More Thoughts on the UBP – Facing Reality

Todays papers have had some interesting articles politically. The Bda Sun has an illuminating article concerning the UBP and race, while the RG has two articles, both essentially focusing on the potential for a split and the consequences of such an occurence.

I’ve touched on both of these topics in past posts, but I think they deserve another look.

The Bda Sun article puts forward to contrasting tactics. On the ones side you have the argument for presenting the UBP as a ‘younger and blacker’ Party in order to get beyond the stereotype of the UBP as the ‘White’ Party. This view is put forward here by Mr. Crockwell. The contrasting view is that the UBP should put forward candidates based on merit and not on pigmentation. This view is put forward by Ms. Gordon-Pamplin.

On Race

Historically the UBP has attempted to advocate the latter as the ideology of the Party while practising the former in contesting elections. This has always been contradictory and it appears that the Party is now reconsidering this strategy.

In my post ‘A Boxful of Crayons’ I attempted to put forward the argument that this UBP double-think was its biggest handicap; I will attempt to summarise it here.

For a Party that has a majority White membership and support base and advocates the ideology of ‘people should be pushed to the fore on the strength of their talents and their talents alone’ it was suprising that the majority of their parliamentary candidates were Black, a distinct minority within the UBP. This led observers to choose between two possible reasons for this discrepancy. Either the UBP was misrepresenting itself superficially as a political tactis (and thus allowing melanin to trump merit) OR talent was unevenly distributed within their membership, being concentrated for some reason within its minority Black membership.

Most people quite easily discard the latter notion as being highly improbable and as such the UBP stand accused of doublethink.

There are many who believe that the UBP cannot win government in a majority Black country if its parliamentary candidates were to adequately represent the distribution of talent in its membership which would as a result result in its parliamentary candidates representing the demographic composition of its Party. Its parliamentary candidates would be majority White. This argument is the one expressed by Mr. Crockwell.

The irony of Mr. Crockwells argument is that he seems to believe what he is advocating is something ‘totally new’ for the UBP. What he is actually advocating is maintaining the UBP status quo of candidate selection, or rather its expansion (have a totally Black parliamentary candidate slate).

It is Ms. Gordon-Pamplin who actually argues for a ‘totally new’ direction for the UBP even if she seems superbly unaware of it. A supreme example of doublethink perhaps. Should the Party actually do what it has historically stated it believes in (merit not melanin), yes, its parliamentary candidates would be majority White by virtue of its demographic composition. But it would also be honest and free itself from the stench of hypocrisy that follows it around more like a necklace of garlics than the proverbial albatross around its neck.

Freeing itself from this is the only way that the UBP has of exorcising its demon haunted past. One could think of it almost in the sense of a catharsis for the Party, and will allow it to rejuvenate and actually lead to its long-term revival and demographic evolution to one more representative to Bda’s population. This in turn would see its parliamentary candidates approximate our populations demographics organically as opposed to the current artificiality imposed by a flawed and reactionary electoral tactic.

The UBP can split, it can change its name, it can change its parliamentary candidates to an all-Black slate, but this will change nothing at all but put make-up on a decaying corpse. As long as the UBP fails to grasp the wooden stake of its doublethink out of its collective heart it will remain unviable. It needs radical change in the sense of going to the root cause of the problem which is its saying one thing and doing the opposite.

It sounds impossible I know. But the only way for the UBP to progress and realise its stated ideology of merit over melanin is to practice what it preaches and be true to itself. This alone will allow it to transcend the politics of race and move towards ideology. The question faced by the UBP today is one of continue the old doublethink or face reality and truly become a ‘new UBP.’

Yes, if the UBP puts forward White candidates who are blind to colour-reality and continue with the mistaken belief that we today are in a colour-blind society, that the lingering effects of our racial history are non-existent, they will be doomed to further failure. What the UBP needs is to put forward a candidate slate representative of their demographic composition who are willing to state that race continues to impact our present and put forward a strategy to realise a future colour-blind society. This is the best way for the UBP to progress.

On Splits

The impact of a UBP split really depends on the dynamics represented by the resulting groups. A new Party putting forward the ideology represented by Mr. Crockwell (and it seems clear that Mr. Swan, Mr. Hunt and Mr. Crockwell are a faction here) as stated above will fail if it continues the ‘old UBP’ policy of melanin trumping merit in selecting parliamentary candidates.

