By March 2019 FinTech was the buzz word. Three days into the month of March Bermuda also recorded a second road traffic fatality with a third death recorded on Bermuda’s roads before the end of March last year. Here’s a look back at news making Bermuda Real headlines in March 2019…
Premier Announces Bermuda Can Now Offer US Banking Services To Licensed FinTech Companies
News | March 1, 2019
Police Confirm Second Road Traffic Fatality Of 2019: Shannon-Hugh Davis
News | March 3, 2019
The Bermuda Police Service has confirmed the death 39-year-old Mr Shannon-Hugh Davis and extends sincere condolences to his family and friends.
A spokesman said: “Mr Davis – understood to be a Hamilton Parish resident – was seriously injured when the motorcycle he was riding east was struck by a 38-year-old male motorcyclist travelling in the opposite direction on North Shore Road in Hamilton Parish, between Trinity Church Road and Panorama Drive, around 6:40pm Friday, March 1st.
“Mr Davis was rushed to King Edward VII Memorial Hospital via ambulance but sadly later pronounced dead.
“A Family Liaison Officer has been assigned to assist the deceased’s family at this difficult time.
“The 38-year-old rider involved, said to be a Devonshire resident, was also injured and transported to hospital via ambulance.
“He was then arrested on suspicion of impaired driving and subsequently given police bail pending further inquiries.
“At last check the 38-year-old was apparently recovering on a general ward.
Ministry Of Labour: Wage Commission To Be Established
News | March 4, 2019
The Ministry of Labour, Community Affairs and Sports announced that it will shortly be setting up a Wage Commission regarding the implementation of a living/minimum wage.
This follows the tabling of a report by the Parliamentary Joint Select Committee (JSC) last year on The Establishment of a Living/Minimum Wage Regime which listed the creation of a Wage Commission as one of its recommendations.
The Commission will be made up of a body of experts, with social partners from the Trade Union Congress and employer groups. The Commission will function as an independent authority, responsible for implementing the living wage rate.
The Commission will be charged with establishing the regulatory regime around the implementation of the statutory wage scheme based upon best practice.
Dunkley: More Questions Than Answers On Money Paid By PLP To FinTech Consultants
News | March 5, 2019
Hard on the heels of the Premier’s response to Parliamentary Questions on the amount of money paid out by the Progressive Labour Party government for consultants on Bermuda’s emerging FinTech industry former Premier Michael Dunkley says there are more questions than answers.
Public School Teachers To Decide What Next Course Of Action Will Be On New-Style Report Cards
News | March 6, 2019
Former Police Commissioner Michael DeSilva Appointed Director Of Security At Hamilton Princess & Beach Club
News | March 7, 2019
News Release: Hamilton, Bermuda, March 7, 2019 – Hamilton Princess & Beach Club has appointed Michael DeSilva to the role of Director of Security and Emergency Management.
Middle School Student Injures Two Classmates At Whitney
News | March 7, 2019
The Ministry of Education tonight confirmed that a Whitney Institute Middle School student injured two others with “equipment from an art class” in a recent incident at the school.
In a statement released this evening, Commissioner of Education, Kalmar Richards said: “Based on reports received from the Whitney Institute, it was determined that a student used equipment from an art class that caused injury to two other students.
“Any incident such as this is taken very seriously by Whitney Institute Middle School, the Department of Education and the Ministry of Education.
“The student who caused the injuries has been dealt with according to school and DoE protocol. Whitney Institute parents have also been notified about this incident,” she said.
“Student safety is a priority and the Department of Education remains committed to working with schools to ensure safe school environments.”
Bermuda’s Ombudsman Victoria Pearman Elected IOI Regional President
News | March 11, 2019
Bermuda’s Ombudsman Ms Victoria Pearman said today, she was “honoured to have been elected to represent the Caribbean region and to assume the role of President of the Caribbean and Latin American region of the International Ombudman Institute [IOI]”.
A spokeswoman said: “In this role she will participate in meetings of the IOI Executive Committee and work closely with the two Directors for Latin America to manage regional matters and coordinate activities.
“The IOI is the global organisation of 191 independent ombudsman institutions from more than 100 countries and is organised into six regional groups.”
Headquartered in Vienna, Austria, the IOI “promotes accountability and efficiency in public sector institutions and offers expertise in good governance”.
When contacted by Bermuda Real, Ms Pearman said: “I thank my colleagues for entrusting me to represent us.
