04 August 2008

In His Own Words

Last week I blogged about the Emancipation Day March, and later made some comments about what Senator Thaao Dill said. He has supplied me with his actual words so you will not need to rely on my potentially inaccurate recollection.

What it means to be black, on a very basic level, is to recognize that one is considered to be inferior, or, more to the point, that society believes that one is not deserving of freedom, liberty and justice. Now, with that said, what it also means to be black is to understand that society is wrong and it must be convinced accordingly, reformed in the most powerful ways through the most powerful spaces available. Recognition of such a set of conflicting concepts doesn't just motivate, it obligates effort and focus.


I agree with him that there are serious problem in society we must all attack.

4 comments:

Phil Wells said...

"What it means to be black, on a very basic level, is to recognize that one is considered to be inferior, or, more to the point, that society believes that one is not deserving of freedom, liberty and justice."

Nonsense. In what way does "society" believe that blacks are not deserving of freedom, liberty or justice? Who, exactly, considers blacks inferior?

Overstated generalisations like this are no help whatsoever in addressing racism today.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps Mr. Dill is incorporating North American sensibilities in his definition which are (hopefully) alien, or at the very least incongruous, to the Bermuda paradigm?

32n64w

Anonymous said...

Phil,

If you are truly interested in addressing racism today (not sure that you are), how about coming to some of the the BRRI events (next meeting Thursday August 14 at Leopard's Club) or a CURB meeting?

Hope to see you there!

Phil Wells said...

anonymous

You're right - I'm not that interested in addressing racism in Bermuda right now. That's chiefly because I'm sick of the way race is manipulated by the current government to retain power. They have created an atmosphere in which a meaningful discussion of the issue is impossible. All I see is angry blacks and guilt-ridden whites wallowing in the past.

But that aside, how are self-selecting talking shops like BRRI and CURB going to help? I was talking about race with people on Limey in Bermuda - itself a self-selecting talking shop - for years. Did all that talking help to reduce racism? I don't think so. It may have opened some people's eyes to alternative perspectives on the issue, but that's about it.

Moreover, CURB is undermined by the insistence of Lynne Winfield (and others) that blacks cannot be racist, and a reluctance to condemn racist statements by blacks and whites equally. Any institution that does not deal with racism even-handedly will not get my support. BRRI is undermined by the fact that it is a political initiative run by Rolfe Commissioning. Both are undermined by their stated desire to make whites feel uncomfortable. How is that helpful and why do you think any but the most guilt-ridden whites going to submit themselves to that?

Finally, using attendance at BRRI and CURB meetings as a litmus test of how serious someone is about addressing racism is just self-righteous posturing. They are not the only ways to contribute.

What's really needed is a joint select committee to tackle the issue, and take the politics out of it. I imagine hell will freeze over before the PLP propose that though.