From the Perspective of a Young Black Man

December 7, 2010

[Article written from the "'perspective of a young black man" who wished his name left off, saying the subject is important, not the messenger. While the writer is acquainted with the Bermuda gang lifestyle and knows young men who are participants in the underworld, he himself is not a gang member, nor does he have any criminal convictions.]

He leaves the house, smiling, clearly unaware that his life is about to end. I feel the reassuring firmness of the metal against my palm. I close my eyes and recall the chant that my fellow street soldiers often say whenever we get together: “We won’t stop till all them n#ggas drop!”

It’s time.

The motorbike surges forward. I pull the visor down as I remove the Glock from my pocket and squeeze the trigger.

Six explosions shake my already unsteady hand. The rush is erotic; I revel in my power – and not for the first time. It is a heady feeling that makes me want to scream.

Four bullets pierce the target. I watch him stagger backward as we speed by; I look back and he has fallen to the pavement.

There is a growing pool of blood staining the ground under his head. A woman – it could have been his mother – rushes from the house. We don’t wait around to hear her anguished screams.

Even before I receive confirmation on the 7:00 news, I know that he is dead.

I am a God. The streets fear me and I love it.

I WANT TO DO IT AGAIN.

Since April 27th 2003, when Shaundae Jones was shot to death outside Club Malabar, Bermuda has been rocked by fourteen more gun murders. Let’s take a moment to call their names: Jason Lightbourne. Shaki Crockwell. Kimwandae Walker. Kenwande Robinson. Shane Minors. Aquil Richardson. Kumi Harford. Garry Cann. Dekimo Martin. Perry Puckerin Jr. George Lynch. James.Lawes. Freddy Maybury. Troy ‘Yankee’ Rawlins.

And I’ve lost count of the number of my brothers whose bodies have been invaded by the deadly penetration of a gunman’s bullets, yet have somehow escaped the grim reaper’s icy caress.

Black men have been the victims in every one of these killings, which might better be described as executions. The way that many of these murders were carried out suggests a reasonable level of planning – the target was identified, his location was determined, visors and dark clothing were donned, license plates were removed and an escape route was chosen.

Black men – and YOUNG Black men in particular – are becoming recurring decimals of extinguished potential, seemingly born to be immortalized in graffiti scrawled across asphalt and emblazoned on crisp, white bedsheets….their brown faces – frozen, unsmiling – multiplied on t-shirts and buttons worn by other Black men too damaged to cry.

The response of the community was as swift as it was ineffective: prayer vigils were organized, talk show lines erupted with impassioned commentaries, ministers from both sides of the House bemoaned the waywardness of the young Black male and renewed calls were made to re-institute the death penalty.

Strangely, no-one thought to ask the brothers on the corner, the much-maligned ‘wallflowers’, their opinion on how we came to this bloody, loveless place.

I feel that the voices of these young men must be heard. What would they say if they were given the time and opportunity to make some sense of the various socio-historical threads that converged to severely curtail their life chances in this island of plenty?

What might the young men say? And would we be brave enough to listen – and then act?

*********

What’s my name? don’t worry about that – it’s not important. But you see me every day – on the block, sittin off with my boys by the Parson’s road playground, or drinkin Guinness and smoking cigarettes across from C & R Discount on the block. Or sharing a joke with my breddrins out the 2nd.

I’m the one you fear – admit it. You all can’t even look me in my face or speak when you pass me by. I’m the one you pray every day that your son never befriends and your daughter never brings home. I’m the garbage that this society has no official place for.

And I’m the reflection of your cowardice and failure.

You can’t escape me, but you try. Sending your kids to private school and all dat. And I can’t even blame you – I wouldn’t want my son living the street life. It’s hard being on my post rain, blow or shine; it’s hard taking all the risks for such a little return. And now, brothas are shooting to kill, so the stakes are real high.

I know you’re asking: why take the risk? It’s just not worth it!

But it is. The family that I find here is real. They have my back in ways that my hypocrite parents never did. My father cheating on my moms and then singing all loud in church come Sunday. And my mother taking out her frustration on me with physical and verbal abuse. I try to tell her that I’m not him, but she’s too hurt to hear. Or care.

The church folks knew all about the dysfunction in our household, but not one of them tried to step forward to make sure that the innocent child in the middle of two warring adults didn’t get cut down in the crossfire.