Any split will result in a struggle for ideological hegemony over the opposition groupings. There are of course other dynamics to include here, such as the growing environmental movement and the ideological positions of any new group on the general social progressive/conservative divide.

It is likely that the PLP would capitalise on a split much as John Swan’s UBP exploited the PLP-NLP split in the 1980s. Thats okay. Yes, it would initially mean increased PLP dominance, but in the long term it will allow a new political equilibrium to occur, as happened by the early 1990s with the PLP successfully achieving ideological hegemony in regards to the NLP.

On Leadership

The newspapers appear to be reporting that Mr. Richards has withdrawn his candidacy for UBP leadership. This is contrary to me prediction that he would be the new Opposition Leader, so, if true, I guess I was wrong. The election of Mr. Barritt to UBP leader (as seems likely now) however has the potential to serve as a catalyst for a UBP split, in view of the opposing views on race and electorial tactics. A faction advocating for more Black candidates would likely see his election as evidence of UBP suicide and initiate a split. I believe his election if it leads to the UBP ejecting its doublething on race, could actually serve to revive the Party, even if it has to weather a split in the process.


26 thoughts on “More Thoughts on the UBP – Facing Reality

  1. Pingback: Mirror

  2. Hi Vexed.

    I like that ‘Catch a Star.’ Its kind of catchy and I hadn’t thought of that, but now I’m having childhood flashbacks of disney films! 🙂

    Well, I don’t think its all that suprising that alot of PLPers are interested in whats going on with the UBP right now. Firstly, we’re all obviously political animals and anything political (and what isn’t anyway?) captivates our attention. We all have our different views, as you pointed out with Vanz, myself and PM. Also, the media has to a large degree helped focus our speculative attention; it was pretty much lead stories in the papers, so, yeah, it piqued our interests. Also, this topic is sort of a blogstorm at the moment, common to all Bdian politically-minded bloggers. I was partly responding to Christians thoughts on the matter to be honest.

    Your point is taken, re the title ‘Mirror.’ Yes, we have our own issues to deal with, sure. What I think you missed is that we are well aware of that, and that is exactly why the fate of the UBP captivates us so much. What happens with them largely determines what potentials open up for us.

    Concerning the particular points you mention, racial integration and proportional representation, I think those are really one and the same thing. The PLP in its parliamentary candidates slate is representative of our demographic composition, far more so than the UBPs’. While there are some obvious internal issues as evidenced by the (some would say ‘farce’ of) candidate selections last year, in general the PLP does put merit over melanin. Once the UBP does the same it will be more possible for us all to transcend identity politics and move towards ideology.

    It is entirely possible for White candidates to be selected by a majority Black Party and vice versa, however one would imagine that talent distribution is more or less evenly distributed and so candidate selection would broadly reflect the Party’s racial composition. Following the transistion from race to ideological politics the mold would be shattered and the racial composition of whatever Parties then existed would be realigned more or less along ideological lines and not racial ones.

  3. i’ve asked this on a few sites – but i would really like to know what white UBP voters are feeling about a party that they so fully supported is now turning their back on them.i mean, crockwell ran in a UBP safe seat and was elected by mostly white voters and here he is saying that he wants the UBP to have a “young blk face” and for the “old white guard” to disappear in the background.

  4. Hi Vanz,

    I’m not sure if you are going to get much initial response to that question to be honest. I reckon the majority of UBPers are preoccupied with the UBP ‘retreat’ down at Elbow Beach. I’m guessing this’ll be similar to the PLP Delegates Conference, involving their parliamentary caucus, branch execs, Party execs and general membership. Those that aren’t engaged by this meeting are going to adopt the cautious approach and withold comment until the dust settles and its clearer what the UBP will do (dissolve, split, change strategy, etc.).

    Aside from that I think that what the Party ideolouges are expressing (Crockwell, Gordon-Pamplin, Warner, even Wasi to an extent) is generally reflective of its memberships though-processes. They are trying to decide which way to go quite frankly, and this is going to be an emotionally draining experience for alot of them, as well as their broader support base. What Mr. Crockwell has said will be echoed by alot of UBPers, including the ‘old white guard.’

    Alot of the Whites as a whole are feeling under attack, isolated and otherwise marginalised. That is unfortunate and not constructive towards our common future. I believe this is a temporary transistional period for many of them though.

  5. Jonathan,

    While I agree with you that in theory the melanin content of a party’s candidate should match that of it’s support base, I’d lik to play devil’s advocate for a moment.

