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Curb revises Racial Justice Platform

Curb (File photograph)

Anti-racism group Curb have put forward a revised Racial Justice Platform, calling for action on the issue of inequality.

The platform — an update of the group’s 2012 platform — seeks the creation of a formal reconciliation process, along with guaranteed government scholarships for Bermudian public school students at Bermuda College, lower mortgage rates, the legalisation of marijuana and a complete review of the criminal justice system.

Other recommendations include the introduction or expansion of black history in schools, immigration reform, the establishment of a living wage and addressing the issue of economic intimidation against Bermudians — something the group say often goes unreported.

“Bermuda’s Human Rights Act clearly states that discrimination based on political beliefs is a violation of a person’s human rights,” the platform states. “However, today Curb hears multiple reports of economic intimidation committed against Bermudians, with Bermudians too frightened to report on these incidences because of the fear of loss of employment and/or being actively marginalised from other job opportunities.”

In total, 27 different elements are highlighted in the platform.

“In a community as small as Bermuda, there is a very real opportunity to make extraordinary steps towards real change in the area of race relations,” the platform continues. “It may be that this tiny island, with its history of oppression, survival and adversity, will be able to provide an example to the world.

“All Bermudians know that change is needed and as a society we must have the courage and determination to carry out a vision that enables us to heal and find a way forward in community.

“Big change requires big vision. With hope, hard work and a great deal of love lives can be changed, and it is for this reason we must take on a new vision for our society, one that will bring about a change in all our lives for the better and a more stable, healthier and racially just community.”

While several of the initiatives proposed in the platform would have an impact on the public purse, the platform suggests that a simply structured graduated income tax would support the initiatives without putting additional pressure on the disadvantaged.

“The need to create a more economic, social and racially just and equitable country is critical for our community.

“The current economic depression since 2008 has crushed those already living in poverty and many from the middle class now struggle from paycheque to paycheque. We are a country in crisis and we are required to take bold steps to create a fairer and more equitable environment for all Bermudians.

“Curb believes that the only way to bring about a more equitable society is the introduction of a simply structured graduated income tax, providing relief for those in crisis, and more responsibility for those earning at the high end. As part of this tax a percentage is committed to ensuring the creation of a Black History museum, library and research centre to ensure the work for racial equity and justice is continued.”