“I do not take their trust for granted and pledge to work with my fellow Directors to strengthen ombudsmanship, share best practices and cooperation in our diverse region.”
Ms Pearman also currently serves as the President of the Caribbean Ombudsman Association [CAROA], which will be holding its upcoming 10th Biennial Conference in Bermuda in May 2019.
Established in 1998, CAROA is a member-based organisation of Ombudsman offices in the Caribbean region.
It was also noted that “Ombudsmen work to promote fairness, accountability and good public administration”.
Bermuda Resident Loses Five Family Members In Ethiopian Plane Crash
News | March 11, 2019
Paul Njoroge’s wife, mother-in-law and three children were aboard the Ethiopian Airlines jet that crashed yesterday, killing 157 people.
Mr Njoroge, an investment manager at Butterfield Bank, lost wife Caroline Karanja, mother-in-law Ann Wangui Karanja, son Ryan Njoroge Njuguna, 7, and daughters Kerry Paul Wanjiku Njuguna, 4, and Rubi Wangui Njuguna, 7 months. All five family members were Kenyan.
He was a member of the Hamilton Seventh-day Adventist Church.
Premier David Burt, National Security Minister Wayne Caines and Finance Minister Curtis Dickinson visited Mr Njoroge at his home yesterday.
Speaking in the House of Assembly today, Mr Burt said: “As a father and a husband, I cannot imagine how he must feel during this time.
“He is in our thoughts as he travels back home to Kenya.”
In a statement issued this afternoon, the African Community in Bermuda said in a statement: “We wish to express our heartfelt thanks for the expression of condolences and outpouring of support for our brother at this unfortunate time in his life.
“We are deeply heartened at the incredible level of support and concern Paul’s employers Butterfield Bank have extended to him.
“They worked with us through the night and this morning to ensure his travel back home to Kenya could be as smooth and worry free for him as possible.”
All 149 passengers and eight crew members were killed when the Boeing 737 MAX 8 flight en route from Addis Ababa to Nairobi, Kenya, went down.
Reports indicate there were 32 Kenyans, 18 Canadians, eight Americans and seven British nationals on board.
A condolence book was opened to the public today, at the offices of the Honorary Consulate of Ghana at Suite 6, 129 Front Street, Hamilton, tomorrow, from noon to 2pm.
Premier & Finance Minister On EU List Of Non-Cooperative Tax Jurisdictions Including Bermuda
News | March 12, 2019
Flanked by Cabinet members, Premier David Burt and Finance Minister Curtis Dickinson met with the media this afternoon to discuss the latest developments since Bermuda was placed on the EU’s list of non-cooperative tax jurisdictions.
At a news conference held at the Cabinet Building, Premier Burt stated again that “the news from Brussels this morning is a setback for Bermuda”.
“It is disappointing that after endless hours of crafting a regime that would meet the required test and in fact having one now in force has not been enough to prevent our addition to the EU’s list on non-cooperative tax jurisdictions,” he said.
“Bermuda is compliant and we are confident that within a matter of weeks, that will be accepted by EU Member States and Bermuda will be removed from this list.
“This confidence is shared by the UK Government who through the Treasury specifically stated “that Bermuda has legislated to address the issue identified. In light of this we expect Bermuda, and other compliant jurisdictions, to be removed from the list at the next available opportunity.”
Admittedly, he added: “Today’s developments are not where we want to be and certainly are not where we intended to be when we embarked on this process. In various public statements I have referred to external threats to our jurisdiction and this is one of those we must address.
“The various stakeholder groups represented here today demonstrate a Bermuda show of strength and determination to preserve a jurisdictional reputation earned over several decades. Working together we will preserve investor and business confidence and continue to demonstrate that Bermuda has met the standard required by the EU.”
Mr Burt also noted that the Government “will be pressing Bermuda’s case, emphasizing that fairness must be the order of the day”.
“Our industry partners have commented on the paradox of our Regulations being stricter than some of those countries that have not been listed. I believe that between now and May, a fair assessment of Bermuda’s legislation will confirm our compliance and we will be removed from the List.”
While noting details on Bermuda’s “compliance measures preceding this decision”, he said: “We are currently consulting with the UK government given they are a member of ECOFIN and are also members of all the technical support committees that make recommendations to ECOFIN.
“The UK’s communique makes clear their expectation that Bermuda should be delisted at the next ECOFIN in May, as there is no April ECOFIN,” said the Minister.
He also emphasized the fact that “Bermuda is a cooperative jurisdiction with the EU for tax purposes”.”