    While it has been suggested that the UBP may intentionally choosing candidates due to their high melanin content, the question should also be asked of whether our present political climate is very encouraging to white people to want to run for the UBP. If many white people are unwilling to represent the UBP under our present climate, how much of a factor would that be in opening the door for black candidates to run. Indeed, my understanding from sources within the UBP was they were having considerable trouble getting enough candidates to fill all 36 constituencies let alone specifically black ones.

  6. “the question should also be asked of whether our present political climate is very encouraging to white people to want to run for the UBP.”

    blks make up only 13% of the US population and have often found the political climate unwelcoming but it has not stopped blk politicians from taking up that challenges even when not running in traditionally blk districts (dinkins, gvr. of mass., bradley, washington etc.)

    the fact that there seems to be a sentiment floating around that we should make the political climate more welcoming to white politicians is a diss to the early PLP politicans who soldiered on in spite of far greater odds and is quite frankly a diss to white bdans as it implies that they have no balls and need everything handed to them on a silver platter

  7. Vanz,

    I am dissappointed by your eye for an eye mentality. If it wasn’t right back then than it shouldn’t be right today. Do you condone the whites who made it uncomfortable for blacks to get ahead in the past?

  8. Do you condone the whites who made it uncomfortable for blacks to get ahead in the past?

    no but i don’t think that blks r going out of their way either way –

  9. over at vexed he quotes ABC organiser Khalid Wasi who “speculates that, if the UBP disintegrates, then the PLP will also be on the skids. He believes the two parties are a reaction to each other: take one away and the other struggles.”

    1st khalid has been on the scene for a while but has never gotten enuff support to be elected or represent any real political movement – so why his word is being taken seriously speaks to either vexed’s cluelessness or to his being un-informed about bdan politics – wasi knows very well that the PLP was formed before the UBP so it’s impossible for it to be a reaction to the UBP – as a matter of fact the PLP has always been on it’s own journey in spite of the UBP – a journey that began when newly freed slaves in the 1800s demanded fair wages thus beginning the first labour action on the island.

    i suggest both vexed and wasi read ira philips book the History of the BIU to fully understand that the PLP’s existence transcends the UBP’s purpose and apparent short lived existence

  10. You know, one of the most intriguing things in the recent election period was the bizarre rumours I kept hearing from UBPers.

    There was talk of an elderly lady stopping for gas at the Union gas station, with one of those UBP flags as a car accessory. Reputedly she was refused, rather rudely, service. As she protested she was allegedly dragged out of the car, causing her to dislocate her shoulder, and verbally abused. I kept scanning the media for anyything remotely confirming such an incident. I found nothing.

    I heard of several cars with the UBP flags being ‘keyed’ or having their windows smashed. Again I failed to find any evidence to confirm this.

    It was only on election day itself that I discovered that the UBP also had UBP shirts and hats. Speaking with some UBP friends (yes, believe it or not I am friends with UBPers; shocking I know) they told me of UBPers wearing these accessories being verbally and physically assualted, or having service denied them at restuarants. Again I found no evidence to report these incidents.

    I asked the people relaying these messages if they could give me some more information, how to contact the individuals concerned, etc., but suprisingly no-one knew who was involved. They had heard from a firend who had heard from a friend and so on. I’m sure that there were many other rumours within the White community at this time.

    I found these stories interesting because to me they were symptomatic of some form of mass White hysteria at the time. Abstracted, they were part of the general atmosphere common amongst Whites that the political climate is anti-white. This took me aback, as I had obviously missed some memo on this one (purposefully no doubt).

    I still have some difficulty understanding why so many Whites are feeling persecuted. The most I can put my finger on is some off the cuff remarks by various politicos (often taken out of their metaphorical context) and a general committment by the PLP to initiate conversation on race and float some ideas (affirmative action) to correct ongoing racial inequality that has shown little progress left to its own devices (non-internvention).

    It is my personal feeling that alot of the perception of White victimisation is a construct of the Whites as a whole. [And yes I recognise that neither racial group are one homogenous grouping, but for the purposes of discourse, I think we all understand how and why I’m using these labels.] There is a sense on the one hand of White guilt, and on the other hand of White fear, fear of ‘the Blacks coming to take revenge.’ Often this comes organically from the small Whites who fear that their legitimate hard work will be appropriated or otherwise marginalised; they put forward the argument that ‘they’ had nothing to do with slavery, that there were White slaves too. I feel that this mentality is being stoked by the Big Whites for their own oppurtunistic purposes.

