Friendly Societies March

Mr. DeCouto of FreshieBlog commented on the attendance of the Friendly Societies March on Monday evening. I also attended the march, walking a few people behind Mr. DeCouto most of the walk. It was a very informative tour, detailing alot of the City’s important Black History sites. Of course, it couldn’t detail everything, and being billed as a ‘Friendly Society March’ alot of its focus was on the Friendly Societies, which although important, wasn’t, for me, as interesting as important labour struggle sites.

All in all though it was an excellent tour though, and its organisers should be commended for the idea. They did have a little trouble with the audio equipment and its operation, that made it a bit difficult to hear at times, but it was good all the same.

Mr. DeCouto also noted the very obvious different levels of attendance of the two Parties. I can’t lie, I also observed that the UBP (MPs and candidates) were very much in force while the PLP really had a very dismal showing. There were numerous PLPers there, but of PLP formal representation I recall only Minister Dale Butler, Senators Thaao Dill and Marc Bean, and Minister Walter Lister (who came very much towards the end due to understandable reasons). Those PLPers who were present definitely noticed the absence of the rest of the formal PLP. I understand there was a conflict with the CupMatch reception at Camden House for the respective CupMatch Teams, and it would be understandable that several wouldn’t have been able to attend anyway due to personal reasons, but one would have expected a greater turn-out for such an event.

As for the UBP’s turn-out, yes, it was good to see them there. They do have alot to learn afterall, and I’m sure many of them learned a thing or two on the walk. One must be careful hoever that they don’t continue to get stuck on a very superficial approach to race. Their turnout on a march like that is good and all, but I think they truly fail to grasp what institutional racism really is. The PLP on the other hand, its formal representatives at least, quite frankly disappointed a few of its rank and file in the decision of most of its representative to not attend.

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60 thoughts on “Friendly Societies March

  1. Jonathan,

    What makes you think that the UBPers don’t grasp the concept of institutional racism? And what do you think is the best approach in ensuring that this practice is finally eradicated?

  2. Hi 9Ps, well, that question would take alot of time to answer, so I’m gonna have to give a very brief response at the moment.

    I get that impression based on several factors, namely personal interaction/conversation/debate with several of its official representatives (MPs, Senators, Party functionaries) and its lay supporters. I think that sure, the vast majority of its membership is definitely opposed to what I would call Jim Crow style racism, that is the overt racism of the past, along with its legal/social superstructure that supported it. But I think they have problems grasping James Crowe Esquire type racism, the much more subtle, covert, institutional racism that we have today. On a very basic level the statistics that we have are about the only way to show the institutional racism, and our statistics are truly quite damming in that respect. While I have issues with what I see as the current PLP aim of simply making the class demographics correlate with our racial demographics (so a 60-40 split Black/White through every class) I totally support that over maintaining a status quo that reproduces the inequalities inherited from our past. [I oppose it in that I oppose the capitalist system as a whole and don’t think that the contradictions inherent to our race/class structure can be solved within such a system.] I find that the UBP in general (there are always exceptions) has problems with even frankly discussing race to begin with, and further with really addressing the problems posed by the race question. As far as I can gather they interpret even talking about race as racist and divisive, and attempts to solve the problem as reverse racism, and then they descend into various levels of hysterics and cherry-picking quotes of Martin Luther King.

    I think that talking frankly about race is a very small but neccessary precondition to tackling its consequences, and I do think that reparations are necessary. By reparations I don’t mean a tax on whites and cheques to blacks which is what I feel many whites think of when they hear that word. I think of it more as a heavy investment in social services (educations, healthcare, culture, housing, etc.) to the benefit of our people as a whole with the determined effort to eradicate institutional racism, along with vigilance against racialism that are perpetuated by the global media outside of our control.

    As I said, the issue is complex, and I don’t expect to be able to solve it here in a few paragraphs. But I do feel that the UBP’s combined approach of ‘don’t talk about it’ with hysterics of reverse racism and ‘racial reconciliation on the cheap’ through a superficial tokenistic approach to parliamentary candidates is anywhere near the right way to go about solving it.

    Doug, no problem.

  3. “They do have alot to learn afterall”

    Talk about condescending. Give me a break. Just because many of them advocate a non-adversarial approach to race relations versus the PLP’s confrontational strategy, doesn’t mean they are uninformed.

    Please. Guys like Kim Swan, Bob Richards, Wayne Furbert, Charlie Swan, Louise Jackson, Darius, Gina and dare I say guys like Barritt and Gibbons etc could teach you a thing or two Starling.

  4. Jonathan,

    For your information, and the information of others, the reason you did not see more PLP MPs, senators and candidates is because it is traditional for the Premier to host the Cup Match teams on the Sunday evening before the game, however, because of the African Diaspora Heritage Trail conference, the event was instead held on Monday evening, at the same time of the march. That is where the Premier and several ministers, MPs, party supporters were on that evening. That event was planned well ahead of the Friendly Societies March. As you have explained, I see that some MPs like Walter Lister and Minister Butler left Camden to attend the march. It happens that sometimes events clash and that was one of those times.

  5. “Talk about condescending. Give me a break. Just because many of them advocate a non-adversarial approach to race relations versus the PLP’s confrontational strategy, doesn’t mean they are uninformed.”

    di u think that there is ever a time to be confrontational about race?

    “Please. Guys like Kim Swan, Bob Richards, Wayne Furbert, Charlie Swan, Louise Jackson, Darius, Gina and dare I say guys like Barritt and Gibbons etc could teach you a thing or two Starling.”

    can u offer any examples – i knew kim swan when i was growing up and i don’t really remember him being particularly clued in to social issues – also, i used to volunteer at the sunshine league and i remember louise jackson refusing to help out by having her school volunteer dance lessons to some of the young girls there – i could go on but i would really like to hear what these particular mps could teach us

  6. Careful Starling, your post seems a bit on the critical side, bordering on sedition. As a PLP supporter, you are not allowed to use words like “disappointed” or “dismal” when referring to party members, especially in a public forum. Issues should be brought up only at party meetings or individually amongst other PLP members where they can be properly dealt with (ignored). It’s a good thing you aren’t here on a work permit.

  7. The sunshine league, wasn’t that for children in need? These are children who parents couldn’t raise them, and you want to call Louise Jackson out for not wanting to give away free dance lessons? Louise Jackson isn’t the bad guy here, the parents are the one to blame just bringing in more poor people looking for hand outs from hardworking people.

  8. Jonathon,

    Ask Kim Swan about what he experienced as a black golfer during his college years in the US.

    Ask him about his participation in the school sports boycott at Berkeley fighting to get black studies included in the curriculum.

