I have seen it, at least in its modern construction, as a spectacle largely by and for White Bermuda.
I recognise that this is largely due to, in my perception, only having truly grown into the cultural phenomenon it is today in the first decade of this century, within the PLP’s tenure.
I can appreciate satire, and there has been some deserved satire there. All the same, I have seen it as a carnival of whiteness, an expression of their resentment towards being out of power, even unconsciously.
I know that Non-Mariners is more than the non-race.
There’s raft-ups and a general party atmosphere, in many ways completely separate from the non-race, and I am seeing them as two completely separate events that just so happen to occur in the same geographical location at the same time.
Nonetheless, the political sentiments of the non-race have been such that I have made a conscious decision to not attend – although I have at times made brief recce’s of the area a few times.
Am I guilty of pre-judging the event?
Yes, very much so, based on what I’ve seen in the media about it and on what I’ve seen during my recce’s.
As such, it will be curious to see if my prejudice towards the event is borne out tomorrow.
With the OBA in power, and more prone to mis-steps than any government in my living memory, it will be curious to me whether the themes expressed in the non-boats will feature them, or instead carry on the tradition of ridiculing the PLP or the unions.
Last year, after all, the first year of the OBA in power, featured:
- An attack on PLP MP David Burt – the ‘HMS Burtlegger’s Bliss’.
- ‘Cannonair’ (complete with an ‘L’ sign for a learner driver), which sought to make light of a scandal which today we know much more of, and which led to Premier Cannonier’s disgrace and subsequent resignation.
I have the distinct feeling that tomorrow will instead focus on the PLP or the unions, or the ‘White Mental Illness’ theme.
So, yes, I have prejudices about the Non-Mariner’s Race. I look forward to being pleasantly surprised and proven wrong.
Who know’s, maybe someone will have a ‘non-referendum’ non-boat?