    While I side with Vanz that I do not believe that Black Bdians on a whole and the PLP in particular are not going out of their way to ‘seek revenge’ for the injustices of the past, but rather work towards equality for real in the future, I will accept that there are some Blacks that ARE prejudiced, that ARE deliberately trying to take revenge. But they are an extreme minority, and the fact that the actions of such a minority are being exaggerated and applied to Blacks and the PLP as a whole says more about White group psychology than anything else to me. The Party itself, while it obviously has its race extremist fringe, often goes out of its way to combat these extremist views.

    I disagree with the notion that the PLP needs to ‘go out of its way’ to make Whites feel more comfortable, and I didn’t mean for my position to be interpreted in this manner if it was. What I did mean was that the Party must recognise that the Whites are feeling victimised, and whether they are justified in this belief or not, it would be wise for the Party to continue/reinitiate dialogue with the intention of reducing such feelings.

    The ideological argument, backed up by the facts of institutional racial problems (and they are legion here), must continue to be calmly repeated and advanced. There are some tactics that have been employed in the recent past, either in style of superficial choice of words, that have been counterproductive to these aims, and a reevaluation of these tools should be made; afterall, if one tool isn’t doing the job, perhaps you have the wrong tool?

    There are many Whites, both small and big, that are progressively inclined, and can be won over by sober argument based on facts. I’m not going to kid anyone, success here will depend on being extremely patient and forgiving/understanding. It won’t happen overnight, and it won’t be easy. It will cause discomfort, and when we say that we are being realistic, we are not saying that the Party wants to make Whites uncomfortable.

  11. Actually Vanz, I disagree with your assesment there.

    While it is true that the PLP formed prior to the UBP, and that the UBP was largely a reaction to the PLP, I do think that the death of the UBP could serve as a catalyst for change within the PLP. I’ve always seen the PLP as a union of two class groups with separate objectives, united mostly due to a few, if not, one main objective.

    The two groups that I see composing the PLP are the working class, being overhwelmingly Black, and the majority of the Black upper class, a Black bourgeousie if you will. This Black upper class draws its representation largely from the professional caste, doctors, lawyers, civile servants, as well as Black entrepeneurs.

    The common goal of both of these groups was the dismantling of the White oligarchy and both the legislative and institutional pillars that supported and maintained the White oligarchy.

    Now, the Black bourgeousie has as its objectives soleley the dismantling of unfair legislative and institutional factors that served to depress their ability to accumulate capital. Once they have acheived this and made the class structure of the island more demographically representative of the islans as a whole, then they are done. This was epitomised by the saying, I think by Mr. Alex Scott that went something like ‘We are not seeking to erradicate the haves, but to ensure the have nots have more’ or something to that effect.

    By themselves they were incapable of acheiving this goal; they simply did not have the capital, numbers, or whatever to rival let alone overthrow the might of the White oligarchy. They needed some allies.

    The Black working class (in reality the working class here is almost completely Black) shared the common goal of getting rid of the racist legislation and institutional framework that maintained/supported the White oligarchy. But they also had the objective (and our early labour leaders echoed this) that they weren’t just opposing the system of White supremacy that the White oligarchy represented, but the capitalist system itself that is oligarchy.

    It is these two main forces that fused into the PLP. While the name Progressive Labour was chosen when the original idea for a name was already copyrighted, the Bermuda Labour Party already having been created I think by Mr. Walton Brown’s father, it echoed the name of the Progressive Group which had led the fight for desegration.

    It is these two camps, with their common as well as conflicting goals that created and is the PLP today. There were smaller groups, the most noticeable were the Whites who joined the Party. Mostly these Whites were either radicals, that is socialists and communists, or progressive upper and middle class Whites who realised early on that the system of the White oligarchy was unsustainable, much as several Afrikaaners supported the ANC against Apartheid.

    Should the UBP as we know it cease to function, this may serve as a catalyst for change within the PLP. There would emerge the potential for a new political equilibrium to arise based along class issues and less on race and anti-UBP hegemony.

  12. Jonathan,

    While I’m not interested in a long discussion on the topic I thought I’d say a couple things.

    The problem I have is if white fear turns into white flight, which could have very negative consiquences for our economy.