    Ask that for a start. Ask him. Then realize that you have a lot to learn.

  9. Good point Spencer,

    If starling keeps complaining, the Zoo will never get the madagascar exhibit finished coming in 2007?

  10. “Ask him about his participation in the school sports boycott at Berkeley fighting to get black studies included in the curriculum.”

    having gone to berkeley and having relatives who are members of the berkeley society and knowing some of berkeley’s history – i have never heard that kim swan was a key player in that movement – i could be wrong

    “the parents are the one to blame just bringing in more poor people looking for hand outs from hardworking people.”

    yeah what the hell was i and others doing wasting our time up there

    ps. – swan didn’t have to go all the way to college to experience racism – his own party was practicing it – while he was a member

  11. “Ask him about his participation in the school sports boycott at Berkeley fighting to get black studies included in the curriculum.”

    Ask him if black studies translated in to any real money later on in life.

  12. Condescending. Perhaps. But I have provided my reasons for why I think they need to learn alot still. Frankly, yes, I find the entire UBP approach to race condescending to the mass of voters. Readers should recall that this blog is certainly not a neutral blog, but it does try to be a relatively fair partisan one that attempts to back up its occassional condescending remarks.

  13. Jonathan,

    1. You say talking about racism is a *precondition* to tackling its consequences. Why? At what point does the talking become complete and can the work to tackle the consequences begin?

    2. How do you invest heavily in social services “with the determined effort to eradicate institutional racism”? What does this mean?

    3. How do you think institutional racism is mediated? What are the mechanisms by which it is manifested?

    4. If you were advising the UBP on their race strategy, what would you advise them to do (in terms of specific actions)?

    I’d also be interested to hear Ms. Furbert’s answers to questions 3 and 4.

  14. First of all, why is it that all who post on this blog, other Vanz and myself and in this instance, Jonathan are always so critical of the PLP but yet so know wrong with the UBP?

    I have never ever said it is wrong for a PLP member to critiise the Party, what I have said, and I stand by it, I think people should take their criticisms to the Party first. However, Jonathan chooses not to do that and I don’t he can say that he has been treated any differently because of he chooses to practice his democratic right.

    As far as Kim Swan’s attendance at Berkeley, I don’t know about that. I heard him once say on the Shirley Dill Show that he went to Warwick Sec. Middle School then to Berkeley which has to be an outright lie as Warwick Sec became a middle long after Kim left public education in Bermuda. And, I’ve never heard his name called when it came to teaching black history at Berkeley. And personally, I don’t think that Kim Swan had the smarts (or the family connection) to get into Berkeley back then

    In my opinion, if UBP MPs and candidates were in attendance at that march, they were just profiling. The Friendly Societies have been around for eons and I’ve never seen a UBP MP or candidate at any of their gatherings. Maybe they think there’s an election in the offing.

    Jonathan is spot on when he says that the UBP think that even talking about race is makes the situation worse. They really believe that if you don’t talk about it, it will go away.

    According to “The Truth” “Guys like Kim Swan, Bob Richards, Wayne Furbert, Charlie Swan, Louise Jackson, Darius, Gina and dare I say guys like Barritt and Gibbons etc could teach you a thing or two Starling”. What could any of those people teach Jonathan, or anyone else for that matter? Gina Spence teach somebody something?!! What a joke!!! I know if Dr. Brown,or anyone else the PLP had attempted to pass the GED exam 100 times, you all would the blogs saturated with that information. Darius Tucker teach somebody something?!! Another joke!! Louise Jackson teach dance at one time in her life, but I can assure you all that she was so enamoured with the white race back then (as she is today) that whenever she put on a recital she made sure that the dancers that looked the most white where in the front of the line.

    While you all spend your time trying to find as much dirt as you can on Dr. Brown, remember that each one of those names that “The Truth” called has a history, including dear “Aunt Louise”. But the difference between UBP supporters (at least on the local blogs) and PLP supporters is that PLP supporters try and address issues, while the UBP supporters spend their time posting gossip and inuendo.

    Now to Mr. Wells’ questions:

    1. According to dictionary.com “mediate” means “to settle (disputes, strikes, etc.) as an intermediary between parties; reconcile”. I really don’t think that institutional racism can be mediated. I think that those people/organisations that practice institutional racism have to first accept that they are in fact practicisng institional racism and then do something to change it. I think that the “Big Conversation” is the way to go, but because it was one of Dr. Brown’s initiatives, those who need to participate most, stay away. By the way, Mr. Wells, have you ever attended any of the sessions?

    2. I would not advise the UBP on anything. I cannot imagine myself to ever be in a position where I would advise the opposition UBP. I am a member of the PLP pure and simple. On a personal level, I can tell you that I have a relationship with many members of the UBP. I can also tell you that I believe that David Doddwell is a very sincere person and really wants to see the races come together, but he is just one person. It is obvious that they (the UBP) did not take the advice that he gave them.

    But as I see it, more today, then yesterday, people like Kim Swan, Gina Spence Farmer and Darius Tucker are just pawns in a game of chess played by the white oligarchy in Bermuda which now exists behind closed doors (or behind anonymous names like Smoking Gun, Uncle Elvis, The Truth, etc. etc. etc.). It is unfortunate, but very true, those type of people are so ignorant (meant in the true sense of the word) that they can’t see the forest for the trees.

    Now, Bob Richards is a different kettle of fish, and I don’t feel like going there today. But I can tell you that when you use the term “scores to settle” think about him.

  15. Ms. Furbert

    You misunderstand what I was getting at with question 3. I’m asking what you understand institutional racism to be, not asking how do we tackle it. We can see the outcomes – lower salaries for blacks than whites, for example, in particular job categories. But how does that come about? Is it whites consciously discriminating against blacks? Most people seem to think that these days that’s not such a big part of institutional racism, and that it’s more subconscious discrimination. But if it’s subconscious, how does that manifest itself? How can a white person who is not consciously racist, who may in fact consciously despise racism, still act in a way which has detrimental effects on black people? I’m not saying it’s not possible, I’m just curious as to how you think institutional racism actually arises in the real world. I have only ever heard one such mechanism described (which I’m happy to describe later, I just don’t want to pre-empt anyone’s thinking now) – I’m curious to know what the other mechanisms there may be.

    Re question 4, I understand that you would not advise the UBP on anything, and presumably neither would Jonathan. My question was a hypothetical one. What would you like to see the UBP do about racism in Bermuda, specifically? What would it take for them to make you start thinking that they were as serious about eliminating racism as yourself?