You’d be surprised how many of us that you see jugglin and looking all hard have stories just like mine that would make your heart break. I got a friend whose mama’s a dopehead. His old man’s a drunk and his extended family act like he doesn’t exist. I got another friend who sleeps on the beach because he has no home to go to at night. He’s just a few years younger than me – 19. I could go on and on, but thinking about how messed up things are for us makes me mad.

We gather because our scars are similar; we gather to provide the support that was denied us by you, our protectors; we gather because there is familiar, dismissive silence around the crimes committed against us. The sort of silence that says, loud and clear: YOU DON’T MATTER. LET YOUR SUFFERING BE YOURS TO BEAR – ALONE.

Too few people stood up for us; you tell us ‘Respect your elders!’ but you tell me, what should we do when our elders turn their backs on us when we needed them most? When we realized that you all were not there for us in the ways that we needed you to be, the whole idea of respecting you because you are older and deserving fell by the wayside. The connection that you should have been responsible for developing and maintaining rotted and fell away and your petty concerns and self-righteous pronouncements fell on deaf ears.

You were – and are – dead to us. You words do not reach us because we don’t believe that you really love us. Because if you did, you couldn’t walk by us without offering a hand.

All that I’m sharing with you I understood by the time I was in M-1…fresh out of primary school.

You know what? If someone did check for us, I mean really check for us, from the heart with true understanding and without fear, there’s no end to what we would be willing to do for that person. And it’s that level of understanding, acceptance and safety that we find on the streets.

And all of this craving for acceptance and understanding is wrapped inside a twisted version of manhood. You know: ‘gotta be tough, gotta prey on the weak, can’t cry, gotta be willing to do what the next man won’t’. That sort of thing. Even though none of us actually knows what being a man – and more specifically, being a BLACK man – actually entails.

A whole lot of us have no relationship with our fathers or any emotionally balanced Black male adults. And we’re not allowed to speak of the fact that this lack of connection leaves us brokenhearted and grief-stricken. And because manhood means that the only word in our emotional vocabulary is ‘rage’, the only expression that is used when we feel under threat is what – from the outside looking in – appears to be extreme violence. I see this in myself – I KNOW that enough guys on the street – and not just here in Bermuda, but on streetcorners across the world – are masking their pain with violence, or sex, or drugs, because the adults have failed to provide a version of manhood that doesn’t require that they repress their feelings. To be very blunt, your failure has given birth to a poisonous rage within many of us that we can neither fully comprehend nor effectively articulate, but which must be expressed somehow.

The equation goes something like this: anger unvented becomes pain; pain unspoken becomes rage; and rage released becomes violence. That’s what happened in the Darronte Dill case – he said that he was angry, but when pressed, couldn’t state what it was that made him so enraged that he killed two people.

I don’t know the name of the poet who first said this, but he hit it: ‘We wear the mask that grins and lies….’

If we don’t find ways to challenge this toxic version of manhood, we will essentially be guaranteeing that our young and vulnerable sons will continue to provide the funeral directors with work.

Who do you think is responsible for pulling the trigger? Let me tell you if you don’t know: cats younger than me. I’m talking 17, 18, 19 year-olds. The guy who got shot out Friswell’s Hill a little while back? He’s an S-2 student in high school. That’s what you’re dealing with. And they have absolutely no fear about running up on you while you’re eating Sunday dinner to put a bullet in your son.

Being accepted, being seen as a real man worthy of respect, is important enough to risk death or life in prison to get.

And the quickest way to win that respect is to show that you are willing to become a n#gga killer.

Yeah, a n#gga killer, that’s what I said.

We aren’t killing the white folks who stole Tucker’s Town, or the white folks who made up the Forty Thieves, or the white folks who killed Buck and Larry, or the white folks who still benefit from the unacknowledged crime of slavery and the denial of reparations…no, our target (with the exception of Mr. Gaglio and Ms. Kuchler) is always another Black male.

Why is it that we almost never aim our weapons at those who laid the foundation for virtually all that is broken in our communities? Why is that? Why do we never discuss their violence against us which has played such a large role in creating this state of self-hatred and decay amongst folks who look like me?