    Another issue is the tension that is continually prodded and provoked. It is one thing for white bermudians to be made uncomfortable yet a whole diferent thing when expats and foreigners are lumped into ‘white hate’. If we screw up it wouldn’t take muxh for us to ruin what we have.

    I have been told some interesting stories by expats I know of their accounts with racism on th island. People being verbally abusive and threatening. One had a bottle thrown at him and was cursed for being white and told to leave the island. Others who have been mugged.

    The more we drive up tensions, the more the extreme on both sides will act out. We’re playing with fire and all we need to do is make one or two key executives feel unsafe for them or their families here and we could find ourselves in very dire straits.

    We need to tone down the divisiveness and set an example for unity. Looking to introduce policy is one thing, but the many racist statements need to end and better discussion on all levels needs to occur.

    People deserve to be treated fairly and equally without prejudice. What happened in the past does not give license to repeat it.

  13. but hasn’t the long term (seemingly) of tony blair’s new labour shown that the working classes and professional classes can coexist within the same political party on a fairly permanent basis with the whole concept of a “stakeholder society” being attractive to old and “new” labour? older folks often talk about a time when workman’s clubs were populated by the local dr. and the local carpenter. that’s my hope anyway.

  14. dennis – what u don’t realize is that blk bda has always erred on the side of making everyone but themselves feel comfortable – the reason that there is so much resentment today is not because of the PLP but because blks have been told for so long to not rock the boat – and though they did this it did make their lives any better – land and money still remained out of their reach – r u suggesting they swallow their anger – they did that and that’s why we are we are today – resentment needs to be out in the open in order to deal with it – growing up it was ingrained in us to smile and always be happy for the tourists – now its’ smile and be happy for IB – if we r truly talking about being colour blind – it seems to me that in the 10 years that the PLP has been in power that IB has flocked there in unprecedented rates – no matter where u go in the world foreign workers cause social friction – that’s normal – it’s finding a balance where locals can keep their dignity and maintain favourable wrkng conditions for outside workers – like in asia, saudi arabia etc.

  15. Vanz, concerning your comparison with Blair’s New Labour and the PLP. I’m not sure if you are suprised by this, but I’m quite opposed to Blairism and New Labour as a whole. I see it as a sell out and Blair as the true heir to Thatcher over there. There is actually quite alot of discontent within the UK Labour Party and increasing demoralisation and disgust amongst their support base towards Blairism as a whole.

  16. Hi Denis,

    I’ll try to keep this short as per your wishes there.

    Yes, there is resntment and there is a minority who do vent this resentment towards Whites and foreign ex-pats. My partner, being Asian recieved numerous racial taunts, recieved bad service ostensibly because of her race, was in general made to feel uncomfortable and quite frankly hates Bda now. I too, being White, have been accosted, and I’ll be frank, walking down Court Street to get to meetings at night is not exactly a walk in the park for me. Its nothing like how some people imagine it, but whether its my socialisation as a White youth or what, I don’t feel comfortable there occassionaly.

    Now, having said that, as a White person, I do not feel that Whites are continually prodded and provoked. I acknowledge some minority elements in the community who are prejudiced, but I don’t see how this equates to being a result of the PLP. I do acknowledge that some things have been said that could have been said differently, either different words or style. These have been counterproductive I think in practice but not in intent. These sort of things can be avoided by the Party with a little foresight and empathy.

    Aside from that, I really don’t see how we are driving up divisiveness. Talking about the race problem doesn’t create it; it only articulates the existing reality. Attempting to create racial equality because laissez-faire hasn’t done it so far doesn’t create divisiveness; it only aims to increase our long-term sustainability. Not addressing the issue of race may well allow us to pretend everything it hunky-dory for a short while, but it only compounds the problem in the long-term. Then you would see a real explosion of racial divisiveness.

    I will say it again, affirmative action is not reverse racism. Rather it is the antithesis of it, or a tool to transcend it. We are not aiming to repeat a bizzaro image of the past but to build a truly colour-blind future, and to do that we’re going to have to talk about it, and whats more, we’re going to actually have to act on it as well.

    While its true that the average CEO or manager probably only has a horizon vision of at most five years, there are progressive factions of that class who I’m sure realise that to ensure the long-term sustainability of business here then the race issue must be transcended, that is, dealt with and not ignored which is tantamount to leaving an infected wound to fester and poison the whole body politic.