  16. Mr. Wells – re; “How can a white person who is not consciously racist, who may in fact consciously despise racism, still act in a way which has detrimental effects on black people?”

    as a man in this society – i’m conscious – even in hindsight of a sexist behavior and actions that i’ve been guilty of – i love and respect my wife as well as many other close female friends – but as they are sometimes qwik to remind me – i can on occasion be guilty of sexists statements, actions and thoughts. otherwise i would often not know. i think that when the b/w race issue can achieve the civility that we see in the male female sexism issue/discussion (not counting the abortion issue) the debate won’t be as explosive.

    re: “I’m just curious as to how you think institutional racism actually arises in the real world.”

    i have an african american friend who went to an ivy league business school – as is often the case – the blk students almost unconsciously formed a blk study group cuz they felt at home with people who understood them culturally – one night a member bought her white b/f with her – and without words (if u can see it) she as chastised – for this – the white b/f never came again – and actually failed the class (possibly for other reasons)

    if that benign “freeze” out continued to occur once the blk study group got into the work place and then into the social climbing arena – as that blk study group started to gain wealth and power – the freeze outs would start to take on serious power.

    now the “white b/f doesn’t just fail the class – he doesn’t get the job, bank loan etc.

    all because the blk study group simply wanted to feel comfortable in their study group.”

    so institutional racism actually arises in the real world when those kids become adults but still take that need to feel comfortable into the workplace.

    and sadly i’m sure some of that happens in picking ms. bermuda, the national soccer team and the natl cricket team

  17. Sounds like the event was great Starling. I had been planning on attending and the African Diaspora events, but my back’s health has not been kind enough to give me the chance.

    I hope they do the same events, or at least similar ones, next summer because I would love to take part.

  18. Thanks, Vanz. Sounds entirely plausible, given the human tendency for forming cliques with people of a similar outlook (geek clique/sporty clique/rich kids clique etc). And the subconscious negative body language that might put off someone from outside the clique from feeling welcome there is the one mechanism that I’ve heard mentioned before (by Malcolm Gladwell in his book ‘Blink’).

    I still wonder if the power of those cliques in the workplace isn’t overstated. But I can certainly see how it could be one mechanism that could give rise to institutional racism. Are there any others?

  19. this might be a stretch but i read once that the reason that secret societies in the UK have clout is that when the UK was moving from and ag. culture to a industrial culture – the ex farmers etc. had to move to the city and start if over – but to keep some semblence of community they started secret societies to maintain their community connection – after decades in the city – the city changed but the some societies still remained connected – but now those members were bankers, pub owners, mailmen, civil servants etc. – they kinda ran the city – so now u have a once harmless social club actually made up of the very people who dictate what happens in a society – u combine that with the sexism, nationalism or racism of the time and u can see how something as insidiuos as bda’s oligarchy would come about in a modern society

  20. Vanz

    “the blk students almost unconsciously formed a blk study group cuz they felt at home with people who understood them culturally”.

    I am seriously struggling here – so help me out if you can. I don’t understand why the cultural grouping you mention is wrong, which is part implied – I think?. I can understand that the group can create a mindset that is discriminatory whether consciously or otherwise, but surely we are not saying it is prima facie wrong/unwise (whatever) for people of a particular culture to get together – are we?

    In the UK when sex discrimination was being “tested”, we had some weird and wonderful decisions. Men only clubs, for example, were challenged in the courts on the premise that they discriminated by not allowing women to join. Why would a woman want to join a men only club in the first place? Why can’t men – or women – have their own club? (Just to qualify – by men only I don’t mean anything ‘weird’ by the way).

    If a group of black people in Sandys want to form a club (say) with a common interest of (say) black culture – is there something wrong in that?

    This whole thing is confusing.

  21. wells was asking about”institutional racism, and how does that manifest itself?”

    i gave a personal (somewhat) example of how institutional racism (freezing out the white student) was manifested within an institution (the ostensibly “open” study group).

  22. i told a white friend of mine once that telefilm (fed funding agency) was guilty of institutionalized racism because stats showed that over a 5 year period they picked no people of colour to give investment money to – he took offense – but the same guy would often whine that as a white b ball player he was never picked when he went to play in blk neighborhoods because they weer racist against him- so i said – how can u claim that the white men at telefilm are not practicing some sort of racism but are qwik to believe that the blk men at he courts are being racists.

    maybe the same thing happens with the national soccer and cricket teams in bda – they seem to be exclusively blk – and though there are no “coloureds only” signs at these institutions – maybe they give out a vibe that says the same thing

  23. sup, j star!

    enjoy the freedom that comes with being childless, cuz once the babies start comin……!

    anyhoo, it might aid this discussion if folks provide a working definition of white supremacy/ racism. definitions of important terms would serve to bring a bit of clarity to an already contentious topic…..

  24. Vanz

    “maybe the same thing happens with the national soccer and cricket teams in bda – they seem to be exclusively blk”

    In a way, that’s the point I was trying (badly) to make. Is it wrong to have an ‘all black team’….? Why do we ‘assume’ (by vibes or anything else) that they might/must be racist?

    We are pretty quick these days to look at something and assume racism.

    My original question was…I don’t understand why the cultural grouping you mention is wrong.

  25. Perhaps I can bring a personal example in that may or may not answer some of Mr Wells’ questions:

    I’m a white Bermudian working for a locally-based international reinsurer. A number of years ago we were hiring a catastrophe modeler – a relatively entry-level position though one requiring some degree of technical ability and attention to detail. Two candidates were interviewed – a White Canadian (who in retrospect should not have been interviewed as he was under a work permit for another company) and a Black Bermudian. As I would be working alongside the individual I was asked to be involved in the process. The hiring manager and the other interviewer were both Canadian.

    Unfortunately I was off the island and wasn’t able to be involved in the interview with the Black Bermudian but was able to be involved in the interview with the other candidate. He had a good interview and certainly “talked the talk” in regards to his discussion of the technical aspects of the job (although he was in another industry). Although I can’t comment on how the interview with the Black Bermudian went, it’s important to note that there was quite a discrepancy in the educational achievements of the two. The White Canadian had a bachelors of commerce from a small Atlantic Canadian university. The Black Bermudian had a MASTERS in actuarial science from a US university.

    As the candidates were discussed management decided they would give an aptitude test to the Bermudian candidate but not to the Canadian one (because “it was obvious from his interview that he knows what he’s talking about”). So there we were, the hiring manager wanting to have the more qualified Black Bermudian candidate pass a higher hurdle. I pushed very hard for the White candidate to have the same standard applied (rather than get the job by default if the Black Bermudian struggled in the test). So we gave them the same task, with the same instructions and it turned out that the White Canadian was literally clueless despite all his technical talk – the Black Bermudian did have to ask some questions from time to time but got on with the task and showed more than enough to be hired. Here’s a Black Bermudian candidate, better qualified (both educationally and practically) who may not even have gotten his foot in the door if there had not been an intervention to make the process equal for both candidates.