I went reading because – as I learned in my Ashay: Rites of Passage class while I was a student at Dellwood Middle School – I have to be awake, alert and aware. The teacher, Mrs. Van Putten, would always tell us that we should research if we want to understand something and that’s what I am trying to do now. This Norwegian sociologist, Johan Galtung, said that

“Personal violence is for the amateur in dominance, but structural violence is the tool of the professional. The amateur who wants to dominate uses guns; the professional uses social structure. The legal criminality of the social system & its institutions, of government, and of individuals at the interpersonal level is tacit violence. Structural violence is a structure of exploitation & social injustice.”

Here, on this rock, we haven’t really begun to deal with the structural violence that created what we now see throughout the nine parishes. We don’t want to touch that discussion with a ten-foot pole. And I say ‘we’ as in Black folk. In fact, it was Black folk who chased the Ashay program out of the middle school system and robbed us of a tool that we could use to understand how we came to be in the predicament that we’re in today.

That program opened my eyes to the fact that we weren’t always in this state. It was the first time that I began to think that maybe, just maybe, a Black life and Black people were worth something. Mrs. Van Putten gave us another way of viewing ourselves and the true causes of the violence in our community. She challenged us to start from the beginning in order to understand today; she dared us to reject the stereotypes and make ourselves over using the best of our history as a guidepost for what each of us has the potential to achieve.

Looking back, I understand that what she was doing was very dangerous – that is, if you want Black youths to remain completely ignorant of who they are as Afrikan-descended people. Black Bermudian adults are real uncomfortable with that idea; that’s why you all turned your back on Ashay. But the truth is, when you turn you back on your past, you also put us, your children, at risk. Essentially, the ground upon which we can build a coherent sense of self is cut away, life becomes cheap and the prospect of our death becomes a matter of indifference.

The end result – Black bodies crowding the morgue not just in King Edward, but in morgues in cities around the world. The violence in Bermuda finds its tragic reflection in Jamaica, Trinidad and Toronto, as well as in the major urban centres of the U.S. and the U.K. In fact, wherever Black folks are denied a full understanding of their history and culture and the role that racism plays in maintenance of racial inequality in the present day, Black blood is guaranteed to be spilled…by self-hating Black hands.

In spite of the mountain of evidence that points to a link between the legacy of racism and Black-on-Black violence, we on this rock choose to look away. Prayer will set us free…or maybe yet another peace rally with do the trick…but that race stuff? Seems to be too dangerous, too painful a topic to safely broach.

The Mincy report tiptoed around it, instead suggesting that we should focus on ensuring that teachers have high expectations for Black male students and that we should promote the development of soft skills amongst this at-risk demographic. Now, don’t get me wrong, that’s important, but we must go deeper than that. If we don’t start at the beginning, how then can we really hope to stem the flow of Black blood? We – the gun-toting youths, the so-called ‘thugs’ – are the symptom, not the problem, you know. Never forget that fact.

Question: Have you told your Black boys anything about their history, before slavery? Have you revealed to us the beauty of Afrikan culture and the genius to be found therein? Have you told us that our lives have value beyond the damaging stereotypes about Black people in general and Black males in particular that are fed to us through the media? Have you told us that, like Galtung was saying, the social dynamics of this country were shaped by the deliberate acts of soul-destroying structural violence of the white elites and that what we’re doing to each other in the streets wasn’t born in a vacuum?

In other words, have you bothered to tell us the truth?

In a word, no.

We don’t know who we are, how we got here and have no real plan beyond mere survival. And frankly, that level of ‘not-knowing’ has driven many of us insane enough to seek death through the cold-blooded murder of our Black male reflections.

So, if we’re serious about this whole ‘respect, recognition and reconciliation’ thing, we clearly have a lot of in-house work to tackle, before we extend ourselves to the white community.

You see, the three R’s are very personal – you must start at home, if you will, before you venture out into the world. In fact, attempting to wander abroad without first correctly orienting our cultural compasses has left too many of us lost and confused and unable to come up with real solutions to our problems.

The Oxford English dictionary defines reconciliation as ‘the act of bringing about harmony; the act of befriending again after an estrangement’. Recognition is defined as: the state or quality of being recognized or acknowledged. And respect is understood to mean: to regard with esteem or honour; to refrain from offending, corrupting, harming, degrading, insulting or injuring’.

Right now, there is a huge rift in the Black community between the older generation and the younger – on one side, there is condemnation, shame and fear; on the other, anger and disappointment. We are estranged from one another and struggle to cross the divide because we refuse (because of cowardice or ignorance, or both) to engage in truth-telling.