    Okay, well, I did try to keep it short. 😉

    By the way, did they make you a LCpl? I assumed by your post on Boot Camp that you were up there for it. How’s it working out, apart from being bitterly cold and damp at night?

  17. “I’m quite opposed to Blairism and New Labour as a whole. I see it as a sell out and Blair as the true heir to Thatche…”

    wow – did not know this – i did know that some hardline union, socialist and communist factions left labour but from my laymens observation i thought that the success of new labour over the conservatives was generally well recieved by the working class in the UK (they keep getting elected) – and i guess that their “stakeholder society” doesn’t work for u either?

  18. Jonathan,

    I’m definitely not suggesting we brush racism under the rug and pretend it doesn’t exist. However, I am very concerned about the lack of a line we draw between white bermudians and foreigners in general.

    The party needs to halt such divisive speech as it sets a poor exmple which is magnified by it’s supporters.

    As per regiment, I’m not at liberty to discuss it.

  19. Vanz,

    Have you ever been to Africa and seen the real heart wrenching poverty there? Go there then come back to Bermuda and try to tell me we have nothing.

    Bermuda is a service based business, it exports barely anything but trinkets and thus relies heavily upon foreign customers as well as our symbiotic partnerships. Without them we have nothing tangible to offer the world. It is highly likely that we will always be service based and thus, care is warranted to ensure we do nothing to disrupt it. That doesn’t mean we do nothing overall, just being rude and blaming expats dos nothing for us.

    As for the line of all the new businesses during the PLP, I have time and time again said we need to focus on quality not quantity. What are these new businesses doing to benefit us other than offering good press releases. We need to focus on what will make Bermuda better for all Bermudians.
    We should be measuring the success of our people by measuring happiness rather than GDP.

  20. Hi Denis,

    The only ‘divisive speech’ that I am aware of are Col. Burch’s use of the term ‘House Nigger’, various comments from various MPs along the lines of ‘people that look like me’ and the variations of ‘don’t vote yourself back to the plantation.’ Can you offer any others?

    I agree that some of these terms and approaches may have been counter-productive in the aims they sought to achieve, and that is avoidable in the future.

    I would much rather we get to a discussion of how to address the ongoing racial inequalities we still see, legacies of the past injustices. But the whole topic is understandably emotional, and it constantly seems to me that the progressive discussion is sidelined while the emotional flare-ups are magnified. Its a form over substance problem half the time.

  21. Hey Vanz,

    I’m thinking it would make sense for me to start a new thread to discuss the whole New Labour thing, and I’ll do that as soon as I have the time to draft it properly.

    In short though I’ll answer that the victory of Labour over the Tory’s was indeed initially well-recieved by the working class. Over time as the Blairites actually accelerated the Tory program – the program that the working class had voted Labour in to get rid off – disillussionment, resentment and apathy has increased. That the Labour Party won subsequent elections is answered more by the ‘lesser of two evils’ reasoning combined with lost traditional Left support being compensated by increased middle and upper class support for the time-being.

    It is doubtful whether Labour will be re-elected a fourth term though, not that a Tory government would be better; in my opinion it would be much worse for the working class.

    As to large numbers of Labourites leaving Labour, this is partly true, although large numbers were purged, as seen as the expulsion of the Militant Tendency. Others have left, such as the faction around Arthur Scargill, while others are mobilising within the Party to fightback.

    Links to the Labour Representation Committee and the Socialist Campaign Group may be found on the blogroll, and the remnants of the Militant within UK Labour maintain the ‘In Defence of Marxism’ site. You will also see a link to the Canadian NDP’s Socialist Caucus there. I am generally in support of these groups, though I have different opinions concerning their efficacy in their stated aims of ‘claiming back the Party.’ This comes done to my concept of the role and form of the revolutionary organisation, something I will also expand upon in a later post.

    As to the ‘stakeholder society’ and the related concepts of a social contract between capital, government and organised labour, I see the use of the word ‘partnership’ as a farce. To me capital rules the roost with the assistance of the State with labour continually exploited, even though at times it may get a few more crumbs off the table than at others. The objectives of capital and labour are opposed to each other; only under certain conditions, such as a common opposition to racial capitalism, can one see some common unity between labour and progressive wings of capital.

    During a state of ‘war of position’ this ‘partnership’ has its uses, but only if it is consciously exploited in order to facilitate the transition to the ‘war of manoeuvre’ and advantage the revolution in such a way as to assist victory in the political and social revo. Should it be used to develop false consciousness, as it has and is doing with the emphasis on nationalist rhetoric, consumerism and various mysticisms, then it should and must be opposed.