    The CURE statistics show the discrepancies between White and Black Bermudians in employment and pay statistics. So why do these discrepancies arise and what can we do to begin reversing the tide?

    The majority of hiring managers in the international business sector are White. Regardless of place of origin we as Whites bring to the table inbred biases and can unconsciously discriminate, unknowingly, against non-Whites based on a variety of factors. A big one is cultural and may likely not be recognised by the perpetrator – “she will fit in well here”, “oh he went to a great school, he’ll work out well here”. Many people connect through language and an accent or a different way of speaking is unconsciously seen as a bad thing. All sorts of cultural experience can be tested in an interview situation as many of the questions are not solely about business experience but life experience – questions about hobbies, types of music, sports teams, etc can highlight differences that subconsciously act against the “other” candidate.

    It’s a very complex issue and not one that can be answered in a few paragraphs, but I have seen it in action and it continues to be perpetuated through ignorance. I don’t mean ignorance in an insulting way, but truly the fact that generally people don’t truly understand what goes into decision making. Mr Wells mentioned Malcolm Gladwell’s “Blink” and this book highlights some of the many unconscious workings that underpin decision-making.

    One way to counteract this is to have a candid, rational discussion about race, one in which Whites can make themselves open to hear things that may make them uncomfortable. The history of oppression that Whites should come to grips with is a tough pill to swallow. But if they can open their minds to history and to the continuing perpetuation of injustice and understand that so much of what constitutes their personal biases is not their fault, perhaps we can begin to move forward. These deeply ingrained beliefs have a source that does indeed stretch back hundreds of years – the ideal that Whites are better than other races was invented by Whites and passed off as science, starting as early as the 18th century. This message continues to be spread through mass western media today. Whites are victims, we have been damaged. In no way as much as our Black brothers and sisters, not even comparable, but we are damaged nonetheless.

    If Whites can suspend their belief and open their minds long enough to listen to the truth there can be hope that the injustices will be recognised and reparations initiated.

  26. “The majority of hiring managers in the international business sector are White.”

    Is that true? Is there some where we can go to check the actual factual? Is the same true for the hospitality industry, or governemnt?

    “Regardless of place of origin we as Whites bring to the table inbred biases and can unconsciously discriminate,”

    I view that as a racist statement, Do you think, that non-whites think differently? Do you think a black person for instance, doesn’t have any “inbred biases”

    “One way to counteract this is to have a candid, rational discussion about race”

    Do you think you could have a candid rational discussions about religion, and change what people believe? Or here’s a question for you,

    Say your parents are Roman Catholic, (you talk about being rational, so I assume you are not religious), but even it you where, would you feel responible for the lives hurt or lost by the various Inquisitions? Should you feel guilty for an act you yourself did not commit? Should you feel, or be made to feel uncomfortable for the actions of others, you where in no position to stop?

  27. From my experience, which is anecdotal, the majority of hiring managers in international business (certainly the reinsurance industry) are White, primarily male. Where I work, if I count the “outer offices” (those containing senior executives involved in hiring decisions) the breakdown is thus: 2 Black Bermudian females, 5 White Bermudian males, 5 White expatriate females, 20 White expatriate males. Granted this is unscientific but it is my informed belief that it is representative of other firms in the industry.

    “Regardless of place of origin we as Whites bring to the table inbred biases and can unconsciously discriminate,”

    <>

    I’m not sure why you view this as a racist statement. I do believe that non-Whites bring their own personal inbred biases.
    Unfortunately, oftentimes they bring a similar bias for they too have been damaged by the system and the spectre of internalised racial oppression still hangs heavy over Bermuda’s black population. However the main point here is that, certainly in the international business sector, they are not in the position to influence hiring and other policy decisions. So these unrecognised, latent biases in Whites combined with their institutional power manifest themselves as institutional racism.

    Regarding your comments on religion, yes I believe it is possible to have a rational decision on religion and I have done so on many levels at many times. The point of these discussions from my position is not to disabuse others of their faith – they are entitled to their own beliefs.

    It is when deeply held beliefs and biases combine with power that that the conditions for oppression and inequity exist.

    <>

    I’m not religious but I see where your question is coming from. If you don’t mind I’ll answer in relation to race relations in Bermuda as I don’t wish to change the focus of the discussion.

    Whites alive in Bermuda today did not own slaves and should not be made to feel guilty about that. Whether or not individual Whites alive today would have acted any differently than their slave-owning ancestors back then is debatable – there surely were White abolitionists but the written Bermudian history is sparse on the subject. However since the end of slavery in 1834, barriers have continually been erected to prevent Blacks in Bermuda from having a level playing field. Although many Whites alive today may not have been party to those institutional decisions we inherit the situation. The inequalities that exist today are the direct result of practices implemented by our ancestors. If we choose to perpetuate them through ignorance and inaction, we become culpable. We are not guilty of our ancestors’ sins but nor are we absolved from dealing with the consequences.

    Today and for generations to come, people of our planet are starting to work toward remediating ecological damage to our planet. The logic that Whites shouldn’t be involved in rectifying inequality because they didn’t cause it is akin to our grandchildren saying that they shouldn’t continue to clean up the environmental damage that we and our recent forebears caused the planet because they weren’t responsible for it. That would seem petty and irresponsible and would never happen because we will all suffer from continuing down the path of environmental destruction. Because Whites do not suffer (as a group) economically, socially and politically from the current inequality it is easy for them to bow out of acknowledging and rectifying the situation – that is privilege.

  28. Mark

    “However since the end of slavery in 1834, barriers have continually been erected to prevent Blacks in Bermuda from having a level playing field”.

    I am quite certain that is correct. I am not convinced, however, that either blacks or whites want a level playing field frankly.

    Go back to what Vanz said earlier…“maybe the same thing happens with the national soccer and cricket teams in bda – they seem to be exclusively blk”. I realise we are talking sport here, but why should it not apply to anything else?

    Why do we start from a position of it has to be fair, equitable and level, when we know that all societies and cultures do not do that?

    I’m white, SOB, and when I was looking for work here, I actually knocked on the door of one ‘local’ company to take my application to them direct rather than post it. I won’t give you the full text of what the man said to me….but the second word was ‘off’.

    Local company, black ownership and management, did I really expect to be interviewed?