“In the spirit of continued cooperation that has been a hallmark of and underpinned Bermuda’s international tax cooperation framework over many years, the Government has recently legislated to address all technical requirements.
“As it stands today, Bermuda has addressed all issues identified and is now fully compliant.
Skyport: Local Companies Awarded Sub-Contracts For Airport Redevelopment Project
News | March 13, 2019
Police: Attempted Robber Escapes Empty-Handed After Struggle With Owner Of Bo’s Lawn & Gardening
News | March 13, 2019
A would-be attempted robber ended up leaving empty-handed after struggling with the owner of Bo’s Lawn and Gardening, who challenged him in the store on Middle Road in Warwick.
Police say the incident occurred at approximately 2pm today (March 13), right next to a busy parking lot at Lindo’s in broad daylight.
A spokesman said: “The suspect did not display a weapon nor obtain any items. He was challenged by the 33-year-old male owner and a struggle ensued on premises.
“The suspect broke free and subsequently ran off. He was seen running south towards the Spring Hill area via the steps next to Lindo’s and is described as a black male, 5 feet 10 inches tall of slim build, wearing all black.”
Anyone who may have any information about this incident is asked to call the Criminal Investigation Department on 295-0011.
House: Municipalities Reform Act Passed 22-7 Marking The End Of An Era Spanning 450 Years
News | March 14, 2019
Parliamentarians voted 22-7 this morning to mark the end of an era spanning 450 years, by passing legislation that will transform Bermuda’s two municipalities into unelected quangos in St George’s and the City of Hamilton.
Hard on the heels of that vote, Premier and Minister of Home Affairs, Walter Roban, was today labelled the Mayor of Hamilton, Charles Gosling, of executing a power grab “to take control of the city and St George’s, control of the waterfront”.
His sentiment was echoed by St George’s Mayor Quinell Francis, who described the decision as “disappointing”.
The Bill, will now go to the Senate and will ultimately go to the Governor. If cleared on Langton Hill, it will bring an end to elected counillors, who will be replaced by government-appointed representatives.
As it stands now, elected members of the two municipalities will hold office until May 13, unless they resign.
The Minister is charged with appointing a mayor and eight councillors under the new legislation as of May 14, which calls for the mayor and four councillors to be people the Minister is satisfied are equipped with the skills.
The other four will be appointed by the Minister as well, on the recommendation of a selection committee made up of three people who “reside, do business or work in the municipal area of the corporation”.
Members of the public will be asked to nominate candidates and review the list before making recommendations.
The Bill was passed with two amendments, one which inserted the word “requisite” in reference to the skills of members appointed and another to correct a typo.
The Minister also agreed “to give St George’s its own individual Act”, once the legislative process has been completed.
Jen-Naya Simmons: Police & Family Appeal On Fatal Hit & Run Accident Falls On Deaf Ears
News | March 18, 2019
Nearly two weeks after her family joined police to make an impassioned plea for impassioned plea for information, it would appear that plea has fallen on deaf ears.
On Thursday, March 7, the Bermuda Police Service held a news conference at the scene of a fatal accident, where Jen-Naya Simmons was left for dead on the side of the road, following a hit and run accident on July 15 last year. She was only 17 at the time of her tragic death.
The fatal hit and run crash occurred on North Shore Road in Hamilton Parish, around 3:30am.
Police say the oncoming car that hit her left her there at the scene.
The car was identified by police and the man who owns it remains a person of interest in this case and he is not alone. He was arrested shortly after the accident but never charged.
The police know there was more than one person in that vehicle on that fateful night. And they are the ones the appeal went out to.
Police are also aware of the word circulating all over the streets ever since this fatal crash left a young woman dead on the side of the road, including reports that the man’s girlfriend was reportedly driving the vehicle on the night in question when the fatal accident occurred.
But hearsay is not a defense, nor is it admissible in a court of law. You need PROOF – proof that places the driver; whoever it was, behind the wheel at the time of the crash on the night in question.
The only thing proven so far, is that somewhere on this tiny little island we call home, every single day since the victim’s family got that dreaded phone call in the middle of the night, nearly a year ago – is that there are people, more than one, at least two, or maybe more, who know what happened.
The question now is what do they plan to do about it – anything? Do they even have a conscience? Would they withhold information that would lead a grieving family to justice if it was their child left in the street for dead? Do they even care, which begs the question: As a people, what kind of people are we really because this is not the first time something like this has happened and it would appear it won’t be the last.
