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CURB: Do not single out foreign workers

An anti-racism group has urged Bermudians not to single out foreign workers, following a spate of anti-Filipino graffiti.

Bigoted messages have appeared in recent weeks near a stretch of the Railway Trail in Paget, as well as in the City of Hamilton.

CURB (Citizens Uprooting Racism in Bermuda) president Cordell Riley said: “Although we understand that these are difficult economic times in Bermuda, CURB does not support the prejudicial targeting of our guest worker community.

“While some guest workers, because of their ethnic origin, are easier to target than others, singling them out is not the solution to the problems that face Bermuda.”

Mr Riley said anyone who felt that an employer or a worker had broken the Island’s Immigration laws ought to use the “appropriate avenues available”.

He added: “We take this opportunity to remind the public that the vast majority of guest workers are here on contract, and thus here legally, and therefore deserving of respect.”

The Paget graffiti, left near areas where Filipino workers reside, drew swift condemnation from Government MP Dale Butler, who said he had noticed it in other parts of the Island.

Mr Butler recently spoke out against it in the House of Assembly.

Shadow Community Development Minister Donte Hunt called the graffiti “scapegoating”.

He said: “There are connections throughout history between economic hard times and the targeting of minorities and outsiders and I want us to steer clear of that dangerous ledge. While we understand the economic pressures people are under, there is no excuse to abandon decency.”

Hamilton Mayor Charles Gosling also decried the slogans, which prompted complaints after they appeared on park benches.

He said: “I think, rather than being a City issue, this is something that has to be dealt with on a national level.”

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Published August 08, 2011 at 2:00 am (Updated August 08, 2011 at 9:47 am)

CURB: Do not single out foreign workers

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