  29. “I’m not sure why you view this as a racist statement. I do believe that non-Whites bring their own personal inbred biases.”

    I view it as racist because you stated that one race “whites” brings to the table inbred biases, which I think many people people would take to mean non-whites do not. It appeared in your statement a person of one race thinks differently than a person in another, or the primary determinant for a person to have inbred biases would be their race.

    I feel you have clarified your stance, by stating that persons from any “race” can bring their own personal biases to the table. But now I am confused because I really don’t understand the point you where trying to make with your orignal statement.

    “Regardless of place of origin we as Whites bring to the table inbred biases and can unconsciously discriminate, unknowingly, against non-Whites based on a variety of factors.”

    Really it should read:

    (regardless of “race”) a person brings to the table inbred biases and can unconsciously discriminate, unknowingly, against another person based on a variety of factors.

    “…The point of these discussions from my position is not to disabuse others of their faith – they are entitled to their own beliefs…” But that isn’t what you said about the discussion on race, at least thats not what I took from your statement.

    You wanted to “…have a candid, rational discussion about race,…” but if you aren’t trying to disabuse others of their belief in racial thinking, what are you hoping to accomplish?.

    “..Whether or not individual Whites alive today would have acted any differently than their slave-owning ancestors back then is debatable..”

    Again a statement based on race, not all Whites owned slaves, and not all slave owners where white. Your statement immplys that all “whites” had “slave-owning ancestors” even with out miscegenation it is entirely possible that you will have a black bermudian with a slave-owning ancestor and a white one without.

    “However since the end of slavery in 1834, barriers have continually been erected to prevent Blacks in Bermuda from having a level playing field.”

    I would like to understand these barriers but you haven’t provided any examples.

  30. Marc, would I would expect that you immediately resigned your position from this racist company.

    A inverse example. A company I once worked for had a black Bermudian employee with all the qualifications, tons of education and frankly tons of smarts who simply was a nightmare of an employee. Terrible work ethic, terrible attitude which alienated all his fellow employees (black, white, Bermudian, expat), but the company felt they couldn’t fire him because he was black. Eventually they had to after building an exhaustive file on him, but an employee of another race would have been fired far, far sooner.

    A little devil’s advocate here: “Whether or not individual Whites alive today would have acted any differently than their slave-owning ancestors back then is debatable.”

    It’s also debatable whether blacks would have acted any differently if the situation was reversed. The truth is that people the world over have treated other groups abhorrently, whether it’s serbs vs kroats, germans vs jews, whites vs blacks or africans vs africans.

  31. exactly,

    liberal apologists don’t resign their positions , they like to preach and pontificate to the rest of us.

    case in point here:

    http://bajan.wordpress.com/2008/07/30/dr-randy-persaud-is-peeing-on-our-leg-and-telling-us-it-is-raining/#more-3074

    Barbadians vs Guyanese, have the same kind of hate as Afro-Indo Trini’s have toward each other, never mind the collective hate they have toward Europeans.

    at every Trinidad election, hundreds are beaten or murdered, and every election is like the last one here,won by a single percentage point.

    If the PLP spent the same energy they waste on race pimping,on actually fixing Tourism,Housing,Crime,drugs,hyper inflation,etc, then the ship would not be sinking.

  32. Mike,

    “Why do we start from a position of it has to be fair, equitable and level, when we know that all societies and cultures do not do that?”

    Are you advocating inequality in Bermuda simply because it exists elsewhere? I fight for racial justice because I believe it’s the right thing to do. In my opinion Bermuda is a white male patriarchical system where there are a variety of oppressions. I believe that we can change the system from within and, for me, to stand by and not act is tantamount to complicity in the perpetuation of injustice. I appreciate that there are issues in other countries and cultures but that doesn’t make it right.

  33. Heresiarch said:

    “Really it should read:

    (regardless of “race” 😉 a person brings to the table inbred biases and can unconsciously discriminate, unknowingly, against another person based on a variety of factors.”

    Not sure why you are changing the words I chose to use. Yes we all have inbred biases but I am talking specifically about the biases held by folks who are in a position, as individuals and part of a larger system, to perpetuate a system of racial inequality. I would argue that a large proportion of Whites, especially North American and Western Europeans, have been raised within a racist society and absorbed (VERY unknowingly in many cases) a sense of internalised racial superiority. It is these unacknowledged, deeply rooted subconscious beliefs that are so damaging.

    “You wanted to “…have a candid, rational discussion about race,…” but if you aren’t trying to disabuse others of their belief in racial thinking, what are you hoping to accomplish?.”

    I never proposed that I would not want individuals to examine their racial beliefs. I said I don’t find a need to challenge people’s religious faith – they’re entitled to their own beliefs (as long as they are not oppressive). If people think I’m going to hell because I am not practising religion, I’m OK with that – it doesn’t deprive me of a fair chance of full participation in society socially, economically and politically. I do have issues with the Church’s power to oppress in Bermuda, especially as regards the human rights amendment on the grounds of sexual orientation. The Church groups brought much power to bear and it didn’t seem at the time that the MPs had the moral courage to stand their ground. However I have spoken with many practising Christians who, in spite of their religious beliefs, see the extension of basic human rights to all as an obvious progressive step in any democracy.

    When one’s racial beliefs are such that they are willing and able to live in a racially unjust society, be it through ignorance, indifference or by informed choice, I will do my best to be a dissenting voice. If you are asking me not to attempt to change your racial beliefs (not sure whether you are?) then just say so.

    “Again a statement based on race, not all Whites owned slaves, and not all slave owners where white. Your statement immplys that all “whites” had “slave-owning ancestors” even with out miscegenation it is entirely possible that you will have a black bermudian with a slave-owning ancestor and a white one without.”

    I certainly agree that not all Whites owned slaves and that there are today mixed race individuals whose heritage contains both slaves and slave-owners. What I am saying is that ALL Whites have benefited from what essentially amounts to several hundred years of affirmative action for Whites. Whether any Whites in Bermuda owned slaves is irrelevant if we are living in a system that continues to overprivilege Whites at the expense of Blacks. If one agrees that an unequal system exists today and that they benefit at the expense of others then I believe there should be a moral imperative to act to remedy the situation. What I’ve seen is that when Whites come to recognise the fallacies of meritocracy and the myth that simply working hard gets one ahead, they also recognise the damages caused by such and begin working in their own ways to fight the system.

    “I would like to understand these barriers but you haven’t provided any examples.”

    In 1834, the same year that slavery was abolished the voting qualification was raised from a property value of 40 to 100 pounds, and to run as a member of the House, from 200 to 400 pounds.