The victim’s father, Kingsley Burchall, pleaded for anyone who knows anything to do with the death of his daughter to come forward.
“This has ruined my entire life,” he said.
Sergeant Dorian Astwood of the Roads Policing Unit said in the initial stages of the investigation, the crash was believed to be a single vehicle accident.
“However, as the investigation continued, critical information began to emerge and it was confirmed that another vehicle was involved,” he said
That vehicle was a silver grey Suzuki APV car. The owner was arrested last year and subsequently released on police bail and Sgt Astwood stressed that “this investigation is not finished” yet.
He confirmed that police know “there were other occupants in the vehicle” and that “these individuals, for whatever reason, have not done the honourable thing and come forward”.
“There are many people walking around with guilty consciences and heavy loads on their hearts…
The manner in which Jen-Naya’s life was taken from her was callous,” he said.
He also stated that he could not imagine “how one could sleep at night and carry on with their daily activities without experiencing the fear of reprimand” and urged anyone in this community who know anything to speak up.
Sgt Astwood noted that the veil of silence on this case “is very disrespectful to the memory of the deceased”, especially for her family, loved ones and friends.
Time will tell as to whether of not that veil of silence will fall or continue to elude justice and closure for this young woman’s grieving family, a family left with no real answers and no closure.
Minister Foggo: Plans Underway To Erect A Statue In Tribute To Mary Prince
The Ministry of Community and Cultural Affairs announced today that plans are underway to erect a statue in tribute to Mary Prince, a Bermudian born into slavery whose story was the catalyst that led to the abolition of slavery.
The historical account, published in 1831 – ‘The History of Mary Prince, A West Indian Slave’ , was first account on record, of the life of a Black woman to be published in the UK – a Black slave in Bermuda.
According to the statement released today, possible locations for the statue include the site of a cave in which Mary Prince hid after escaping from her slave owner.
Minister of Community Affairs and Sports, Lovitta Foggo said today, research shows that the cave’s exact location, which is on unspecified private land.
Ms Foggo announced that her Minister has begun a likeness for the statue, as no photographs exist of Mary Prince, although artistic accounts by contemporaries may help to create her depiction in the form of statue.
The Minister also noted that Mary Prince is famous for her slave narrative The History of Mary Prince (1831).
“This first-hand description of enslavement, released at a time when slavery was still legal in Bermuda and British Caribbean colonies, had a galvanising effect on the anti-slavery movement,” said Ms Foggo.
“It is so important that we find a fitting way to honour Mary Prince – or ‘Mary James’, and ‘Molly Wood’ as she was also known.
“As Mary Prince’s autobiographical narrative was instrumental in the abolition of slavery, not only in Bermuda but throughout the entire British Empire, this government is of the view that a statue be built in her honour. Obviously, due to the time in which she was living, there are no photographs of Mary Prince, but there are, of course, other ways to determine what she might have looked like – first-hand accounts from her contemporaries, for example.”
Overseas researcher Dr Margot Maddison-MacFadyen, who was recently given a grant to conduct research on Mary Prince, “to learn more about her latter days”, will “help to determine where the statue will be placed, as the desire is to have it be somewhere of historical significance to Mary’s life”.
“One possible location being considered, along with several others, is the cave in which Mary hid after she escaped from her slave-owner,” said Minister Foggo.
Outgoing Puisne Judge Carlisle Greaves To Retire & Replaced By DPP Larry Mussenden
News | March 20, 2019
Outgoing Supreme Court Judge, Pusine Judge Carlisle Greaves, who is set to retire in July, will be replaced by lawyer Larry Mussenden, who is currently Bermuda’s Director of Public Prosecutions.
The appointment was announced today by Governor John Rankin, who said he was “confident” Mr Mussenden “will serve the Supreme Court with distinction”, following his appointment as a Puisne Judge yesterday.
Highlighting Mr Mussenden’s career, including time as a Crown counsel, Attorney General and in private practice
The Governor also highlighted Mr Mussenden’s career, including his time as a Crown Counsel from 1996 to 2001, private practice and as a former Attorney General, after he was called to the Bar in England in Wales in 1995 and then the Bermuda Bar in 1996.
His appointment follows that of Chief Justice Narinder Hargun, who replaced former Chief Justice Ian Kawaley.
Mr Mussenden, who was appointed DPP in 2007 to 2016, served as the AG and Minister of Justice in 2004 after he was made Government Leader in the Senate in 2003.
