White Fear

This post is more of some rambling thoughts of mine. I wanted to get it down so that I could make it more coherent shortly.

This Christmas period has been very insightful to me on the issue and relevance of race in Bermuda. The December 18th election of course has played a very important part in this. The demoralisation and reaction amongst UBPers, Whites in general and a significant ‘fifth column’ of white expatriates has laid bare to me a lot of white fear.

As I am white, I am still largely connected to the ‘white’ world of Bermuda, more in the sense that I was socialised into that ‘white’ Bermuda, and I can’t find any draft Guinness in the ‘black’ bars, which, as trivial as that may be to some, forces me often to the ‘white’ bars. A lot of Caribbean literature focuses on the question of identity, and I think that remains a very pervasive question for us here in Bermuda as well. I am white on account of my skin and my European ancestry. I am proud of the achievements of my people, and also aware of their sins. In this Bermuda with two (and increasingly more, with expats, Portuguese and south-east asians) societies I find myself moving between the two worlds frequently. My politics, my ideology and my worldview, causes me to be ostracised (my feelings based on deliberate baiting, aggression, ‘whisperings’, snubs, both subtle and obvious) from White Bermuda. I do not feel comfortable there. But I am still able to enter that world, and to an extent can sympathise and understand these fears that run rampant within that community, fears that today are more clearly defined, more articulated, naked.

I still believe that we as a people, that is, as Bermudians, are closer to reconcilation than ever before. The defeat of the UBP for a thrid time and the resulting malaise amongst White Bermuda has led to a crystallisation of White resentment and fear. While this will indeed lead to a hardening of reaction amongst many, it can also serve as a catalyst for the ‘death of whiteness’ which is similteonously the death of blackness and the development of a creolisation of society, a transcendence of the politics of race and towards ideology. ‘Whiteness’ cannot be completely defeated in Bermuda alone, and a constant rear-guard action will be necessary to combat its resurgence, but for the most part that new creole generation is already becoming a reality, although a true creolisation of our society will take a few generations.

There is a lot of white fear out there. The PLP has admittedly contributed to this, partly by near-sighted political expediency, partly through ignorance, partly through miscommunication. The task of the coming period, integral to the success of progressive labours truly emancipatory mission (and this is separate from the Party that bears the name) apart from combating oppurtunism and the growth of an oligarchy dressed in green, is to combat this perception, to deal squarely with the white fear that threatens to consume a significant portion of our people. White fright can become white flight, and while the nation will survive this, it is something we should strive to avoid. White priveledge and the remaining vestiges of white supremacy (largely unconcsious, but by this very fact more tenacious and harder to tackle) must continue to be fought, but success on this front requires engagement with the Whites not on a confrontational stance but with conciliation – although there will be many who will continue to misrepresent and misunderstand the intention. But patience and perseverance are necessary.


3 thoughts on “White Fear

  1. Incredibly ironic your focus on white fear when Brown’s whole re-election was built on stoking black fear.

  2. It’s not hard to see where the “white fear” comes from. Most countries try to empower the poor and reduce the poverty gap, slowing down the richer getting richer and the poor getting poorer.
    Dr B has basically come out in his election statements and since in his interview with the BBC as not helping the poor, just the Blacks.

    Now there is evidence of Blacks as a race being worse off than whites in Bermuda, not many will deny this or the fact that it is the result of institutionsed racism in past years. But there are also poor whites and wealthy successful blacks. Dr B’s sattement basiclly to the poor whites is were not going to help you as your a minority in this country, infact by ading all blacks we will be disadvantaging you even more.

    In the new generation of Bermudans many whites do not feel there have been advantaged by race, after all many have been living with the Black Gov for 8 years, with no one looking after their concerns.
    They feel like they are being punished for what there ancestors mihgt or might not have done.

    Last time I checked in todays society you do not send a man’s children to jail for his crime. Yet in Bm Dr B overtly supports this inciting racial hadred that even my 8 and 10 year old girls were spat on at school for being white.

    Should whites look forward to 100 years time when white Bermuadans can try and get there own back or should we be trying to heal old wounds instead of trying to get revenge.

  3. Its not about black n white any more….its about money. This so called plp govt dont care about the poor masses of blacks or the poor whites. They only care about advancing the old system known as the cast system…IE elevating the rich and keeping their feet on the necks of the poor n working class. RACE IS NOTHING BUT AN EMOTIONAL DISTRACTION FROM THE GROWING ECONOMIC DIVIDE, A DIVIDE THAT FULES ALL THE ANTI SOCIAL BEHAVIOUR U LOT DONT LIKE….IE GUNSHOTS INNA DE STREET. A prime example is this past election where the masses were distracted from core issues to focus or race and old fears from a long dead bermuda instead of dealing with the present n future. I dont see a group of white devils running dis government, unless there are all just puppets, being controlled frm behind de scenes by de white massa. I see blacks in control and yet blacks have still not progressed, cause they are being held back by their own, who happen to be in control of govt. mainly cause of what their last names happen to be n what level of social/economic/educational status they may have or not have. I wonder how a party full of so called black revolutionaries lost their way? Absolute power corrupts absolutly! The founders of the plp n biu must b turning ova in dem graves. The proof is there from the experiences of Bermudians who have quietly attempted to advance themselves via the many hyped up programs offered by plp. And they have quietly had to accept the runaround and vast expances of no accountability in govt. because speaking out will get you white listed by the black government, just like blacks were black listed by the white govt.

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