    As some Black folks began to work towards the higher bar required for the franchise, in 1842 An Act to “Encourage Emigrants coming to these Islands” from the United Kingdom is passed marking the first endeavour to increase the white population. Five years later the legislature votes 400 pounds to be paid as a bounty to the first vessel that brought in Portuguese settlers.

    In 1920 over 100 acres is expropriated from Black Bermudians for the development of a resort playground targeted at rich white Americans. 10 years later a law is passed allowing hoteliers to turn away would be guests at their discretion. In 1961, 127 years after the abolition of slavery, universal (but not equal) suffrage is achieved. Landowners receive a plus vote – equal suffrage would not arrive until 1968. In 1965 government withdraws funding for Howard Academy, which was formed 20 years earlier for the education of Black children.

  34. The Truth,

    Not sure why you would expect that I would resign my position. By resigning I would be accepting that there is nothing I can do to help break the patterns of discrimination. By advocating on behalf of the Black Bermudian candidate I was able to change an outcome. There will always be power to change the system from within it. Had the company refused to provide an equal threshold for the White candidate that they were proposing for the Black one, then I would have had a decision to make.

    Regarding your example on the Black Bermudian employee that was let go. Perhaps it was because he was Bermudian that all the i’s needed dotting and the t’s crossing? There are firms that would choose to hire non-Bermudians over Bermudians. There are protections provided by the Department of Immigration that are in place for Whites and Black Bermudians’ sakes. There are certainly employees that have a “terrible work ethic, terrible attitude” regardless of race. These employees should be whittled out, but through due process and with every attempt made to change the behaviour – termination should be the last choice.

    “It’s also debatable whether blacks would have acted any differently if the situation was reversed. The truth is that people the world over have treated other groups abhorrently, whether it’s serbs vs kroats, germans vs jews, whites vs blacks or africans vs africans.”

    We could sit here and talk about hypothetical situations of what Blacks would have done were the situation reversed. We could debate the other forms of oppression that have existed around the world throughout history. What I prefer to direct my energies towards is the CURRENT situation in BERMUDA. The statistics show, as does Black experience, that we are living in an unequal society based on race. It is that reality that I choose to address.

    Sal,

    See the above paragraph. Not sure how what happens in Barbados, Trinidad, etc impact on what we are trying to achieve here.

  35. It’s up to you if you want to stay with the company. You didn’t however manage to get them to rectify their position before the aptitude test. The conducting of an aptitude test in itself was racist and you condoned it.

    “Regarding your example on the Black Bermudian employee that was let go. Perhaps it was because he was Bermudian that all the i’s needed dotting and the t’s crossing?”

    No. It was not. Which raises an interesting contradiction. You never questioned that the reason the candidate you were interviewing was asked to sit an aptitude test was because he was Bermudian. You said that it was because he was black. Why then when you are given a contrary example to address do you try and parse away the racial component and suggest it was the Bermudian bit? It wasn’t. I accepted your example of it’s face. Why can’t you accept mine? Is it because it poses problems for you to reconcile?

    The simple fact of the matter is that the individual in my example was offered second chances, fresh starts, endless sessions to give his side with human resources before eventually being let go. He was given far more chances that a white Bermudian or an expat would have received because of his race. This was said outright. Very senior executives explicitly were concerned that firing a black employee would invite racism charges even though his performance was abysmal and well documented. They were very disappointed because they really felt that this individual was destined for greatness in the company.

    “We could sit here and talk about hypothetical situations of what Blacks would have done were the situation reversed. ”

    Actually we don’t. There are a myriad of examples of groups worldwide mistreating each other. Ethnic and racial dynamics are not unique to Bermuda. We can improve things here but we shouldn’t pretend the picture is so simple as you suggest.

  36. “Not sure why you would expect that I would resign my position. By resigning I would be accepting that there is nothing I can do to help break the patterns of discrimination.”

    I think he expected you to resign because while you are employed there you are helping to keep a racist company going. It’s kind of like the theater boycott, or the bus boycott, Blacks and Portuguese where tired of being treated unfairly so they boycotted. You talk about the unfairness of it all but still catch the bus.

    Your words are one thing but your actions appear to be another. Though I imagine there must be more to it than that.

  37. Mark

    “Are you advocating inequality in Bermuda simply because it exists elsewhere? I fight for racial justice because I believe it’s the right thing to do. In my opinion Bermuda is a white male patriarchical system where there are a variety of oppressions. I believe that we can change the system from within and, for me, to stand by and not act is tantamount to complicity in the perpetuation of injustice. I appreciate that there are issues in other countries and cultures but that doesn’t make it right”.

    No. What I am suggesting is that whites and blacks both want supremacy – not equality. Blacks in Bermuda have that politically at the moment. Trouble is the political supremacy is being mishandled at the moment – but that’s another thread. On the question of economic supremacy, the Premier said in his comments to the Caribbean BBC representative that whites didn’t need help – they had 95% of the wealth – so the Govt’s job is to assist blacks.

    Putting aside where the 95% came from (?) – what about “poor” whites? Do we ignore them? Do we simply say – “oh, they are white – silver spoon – therefore they are alright”.

    Do you think in reality that a black owned ‘local’ employer is going to employ me (a white) over a black person? Of course not is the answer. You employ your own kind.

    Unless I have got it wrong, it seems to me that the only group that is trying to get it’s act together in so far as it treats people – are the whites.

    I don’t see any evidence that whites and blacks are trying to find a level playing field when it comes to considering the other race.

    Do you?

  38. “I think he expected you to resign because while you are employed there you are helping to keep a racist company going. It’s kind of like the theater boycott, or the bus boycott, Blacks and Portuguese where tired of being treated unfairly so they boycotted. You talk about the unfairness of it all but still catch the bus.”

    Well yes. You appear to have rationalized your continued financial gain from a racist organization with ‘changing from within’. You haven’t risked anything. You continue your comfortable white privileged existence collecting a paycheck from a bunch or racists.

    Surely the appropriate action would have been to resign out of principle and report the company to the Human Rights Commission. I couldn’t sleep at night knowing that my income was tainted by racism.

  39. Why is slavery such a one-sided debate?

    Has everyone forgotten the 1.2m whites who were enslaved during the C16th – C18th? More than the number of blacks enslaved during the transatlantic slave trade!! Enslaved by Muslims.

    I don’t hate Muslims because of something a person’s forefathers did.

  40. The Truth,

    The point you make about my not considering your example on face value is well made and taken. The reason I never questioned the requirement to pass an aptitude test on the basis of being Bermudian is that I, as a White Bermudian, was not subjected to a similar test when hired for the same position some time earlier.