  22. Jonathan,

    There is a thread over on Bermuda sucks atarted by Thaao Dill which provides many examples of what people have found divisive. I’d provide a link but it is difficult on my mobile. As suggested, lets avoid a focusing on the past and focus on how we change it in the future.

    Regarding racial inequality I believe we need to follow an old adage one of my engineering profs used to say ad nausium. “If you can’t measure it, you don’t understand it”. This adade yields the first step, we need to clearly identify the problem before we can solve it.

    In my reasearch for my series on the disparity of black executives I poured over ever piece of racial statistical data I could get my hands on. Ultimately while it has gotten better I largely feel the breakdowns are still inadequate.

    First we need to clearly compare Bermudians by race in all measurements. Lumping expats into stats unfairly gives inacurate data of our problem.

    Second we need far more detail down to specific educational achievements and the ability to cross reference all categories to understand the probability of who attainedwhat education and what jobs they led to. On top of that we should hopefully attain stats on family owned businesses as well as small busineses to better be able to get a full picture.

    Once we have a detailed breakdown we can identify the likelyhood of who attained what level of education and the reasonings why. Then we can also identify who attained what positions and the reasoning why.

    While education as a whole should be improved for all Bermudians, the statistical impact of white priveledge should be identified with extra resources dedicated to assisting those who are capable to attend the top schools internationally but lack the
    finances to get assistance to begin raising them to the same level.

    Beyond that is a much larger discussion with regards to any policy initiatives to ensure a reduction of discrimination but it should protect against all discrimination and not just one specific group, as well as other means of addressing the issues

  23. Do you have copies of CURE’s annual reports? I have the ones for 2005 to 2006. In it they break the statistics done by race, status, educational background, income, sex, and so on, much as I interpret your statements. You can get them from CURE themselves, if not I can share them with you.

    Racism is very hard to accurately quantify, it is not as easy a thing as material objects to measure. These statistics serve more as a reflection than a quantification.

    I am relegated to lurking on Bda Sucks for now; since they changed the format I have been able to log on only once, and could you believe it I got writers block! But I am aware of the thread you are referring too.

    I understand you cannot comment on the Regiment. Its a pity an anomynous soldiers blog couldn’t be set up, obviously with careful writing so as to not identify the particular individual. I had to use a false name over at Limey’s when I was in the Regiment and wished to talk about Regimental issues.

    Oh well.

  24. yes, I collected everything available from CURE that I could and have looked through most of it. I’d like to see the survey and the responses themselves (not with identifiable info) released so the data can be tabulated and analysed in greater detail than was provided.

    It should be measureable to some extent as without adequate metrics how can you be certain you*e achieved anything?

  25. Well, yes, obviously one can measure the effects of institutional racism in as much as you can compare the demographics of job distribution and race in correlation to racial composition. This is the purpose of the CURE statistices, with the idea that one can measure the effectiveness of measures to counteract institutional racism. I don’t have the data with me right at the moment, but I recall it indicated significant institutional racism.

    But as I recall they did indeed break down the statistics according to race, sex, status, profession, even age, which is why I am slightly confused by your earlier statement that you would like to see that data.

    When I was talking about quantifying racism earlier I was referring to the subjective experience; objectively we can only measure certain impacts of institutional racism and overt racism (lynching, active discrimination, etc.).

  26. Jonathan,

    I went through merits of the cure stats in my series of articles on black executives from late oct through dec. I don’t have access to the reports themselves and can’t provide a link because I’m on my mobile but I found it was difficult to draw the same conclusions that you have. My conclusion was that the largest problem stemed from educational achievement. We can discuss it in greater detail in a couple weks when I have more resources at my disposal.

    As per subjective racism, how would you solve it? You asked about solutions and I responded with what I’ve got so far. I’m a numbers/analysis kind of person so I am best suited to identifying disparities as evidenced by hard numbers, which I believe tell th facts behind discrimination if done in enough detail. However, I found the cure reports did not link stats well enough. I’d like to be able to compare things in greater detail. In terms of missed oportunities or preferences for jobs based upon racism, I wholly believe tht with enough data it can be identified.

    As per more subjective racism you’ll have to tell me how you’d solve it as such empathetical issues are not my strength. What do you believe can be done to mend the past and solve it from happening?

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