And that’s what the three R’s are built on. Without truth as the foundation, the likelihood that we’ll see recognition, reconciliation and respect between the older and younger generations and, in particular, young Black males who have given themselves over to the street life, is slim to nil.

And truth extends itself to self-examination. I dare every adult Black person in this audience to find answers to these questions: How has living in this island, with its happy-face, well-mannered, covert racism, left many of you psychologically scarred? How has buying into a destructive form of Black manhood left many adult Black males emotionally crippled and ill-equipped to constructively interact with and act as compassionate guides for young Black boys?

How many of you would be able to do the painful work of uncovering your own trauma? How many of you have become too comfortable swallowing your pain and living with internal disharmony and low racial self-esteem to be able to reach out to your children and give them the assistance that they require…never mind reaching across the racial divide?

So – although it may not sound like much of a beginning – we need to start with honest conversation. You are NOT the well-adjusted, civic-minded, law-abiding citizens that you think you are. And the brothers on the corner are NOT mindless savages who deserve to be thrown into prison and forgotten – these are but two of the many lies that must be cast aside as you seek to rebuild the bridge between your sons and yourselves.

And you must be REAL. Not condescending; not fearful. We can see through that and will quickly shut you down if you approach us that way. Only genuineness, consistency and courage amongst adult Black Bermudians will make possible the transformative connection in the street soldiers like the one I described at the beginning.

Can we do it? I believe that we can do it, by recognizing, respecting and reconciling with that part of ourselves that has been much abused by racism and working hard to significantly expand the emotional vocabulary of Black boys. Again, we must use the three R’s on ourselves, first, before we go anywhere else. We must then be brave enough to apply the many lessons of history to the cause of saving Black boys put at risk by our many silences.

So, we return to where we began, with the gunman on the back of the motorbike. But there is a difference…

*********

He leaves the house with a smile on his face, clearly unaware that his life is hanging in the balance.

I feel the reassuring firmness of the metal against my palm. I close my eyes and recall the chant that my fellow street soldiers often say whenever we get together: “We won’t stop till all them n#ggas drop!”

It’s time.

The motorbike surges forward. I pull the visor down as I remove the Glock from my pocket. My finger rests on the trigger, but I do not squeeze. For some reason, I recall the conversations that I’ve been having with J.R., who has known me since I was a baby and has been coming to check for me regularly since I was in primary Two.

He’d always say: “A rebel is someone who does what he’s not supposed to do. Like Pauulu. Like Malcolm X. Like Kingsley Tweed. When you aim to kill another brother, you can’t call yourself a bud mon…you’re just doin what they want you to do, which means you’re a tool and a slave. Ain’t no ‘rebel’ behaviour in killing Black men like the KKK and the slavemaster did, is there?”

Damn, he’s right.

The gun is silent and still in my already unsteady hand.

I watch him jump back in surprise as we speed by; I look back and he is glaring angrily in our direction.

A woman – it could have been his mother – rushes from the house.

It’s all over in a matter of seconds. And no-one got shot. I had failed to carry out the hit.

Beneath my visor, I feel good, and I know why. Like a real rebel, I had chosen life.

I WANT TO DO IT AGAIN.

*********

Black Bermuda, we know what we have to do. The life-or-death question that you must ask and then answer is: are you willing to save our young Black males by becoming the change that you want to see in them?

Put another way: are you truly willing to recognize what really needs to be done to stop the killing? And beyond that, are you willing to act…before it is too late?

R.I.P. FINGAZ

R.I.P. WHEELS

WE NEED TO END THIS.

[Article details what the author feels a person may have thought, and is not 'real']

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  1. A chilling perspective « Breezeblog | December 7, 2010
  1. LostinFlatts says:

    I must start off by applauding the author for their candour and honesty – and finally putting to paper an inkling of the dissatisfaction that pervades our youth.

    My only question is about where the author believes personal responsibility lies in all this. No doubt the lack of paternal presence, abandonment by the (predominantly black it should be remembered) community, limited targeted education and so forth have created a situation that is damaging and bleak – but in the end it comes down to the choices made by the respective ‘hitmen’. If the author is arguing that the choice is still the individual’s then I agree with him – the individual is still the empowered one.