    Knowing that the employee in your example was “given far more chances than a white Bermudian” and that “Very senior executives explicitly were concerned that firing a black employee would invite racism charges” leads me to believe that the decision makers in your firm are/were White. Correct me if I’m wrong. As such I don’t see much difference between your working environment and mine.

    I would argue that in Bermuda it would be difficult to find any occupation that does not, to some degree, derive some of its capital and income from an economy shown by CURE’s statistics to represent structural inequalities of opportunity. The economic reality is that we live in a capitalist society and need to work in order to survive. You seem to find it disingenuous that I work at a company where institutional racism exists yet consider myself an anti-racist. I am involved in the national dialogue on race and attempt to question the belief structures in (especially White) individuals that knowingly or unknowingly perpetuate inequality. I’ll admit that my White male privilege means that I don’t risk near as much as my Black brothers and sisters when I choose to talk about race. However, one of the sad truths of the privilege is also that other Whites sit up and take notice when Whites speak out against racism, although I am saying nothing that Blacks haven’t been saying for generations. I can sleep at night knowing that, although I am a cog in the wheel of this racially unjust society, I am at least working towards social change one mind at a time.

    Mike,

    Black empowerment is not the same as desiring supremacy. Black empowerment does not have to come at the expense of Whites. If the government wishes to put into place social programs that target those in society, primarily Blacks, who have been disadvantaged economically those same policies will positively affect Whites that are struggling economically. If the government chooses to provide economic empowerment to Black individuals and businesses that were excluded under prior governments I don’t have a problem with that.

    I find your statement “You employ your own kind” so disturbing – in my mind it is laced with racist overtones and sounds suspiciously like “you only marry your own”, “you only support your own people’s businesses”, “you don’t allow them into our neighborhoods”. Certainly sounds racially exclusionary to me.

    It seems that you have had some experiences with Blacks in Bermuda that lead you to believe that, as a group, the Black community doesn’t wish to “get it’s act together in so far as it treats people” (the desire of which you ascribe only to Whites). Your experience with individuals may not be indicative of an entire group. Certainly whilst attending the BRRI and other meetings I have encountered Black anger – however I can appreciate where it comes from. If I was a Black man I could certainly see that I would find it difficult to trust Whites. Nonetheless I continue to see Blacks willing to embrace Whites in the struggle for racial equality and justice. I do see “evidence that whites and blacks are trying to find a level playing field when it comes to considering the other race.” all the time at the BRRI sessions. Why don’t you come join us? The next meeting is at the Leopard’s Club on August 14th at 6:00 – let me know if you need directions.

    Regarding your comments on slavery, I don’t know that people have forgotten the 1.2m Whites who were enslaved by Muslims in the 16th – 18th centuries. Perhaps people don’t even know that part of history (or the fact that Muslims also enslaved Africans, indeed in higher numbers than the transatlantic slave trade). I would suggest however that if Bermuda was a country where Whites were being systemically denied economic, political and social opportunity and that we lived in a Black Muslim supremacy, that many Whites would know that history and may distrust and be angry at those that represented the history of oppression.

    The fact is that the slavery which you speak of was more akin to indentured servitude and didn’t approach chattel slavery in its cruelty and dehumanisation. Slaves were often able to earn their freedom (through manumission) and under Islamic law slaves were considered persons (unlike chattel slavery where they were considered animals, subhuman).

    I find Whites often fall back on the history of slavery to somehow deflect the argument from the matter at hand. Yes my ancestors were probably enslaved by the Romans. That has little to do with the fact that, in Bermuda, chattel slavery was alive and well and post-Emancipation Whites have continually been overprivileged at the expense of Blacks. It is this history and the continuing reality that may cause reticence amongst some Blacks to trust Whites and to engage with them. However, history has shown that it has always been the Black folks that have had to bear the burden of integrating themselves into White circles. It is past time for Whites to understand and acknowledge the racial divide, its cause and its consequences and to make the step forward to racial healing.

  41. Mark

    You might like to consider this point of view.

    Thomas Sowell is a black American economist, political writer, and commentator. He was born in North Carolina. He obtained a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Chicago.
    His studies are mainly US related. That said, in 2005 he wrote:

    “For most of the history of this country, differences between the black and the white population–whether in income, IQ, crime rates, or whatever–have been attributed to either race or racism. For much of the first half of the 20th century, these differences were attributed to race–that is, to an assumption that blacks just did not have it in their genes to do as well as white people. The tide began to turn in the second half of the 20th century, when the assumption developed that black-white differences were due to racism on the part of whites.
    Three decades of my own research lead me to believe that neither of those explanations will stand up under scrutiny of the facts. As one small example, a study published last year indicated that most of the black alumni of Harvard were from either the West Indies or Africa, or were the children of West Indian or African immigrants. These people are the same race as American blacks, who greatly outnumber either or both. If this disparity is not due to race, it is equally hard to explain by racism. To a racist, one black is pretty much the same as another”.

    Sowell continues: “What then could explain such large disparities in demographic “representation” among these three groups of blacks? Perhaps they have different patterns of behavior and different cultures and values behind their behavior. There have always been large disparities, even within the native black population of the U.S. None of these disparities can be attributed to either race or racism. Many contemporary observers attributed these differences to the existence of slavery in the South, as many in later times would likewise attribute both the difference between Northern and Southern whites, and between blacks and whites nationwide, to slavery. But slavery doesn’t stand up under scrutiny of historical facts any better than race or racism as explanations of North-South differences or black-white differences. The people who settled in the South came from different regions of Britain than the people who settled in the North–and they differed as radically on the other side of the Atlantic as they did here–that is, before they had ever seen a black slave.

    Slavery also cannot explain the difference between American blacks and West Indian blacks living in the United States because the ancestors of both were enslaved. When race, racism, and slavery all fail the empirical test, what is left?

    “Culture is left”.

    Sowell argues that the culture of the people who were called “rednecks” and “crackers” was a culture that produced far lower levels of intellectual and economic achievement, as well as far higher levels of violence and sexual promiscuity. While a third of the white population of the U.S. lived within the redneck culture, more than 90% of the black population did. Although that culture eroded away over the generations, it did so at different rates in different places and among different people. It eroded away much faster in Britain than in the U.S. and somewhat faster among Southern whites than among Southern blacks, who had fewer opportunities for education or for the rewards that came with escape from that counterproductive culture.
    As late as the First World War, white soldiers from Georgia, Arkansas, Kentucky and Mississippi scored lower on mental tests than black soldiers from Ohio, Illinois, New York and Pennsylvania. Again, neither race nor racism can explain that–and neither can slavery. The counterproductive and self-destructive culture of black rednecks in today’s ghettos is regarded by many as the only “authentic” black culture.

