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Justice for Brown can get to back of the queue

Ewart Brown addresses the closure of CT Unit at Brown-Darrell clinic (File photograph by Akil Simmons)

“But let judgment run down as waters and righteousness as a mighty stream.”

— Amos 5:24

I read with interest the media statement of Ewart Brown dated March 12, 2018. Interestingly enough, these were the same words that I used to end my book, entitled Let Justice Flow – A Black Woman’s Struggle for Equality in Bermuda (1999),.

In chapter four, I describe the wrongful, unfair and unjust treatment meted out to me by the two top civil servants at the time. Sinclair Richards was the Chief Education Officer and Mansfield Brock was the Permanent Secretary of Education.

On pages 130, Eva Hodgson, in spite of having three masters degrees and a PhD in African and African-American Studies, was frequently displaced by white expatriates.

In the foreword, written by Dr Hodgson, she very aptly and clearly describes “how decision-making blacks treat other blacks”.

Mr Brock and Mr Richards have never been held accountable by this country for their unfair, unjust and wrongful treatment. It was a travesty. The whole nation stood idly by and let it happen to two of its fellow Bermudians.

Former Premier, you are without excuse about knowing of the insults, injustices and indignities meted out to Dr Hodgson and me. You were the Premier from October 30, 2006 to October 29, 2010.

I have written every premier from Sir John Swan to the present-day premier, David Burt. I have also written the Foreign Office to Jack Straw, Robin Cook, David Miliband, Baroness Symons and Boris Johnson.

In a letter dated December 1, 2009, Hugo Frost, the Desk Officer of the Foreign Office stated: “I note the grievances raised about your experiences of employment in Bermuda, but have to advise you that these issues are the responsibility of the Government of Bermuda, rather than the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Should you wish to take your grievances further, I suggest you contact the Ombudsman or the Human Rights Commission.”

Lost cause. Did these organisations have the grit, gumption, guts and the will to take the bull by the horn and deal with Bermuda’s vexing problem of institutionalised racism by whites and internalised racism by blacks? Not in my opinion.

What were some of my experiences while you were the Premier?

• Do you remember saying that you were embarrassed every time you saw me because you felt your party, the Progressive Labour Party, never asked me how could I help them in the area of education?

• Do you remember you made me the chairperson for a committee that was charged with preparing a list of books written by black authors to be included in classrooms? I was paid a mere pittance of $700.

• Do you remember that I virtually became the poster lady for the “Big Conversation”?

• Do you remember that you wanted to give Dr Hodgson and me the Beacon Award? It never worked out. Who wants an award when what they really need is justice?

Mr Brown, what is justice? Justice is conduct that shows that one is acting in accordance with what is morally right or fair.

Now that the shoe is on your foot, you want to scream “justice”. What about the 40 years that Dr Hodgson and I have been fighting for justice? The silence has been deafening.

Do I expect to get justice? Of course, because I have come to the place where God is all I have and God is all I need. He will intervene in this country and ensure that Dr Hodgson and me get justice.

If there is no justice for us, then there is no justice for anyone else in Bermuda. The Reverend Martin Luther King Jr said: “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

Do I expect the Ministry of Education and Workforce Development or the Government to bring about justice for Dr Hodgson and me? No.

Do I expect the Foreign Office to bring about justice for Dr Hodgson and me? Of course not.

They haven’t done it in 40 years. What makes me think they will do it now?

Who do you expect to fight for justice for Dr Hodgson and me? The people of Bermuda.

Perhaps, Mr Brown, you can redeem yourself. Rally the troops. Call on the people of Bermuda to gather their forces and demand justice for Dr Eva and justice for Dr Muriel.

I declare and decree that until we get justice, the public school system will always be a failure.

If you want justice, Mr Brown, start with two of your subjects who were ignored and never had a job commensurate with their competencies, skills, qualifications and abilities.

Then, and only then, after they have gotten justice, will it be your turn for justice.