He also served in the Royal Bermuda Regiment and retired as a Major, and as president of the Bermuda Football Association from 2001 to 2008 and then again between 2010 and 2016.
The former BFA president also served as chairman of Fifa’s appeals committee.
Bermuda Takes A Big Apple Bite With Street-Side Window Displays At Saks Fifth Avenue
News | March 21, 2019
- Photos Courtesy of BTA: Saks Fifth Avenue, New York City
POA President Timothy Seon & Lead Negotiator Thad Hollis On National Security Issues In Bermuda’s Prisons
News | March 24, 2019
Close to a year after the Minister of National Security, Wayne Caines launched an internal security review of Bermuda’s prisons, Bermuda Real can disclose that the issues are piling up for prisons officers employed by the Department of Corrections, with issues at the island’s maximum security prison reaching the tipping point.
Apart from the fact that members of the Prison Officers Association (POA) are coming up on ten years of working without a new wage agreement, POA President, Timothy Seon said that factor pales in comparison to the fact that Westgate has increasingly become a dumping ground for violent offenders who are mentally ill and dangerous.
That factor, coupled with the increasing list of problems associated with the state of the physical plant, malfunctions with plumbing, no hot water in some areas of the prison, a leaking roof and most notably – consistent problems due to mould, including health problems like respiratory ailments. We’re talking about a building built in 1994.
And there’s another big issue on the table right now, that ultimately shows the POA holding out on a Government proposal put on the table regarding health insurance.
As quiet as it’s kept, that issue surfaced before the change of Government, prior to the last General Election, under the One Bermuda Alliance administration.
Since the change of Government, the proposal remains on the table under the Progressive Labour Party administration.
What hasn’t changed is the POA’s position and stance against the proposal put before Bermuda’s fire fighters, police officers and prison officers. And according to the President of the POA , prison officers are adamant that they will continue to hold out.
Included in this story is the day-to-day issues prison officers are faced with, including the increasing use of drones to drop off contraband behind prison walls.
While announcing the review in the House of Assembly in July 2018, the Minister said: “Despite the challenges faced by the department, it strives to maintain high standards of security as this is essential to the safe operation of any corrections regime.
“In light of this, a security plan with stringent measures is in place to manage and mitigate the inherent risks that are associated with Corrections.
“The management and staff remain committed to meeting their objectives of rehabilitation, while ensuring the safety and security of the island’s correctional facilities,” said Mr Caines.
Nearly a year later, the POA says by no means are they working under conditions “essential to the safe operation” of Westgate Correctional Facility, when it has become a “dumping ground violent offenders who are also mentally ill and dangerous”.
We have a number of serious incidents on record, including prison officers who were seriously injured on the job, some who opted never to work in prisons ever again.
Bermuda Real has been in talks on this story for the past four weeks, and we’re finally ready to bring you the full story, on Tuesday, March 26 at 8am, when the Bermuda News Syndicate sits down live and direct with Timothy Seon, and the POA’s lead negotiator and advisor Thad Hollis on Fresh TV.
That’s this Tuesday, March 26 at 8am on Fresh TV live in studio – see you then!
BTA: Airbnb Partnership Nets Big Audience On Social Media
News | March 25, 2019
News Release: Hamilton, Bermuda (March 25, 2019) – A Bermuda Tourism Authority marketing partnership with Airbnb has turned in very impressive numbers on social media. A two-week long Bermuda-themed campaign this past December generated almost 5 million impressions among Facebook, Twitter and Instagram users in North America and Europe.
Facebook reached the most individuals in the campaign at about 3 million impressions, more than half the total. Twitter and Instagram split the remaining reach numbers, bringing the total reach to 4.8 million social media impressions. Importantly, data analysis also reveals that engagement rates of social media users during the Bermuda campaign were two to three times higher than a typical Airbnb social media promotion featuring a destination. Like impressions, the engagement rate (total impressions divided by clicks, likes, etc.) was especially strong on Facebook in North America and the United Kingdom.
“The campaign leveraged alluring photography provided by the Bermuda Tourism Authority and local photographer Meredith Andrews that were distributed through Airbnb’s impressive social channels,” said Victoria Isley, chief sales and marketing officer for the Bermuda Tourism Authority. “Bermuda’s interesting neighborhoods and experiential activities, as well as featured individual vacation rental listings, proved to be compelling content that generated excellent engagement and awareness within their social communities.”
