clique are doing well while the majority of Blacks are suffering. The question needs to be asked, do Black Bermudians have more hope and opportunity today after two decades of PLP leadership?

People with whom I was well acquainted refused to speak with me after I joined the OBA in 2014. They seemed wholly convinced that joining the OBA meant that I had turned against the interests of Black people. It has taken some time to dawn on some of them that I am not fighting against Black people and I am not I fighting for White people. I am fighting for a better Bermuda. Period. A country where everyone is represented and contributing to everyone’s betterment.

I have repeatedly warned that Bermudians need to get off the disastrous “pro-Black leadership” racialised course we are on where Black leadership matters more than results or we will come to a rude awakening when it is too late. The goal of fighting against historical racial discrimination was not to build a country with Black political leadership and, even worse, Black economic disenfranchisement. This is the goal of irresponsible politicians who will do whatever it takes to further their political careers and feather their nests.

Exploiting those who are historically disenfranchised by riling them up and claiming to be for their interest while steadily destroying their future and their children’s future for political gain appears to be the new PLP game plan.

Sadly, it is a game plan that the PLP politicians are winning at, but the majority of Bermudians, especially Blacks, are the biggest and ultimate losers.

You must be Registered or to post comment or to vote.

Published November 28, 2022 at 7:37 am (Updated November 28, 2022 at 7:37 am)

PLP leaders are winning, but Black Bermudians are losing out

What you
Need to
1. For a smooth experience with our commenting system we recommend that you use Internet Explorer 10 or higher, Firefox or Chrome Browsers. Additionally please clear both your browser's cache and cookies - How do I clear my cache and cookies?
2. Please respect the use of this community forum and its users.
3. Any poster that insults, threatens or verbally abuses another member, uses defamatory language, or deliberately disrupts discussions will be banned.
4. Users who violate the Terms of Service or any commenting rules will be banned.
5. Please stay on topic. "Trolling" to incite emotional responses and disrupt conversations will be deleted.
6. To understand further what is and isn't allowed and the actions we may take, please read our Terms of Service
7. To report breaches of the Terms of Service use the flag icon