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Bean calls for blacks to cooperate with one another

Environment Minister Marc Bean urged black people to cease complaining and start making their own luck, during a fiery House of Assembly speech.During Friday night’s Throne Speech debate, Mr Bean told MPs his attitude on race is “not to complain, to compete”.

Mr Bean also hinted cannabis smokers could soon avoid harsh penalties as he spoke from Government’s frontbench for the first time since his promotion to Cabinet.

And he praised Premier Paula Cox for leading the Progressive Labour Party into a more pro-business approach he says Bermuda will need to survive.

He said: “I want to be competitive. Black people in this Country, instead of complaining, we have to cooperate with each other.

“Yes, I understand what happened in the past, but today is a new day if we choose to embrace it as a new day.”

Mr Bean said instead of blaming supermarket owners like Mr Lindo and Mr Arnold, blacks should move into the market themselves.

“No one is stopping us from going and being competitive, pooling our resources together, going abroad and finding an exporter to bring in the same food at a cheaper price,” he said.

“If we are to move beyond this vexation of race, we as a people need to be competitive.”

Mr Bean also reflected on a Throne Speech promise to introduce a new classification of sanctions related to different types of drugs.

Regarding drugs, Mr Bean told the House: “Socially we can’t live with it, economically we can’t live without it. That’s one of the dynamics we have to understand.”

Stressing all MPs are human, he said: “Every single person is free to put whatever substance they want in their body.

“It doesn’t make them a criminal, but it does make them a fool. Because you want to do something to yourself, that doesn’t make you a criminal.

“Even if you make alcohol illegal, it still doesn’t make you a criminal, it makes you a fool.”

Describing himself as a roots man who goes among ordinary people every day, Mr Bean said: “Crime has only evolved in this Country because drug addicts don’t have access to what they want.”

The Throne Speech had also outlined Ms Cox’s plan to provide more red carpet to the business community, after years of complaints that international business has been made to feel unwelcome.

Mr Bean acknowledged his party’s labour roots, but said: “If we want our people to be working, then we have to be pro-business.

“This natural antagonism created in this Country for historical reasons has reached the point we have to change course. Our able captain is changing course.

“We have to adjust the way we do business as any wise Government will do. If you remain fixated and stuck in the situation you find yourself in, you will perish. To be pro-labour, you will be pro-business.”

Environment Minister Marc Bean

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Published November 21, 2011 at 8:53 am (Updated November 21, 2011 at 8:53 am)

Bean calls for blacks to cooperate with one another

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