Police Confirm Third 2019 Road Fatality Death Of 51-Year-Old Anthony Shawn Smith
News | March 28, 2019
The Bermuda Police Service has confirmed the death of 51-year-old Mr Anthony Shawn Smith and extends sincere condolences to his family and friends.
Mr Smith – understood to be a Pembroke resident – was seriously injured when the motorcycle he was riding east crashed over an embankment on Palmetto Road, Devonshire between Dock Hill and Parsons Lane around 3:40am Tuesday, March 26th.
He was later found unconscious by a member of the public around 7:10am Tuesday in the trees along Palmetto Road near Dock Hill and rushed to King Edward VII Memorial Hospital via ambulance, where he was subsequently pronounced dead.
A Family Liaison Officer has been assigned to assist the deceased’s family at this difficult time.
A full investigation regarding this road fatality – the third of 2019 – continues and any witnesses are urged to call Constable Anton Gilbert on 247-1170 or 717-2338.
Man Barricades Himself In Building & Hurls ‘Unknown Corrosive Substance’ At Police
News | March 28, 2019
CURB On Hope Expressed By MP Derrick Burgess That ‘The Next DPP Is A Black, Born Bermudian’
News | March 30, 2019
News Release: Hamilton, Bermuda, March 29, 2019 – Deputy Speaker Mr Derrick Burgess recently stated in the House that he hoped the next DPP is a Black, born Bermudian. This preference of the Deputy Leader is understandable, given that he felt the indignity of Segregation, witnessed and experienced the gross inequities that continued in Bermuda post Segregation, and is aware of the many inequities that continue today. He recognizes that one of the ways we can repair the harm of the past is to proactively ensure that moving forward there is a more appropriate recognition of Black Bermudians’ value and expertise when it comes to positions of power and authority within our society. So he seeks fairness, a re-balance of the inequities of the past, and so voices that hope.
Some have called this racist, and from online blogs and Facebook it appears his statement has offended a great many people of European descent, with many saying, “It shouldn’t matter what color or gender the person is as long as the person is qualified and good at that job” or “It should be the person best suited for the job, not dependent on their colour/race/creed/sex.” These statements are valid and fit into what the CURB mission states “A Bermuda where skin colours favours no-one.” However we recognise this is an ideal that we aim for, but in reality the Census statistics clearly show the continuing inequities in the work and hiring environment, with the gap widening every year.
Most of us intellectually and emotionally support these statements of fair and equal access, after all we’re good people and we realise this is the way it should be. However, the reality is we are not there yet, and for many Black Bermudians this is not their reality and from their perspective they ask where have the voices of Whites been when these inequities continue to be visited on people of colour.
Just like Black Lives Matter activists are accused of reverse racism for asking not to be murdered by police; so are activists in Bermuda called racists for pointing out race and its inequities and asking for greater equality or access to opportunities. This is not about flipping the script and giving Black Bermudians access over Whites, instead it is about fairness, access and opportunities that have been denied and continue to be denied to Black Bermudians.
For hundreds of years in Bermuda the edge, the advantages, access and the opportunities were primarily given to whites. Current day Census results continue to demonstrate these racial inequities. Now when there is a call for equal access and fairness, it is viewed as reverse racism by whites. It is not reverse racism, it is merely competition on a level playing field. For those who have always had access it feels like reverse racism.
Black Bermudians continue to be passed over for employment opportunities, offered less compensation or are simply not hired despite having the requisite qualifications. What is clear is that the facts show a much greater preference for the appointment of foreigners or Bermudians of European descent to positions of power or seniority both within our criminal justice system, and the broader work environment. This despite the fact that Black Bermudians are both highly educated and capable of being appointed to such positions and at 70% numerically make up the majority of the Bermudian population.
So as a society we must ask why is it that this imbalance continues? What is it that makes people again, and again, pass over Bermudians of African descent? How do we reconcile this reality with the statement on the Royal Gazette Facebook page that, “We just need to appoint the best person for the job no matter their skin color.” We must ask ourselves what are we willing to do to repair the inequity that continues to harm our Black community today? How can we ensure that stereotypes, prejudice and discrimination does not continue to influence decisions about who should be hired, promoted or gain access to opportunities?
The denial of race is a central narrative in the perpetuation of racism, and those who make claims of post-racialism, or who insist that to see race is to participate in racism only contribute to a growing divide. We must acknowledge the past has left our society damaged and divided, recognize the need to repair the harm, and take action to ensure the imbalance and inequities do not continue.