  42. Mark – a few other thoughts,

    I can understand why you think I might be racist in my views, but the reality is quite the opposite. I am actually interested in the differing views of slavery and the effects that slavery has had on subsequent generations. Hence my last post.

    I worry that people get swept along by ‘a view’ of something, without challenging that ‘set of facts’, and without looking behind them so that one comes to one’s own conclusion. There is a danger – as with religion for example – that we close our minds to other views, often because of societal pressures,family pressures, political expediency et al. Because I don’t easily or readily adopt your stance (which is fairly classic one) from the Alvin Williams or Dr Hodgson school of thought, it doesn’t mean that I am wrong.

    One of my wishes for my children was that they go through life with an open mind. Questioning all the time as to what is the reality, and not just blindly accepting something because someone else says it is!

    When you use words like “the fact is” and do so within the historical context of slavery, that worries me as I wonder to what extent you have thought it through yourself. Where is the evidence of the differences in slave trades? The position you have adopted to differentiate between the different types of slavery is the classic one, i.e. “the fact is that the slavery which you speak of was more akin to indentured servitude and didn’t approach chattel slavery in its cruelty and dehumanisation”.

    Looking at Thomas Sowell’s points above – could he not be correct?

  43. Wow, y’all were busy over the holiday weekend! Did you forget to go outside and have some fun? 🙂 No, but seriously, welcome Mark. This lot’s pretty cool even when they disagree (besides a select few of course).

    I see that you have continuously tried to get one “aha” point across and I’d like to just reiterate it for my own consumption really.

    “Yes we all have inbred biases but I am talking specifically about the biases held by folks who are in a position, as individuals and part of a larger system, to perpetuate a system of racial inequality.”

    This is a point that underscores and in a way defines this argument. We could argue bias and racism and even classism (as the perhaps real issue) in reference to other races and and other situations but the problem rises that all situations are by definition different and thus can be compared but never truly used to help explain. In bermudian context, in racial context, whites on this island are privy to better opportunities by virtue and simply because they are not black. This is a fact. Yes, other factors come into play and no one is arguing against that. But if the number one factor is colour, doesn’t it make sense to work on that before we try to work on less tangible factors? This is visible, this is something we can all see and thus we can all work on. But we have to SEE it in order to then work on it. and by excusing that as if it couldn’t possibly be that big of an issue, then it’s near like painting the walls of your living room bright colours (around the giant pink elephant) and then wondering why it still doesn’t look airy! Yes, that was another obscure analogy.

  44. i’m really glad the conversation has gotten so healthy.

    as far as thomas sowells premise goes, though, im not so sure about that. the idea that a racially specific self-destructive culture as it relates to black folks has little/nothing to do with systemic race/ism and more to do with individual responsibility smells dangerously like a thought left dangling on purpose. for… safety’s sake, let’s say. plus, he makes a pretty weird comparison to justify that loose idea.

    if you consider the truth of hundreds of years of slavery, segregation, jim crow and the ongoing inequity as it applies to american black folk in particular, enculturated racially specific masochism seems to be one of the more obvious conclusions to that suggestion. if you neuter folk on every level for long enough, eventually they’re gonna believe in, protect and propagate their own impotence.

    also, comparing immigrants to residents in this capacity is weird or, at least, unfair. folk who uprooted their entire life in an attempt to build a sustainable future for their family mustn’t be mirrored against regular, native born citizens who don’t have that specific context shaping their choices. it isn’t right on at least a couple levels.

  45. Someguy…

    Thankfully, we are all entitled to an opinion. Sowell’s opinion is just that – his opinion. It isn’t necessarily mine, neither is is necessarily correct. All I advocate is “thinking it through” rather than adopting a set view.

    One wonders though whether it helps to answer the question why we have people (irrespective of) colour, class or race, of differing intelligence?

    Ewart Brown, John Swan, Brown’s brother in law (HSBC) are clearly bright intellectually. If it isn’t culture that shapes them, that gives them the opportunity to move forward – what is it?

  46. Mike, indeed, those are examples of successful black man but the question is why are they the exception to what is patently the rule? Free will comes into play, as does determination. But as they are exceptions, it makes more sense to examine the non-exceptions. Since some “overcome” the norm, does it then make the norm any less valid?

  47. If we work on balancing the racial playing field, then other criteria can be examined even more. Why do black people have to succeed “in spite of” (and this in a Bermuda based question) and whites simply succeed? That in and of itself is a racial bias – one that is held by both races.

  48. Tia….

    Yes it is the question – you are right. And Stowell (I think) suggests an argument that answers that – albeit in part maybe.

    Whites don’t always simply succeed – why do people think that is the case? I am very happy to introduce you to many whites that haven’t. Happy to show you poor white people – here in Bermuda too. You must know them surely?

    And yet, whilst it is understandable why the Premier talks to the BBC of looking after black people as whites are ok (economically) – what of white Bermudians who are poor or disadvanteged?

    Or – as a friend suggested recently to me – is it simply a question of the numbers? ‘More’ whites succeed than blacks per population?

    I don’t know – just asking the question.

  49. Again Mike, those are exceptions – deriving this from CURE numbers. I agree, poverty is not a “black” thing and I would never claim that. Unfortunately, in order to truly examine this without bias you have to ignore the exceptions. Examine without emotion, as it were.

  50. And yeah, it is a number thing. Blacks comprise the majority by numbers and minority by salaries.

  51. Tia,

    You know one of the aspects that is not easy to understand conceptually within BDA coming from a UK working environment, is that our employment legislation (since 86) has been crafted to protect minorities – not majorities. So – race, sex, disability et al.

    It doesn’t matter whether you are white or black – what matters is that you are a minority within the context of where you are, e.g. your employment. Sort of easier for me to grasp.

    Anyway, that’s just a thought.

    On the main argument, I still struggle with the idea of ignoring the exceptions – whether white poverty or bright minded blacks. Looks as though it is the consensus view, so I will accept it!!

  52. As do I, on a purely emotional level. It seems ridiculous to discount any one person because they are an exception. However, I also realize that by paying too much attention to an exception can skew the results.

  53. Tia

    One last shot at this. The exceptions to the rule do not affect the skew statistically. I presume the skew is negative in any event?

    Go back to my thoughts for a moment, i.e. “Sowell argues that the culture of the people who were called “rednecks” and “crackers” was a culture that produced far lower levels of intellectual and economic achievement, as well as far higher levels of violence and sexual promiscuity”.

    Ignore the sexual/violence blah, blah – could Sowell nonetheless be right?

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