Members of the community looking to build on solutions to combat gang and gun violence in Bermuda are urged to attend a public meeting to discuss ‘Saving Our Boys – Saving Our Future’, on Tuesday, March 12th at Leopard’s Club.
Organiser Dale Butler said the audience will see “two powerful videos”, with guest speakers Pastor Leroy Bean, Shawnette Somner and Larry Scott.
Asked what would he say to critics who contend that as a community “all we do is talk”, Mr Butler replied: “While some might say it is just talk, we say if that is the case, why don’t you show us the action.
“At the moment our Talk Shows, if used as a barometer, clearly demonstrates we are good at diagnosing what is wrong with the patient but in a paralysis when taking action.
“Then again, when action is taken, you have a wall of critical saints who say why that action. But those same critics appear to be mere spectators.
“Take for example when I was Minister of Sport. I was badgered regularly by two Bermudian critics, so I decided to give them a chance to develop a particular idea. They agreed. Result? A big fat NOTHING!
“When I published the book ‘Successfully Raising Bermuda Boys’, the book barely sold and here we were with a major crisis and we did not want solutions from overseas so why not mine?
“The book was not 100 percent fail proof but it was all Bermuda had. Simple strategies were ignored although I am happy to say that I have met parents who used it and their boys have done well. With what’s happening with social media the book may be outdated so where are the critics with an updated version. NOTHING!”
Mr Butler noted that “Rodney Smith is famous for saying ‘those who see the light first are often condemned by those who see it last”.
“Be that as it may, we hope that the 6pm seminar on Tuesday, March 12th will help lay the foundation for action and if it does not, it gives the critics a chance to do it themselves.”
As an educator who has studied history, he added: “The only leader in the world who is action orientated is not revered for his human rights record.
“When President Duarte of the Philippines told his people not to sit on bridges they stopped. When he saw rampant pollution on the island of Boracay he closed it and it was fixed without hesitation.
“When he saw drugs, he had an action plan. It is not what I would advocate but prior to this ruthless action it was all talk.”
Mr Butler concluded: “My last example is this. When Rodney Smith raised the ‘reversible mortgage’ he was consistently put down but the evidence is becoming clear that with limited resources, the country is going to be forced to deal with it.
“Indeed, when he warned the Government of the day some 8 years ago and when he gave a major insurance company the same ideas to reduce cost they ignored him. He was about action, so to those who say it is all talk let’s hear your plan and what you are doing to implement it.
“History will judge us by our actions and condemn those who just sit by and just complain.
“We need all hands on board and there are too many ideas that are shot down before they can even become little buds and grow. The shooters have no plan to make things better so the people will perish.
“A personal opinion – from a man who has a long track record of being active while he watched the critics relax on the beach, take cruises, smoke their weed, ridicule him and other leaders who were trying while Rome burned – don’t ask him for his book of accomplishments.”
Atlantic Publishing House is hosting a series of events to celebrate their anniversary and the 70th anniversary of the Leopard’s Club. We’ll have more in subsequent reports moving forward.