The recent appointment of Bermuda’s first black governor, who is also a woman, came under fire in the House of Assembly on Friday night, with two Progressive Labour Party MPs urging residents not to fall for the old ‘okey doke’.
Deputy Speaker Derrick Burgess was one of the first to sound off just before 9pm when he told MPs that it took 186 years for the British Government “to find a black governor” for Bermuda.
But he asked: “Is this a reaction to Black Lives Matter?
“I don’t expect any change because she is a female and black because she has no power to change anything when it comes to a British Government that represents white supremacy,” said Mr Burgess.
“And I’m not advocating for anybody black, white or other to be the Governor of Bermuda.
“I’m for independence and this is more like Britain trying to appease us by sending us a black governor.
“Let me say that when we talk about Black Lives Matter, people are afraid to talk about the messy stuff. And if you don’t deal with the messy stuff we’re not going fix what we have here in Bermuda.
“We’re not going fix the disparity in Bermuda that widens every year.
“To me that is the main gauge on whether your social justice is getting any better because as long as they pay us less than whites we will continue to struggle.”
Mr Burgess went on to say that the powers that be “have had their knees on the neck of Dr Ewart E Brown, the former Premier of this country”, with “their hands in the pocket of the taxpayer to tune of $8 million”.
“I really believe they’re trying to make dr b an example because of the Uighurs, but the lives of those Uighurs matter also. And yet they still hold their knees – not one knee – they got about five knees on Dr Brown’s neck,” he said.
“December 2, 2016 where they pepper sprayed seniors with the approval from Government House – two officers who used it were promoted.
“Where they promoted for pepper spraying seniors. They would have never used pepper spray on white folks!
“Not only that the leaders of the People’s Campaign were taken to court – Jason Hayward, Nicholas Tweed, my cousin Chris Furbert and others were taken to court.
“And after that the Speaker of the House put a Joint Select Committee together. What appalled me was that the police were summoned twice and the police commissioner did not allow them to appear.
“This is some of the history that Government House has carried out. They have no respect for black people none whatsoever!
“Look at their history!
“There have been people in this country – an MP had drugs in his container but the investigation was stopped at the behest of Government House,” he added.
“The Commissioner of Police removed six investigators from that case and evidence that was taken was ordered returned to the owner of that container.
“I have never heard of such in my life and this was allowed by Government House,” said Mr Burgess.
“And you had a former Attorney General, who admitted in parliament on illegally obtaining information and there was no investigation,” he added.
“You had the Auditor General respond with secret files in his possession and he said a former police officer had given it to him, while too many black people have been charged, evidence tampered with and sent to jail.
“Blacks in this country have been treated hard!
“They’ve had mortgages called and had to pay more than others because we’re considered higher risks because they made less – higher risk.
“Dr CA Smith came back from UK with qualifications and they wouldn’t let him work,” he said.
“He had to go back and come back again and I’m sure he carries that scar with him all his life.
“There’s been too much silence on the injustices in Bermuda – too much silence in Government House when Marc Telemaque was qualified to be in charge of the Bermuda Regiment and they told him you’re young, you’ve got more time and gave it to the white gentleman.
“We must pursue the fabrication of lies and evidence and we’re got stop making appointments based on race in this country!
“We must take that knee of the neck of Dr Ewart Brown.”
His comments were echoed by Lieutenant Colonel David Burch, the Minister of Public Works, who said when it comes down to “consultation”, the powers that be think Bermudians “are too dumb to figure it out for ourselves”.
He spelled out the definition “according to the Oxford Dictionary” and said: “I don’t appreciate anyone of any colour descending into my country telling us what we should be doing when we certainly cannot do same elsewhere.
“We see it every day in the anonymous postings on social media online and the media in this country is pathetic!
“They get on TV or in the newspaper espousing their views because they arrived here on British Airways.”
He was referring to the article recently published by the daily newspaper and the cannabis reform plan is “confused” headline, featuring the views of a white, non-Bermudian lawyer.
“I must ask if he has shared his ideas on the website designed for this purpose,” said Colonel Burch.
“I’m here to tell him to stop and start acting like the guest you are!
“We don’t want to hear from you until you show that you’re here because you’re more interested in Bermuda rather than making a buck.”
On the pending arrival of Bermuda’s first black female Governor in December, he said she will take “the Oath of Allegiance to Her Majesty the Queen, her heirs and successors according to law so help me God and swear that I will well and truly serve HM as Governor”.
That’s based on the Constitution order 1969, he said.
“So there’s no doubt where her loyalities must lie. She said she’s immensely to serve as first black female Governor of Bermuda.
“This appointment is quite an insult to the Bermudian people of Bermuda designed to keep the natives from getting restless!
“Put a black face there and they will feel appeased!
“This window dressing won’t fool many of us and then there’s the ‘muck-de-muff’ the people who line up to be the first to host new governance, to get on the preferred list to invitations from Langton Hill.
“What will be interesting to see is if the same plethora will be extended to her as her predecessors.
“She’s black and female but they are all British.”
And he urged Bermudians not to forget that.