    However if the choice has been taken away from them by society – as is inferred from the majority of the article – then they are powerless, pawns of a greater system. I find that hard to believe, even if it is the most politically expedient message (see ‘PLP approach to gun crime, 101′). You can be your own man, you can make your own decisions and you can make a life in Bermuda today.

    For those youths that feel so disenfranchised on the island perhaps education really is key. But an education where they’re shown the fates of young men at similar ages, in any one of a hundred countries where they’d have a far lower chance of success. If these young men had perspective – true perspective – of the opportunities available to them as young Bermudians then I like to think there’s no way they’d be out shooting up their ex-classmates and friends. Now, who can spread that message and how it can be done…

    • The truth shall set you free says:

      Personal responsibility is taught, it’s not something you’re born with. This individual is a classic example of someone being a product of their environment. Look at the way he described his parents. There are those from hard upbringings who are able to decipher right from wrong and make the ‘right’ choices, but they tend to be the exception, not the rule.

      Very interesting article, and you can clearly see the author is highly intelligent. It’s too bad that energy cannot be channeled into something more positive.

      • Bottom Line says:

        I agree “truth”. This young black man was exposed to, and got sucked into the gangstaa world because the PLP allowed the gangs to grows. I think we need to state the fact that we are in this crime mess because the PLP made the decision some years ago to adopt a Policy of Co-Existence with the Gangs…and this policy has now blown-up in their faces. I think it’s a fair assessment and we need to remind people that this act was one of treachery against Bermuda. They created this mess by looking the other way in the hopes the gangs would simply keep to themselves and also self-police themselves. They, the PLP, looked the other way because too many of their supporters were making too much money in the drug trade. This policy of Co-Existence has led to Bermuda becoming a gangstaa paradise.

    • LOL (original) says:

      Agreed lost in flatts “Crabs in a barrel” comes to mind the only one holding them back is their selves. Don’t be a stereo type image is not everything and if it is then be about self improvement the positive things from that will spread to those around you just as the negative once did. Shooting white people may sound like an alternative to you but when they are dead you will continue to shoot each other because it’s the gangster thing to do init. Stop living a movie, do things to keep yourself active and away from the BS you have convinced yourself that there is no other way if you’re brave enough. You do not inspire fear you inspire disappointment to those who came before you who worked for a better life. If you continue using slavery as a crutch then you will always be a slave. Free Yourself!! Don’t get me wrong I understand lasting effects of physical and mental abuse but only you as an individual can say enough is enough. FREE YOURSELF and stop letting society tell you are not good enough but you must make the decision to be more than a heartless child be a man with a heart those that do not have heart are easy to control. Not joking even though my name is ………….

      LOL ps maybe you should write a book share your expirences and find something positive in them.

    • response to lostinflats says:

      @lostinflatts…. your way of thinking is exactly what this young man is talking about. shame on you.
      Bermuda has failed them. YOU have failed them, I have failed them. WE have all failed them.
      Youre clearly from a privlidged background and none of this has affected you personally.
      “if these young men had perspective”?? How can they have perspective when their upbringing is as described in the article?

      • LOL (original) says:

        So to you they have no hope and are forever lost. Check the fact that they have the right and ability to choose.

        LOL

      • LostinFlatts says:

        You’re free to have your opinion – but this mentality is what is really crippling young black Bermudian males. The belief that what they do isn’t their fault, that they should be excused for all actions they take and that their individual choices come down to a series of events that all happened before they were born.

        If blacks throughout history thought like that, then we’d still be suffering through segregation.

        What any society needs to evolve are people unwilling to accept that their fate is determined before they’re born – people who are willing to change the status quo. People who make their own choices, not go along with the choices made for them.

        I won’t give up on an entire generation of young Bermudians just because a set of circumstances puts them at a disadvantage. I encourage them to make the right choices because they have that power, and no one can take that from them. And that is the message that I see in the article.

    • dnshakir@cpd.bm says:

      GOOD LORD….STUPID IS WHAT U R!!!

  2. dudus says:

    Rip fingas tell this guy lay down!

  3. Womanfrombda says:

    I’m impressed and extremely moved. Everyone needs to read this. Keep doing what you are doing. Get your message out there.

  4. itwasn't me says:

    looks like the tax payer’s money could have been spent on a ‘big conversation’ which dealt with our CURRENT SOCIAL CRISES. Instead of reflecting on slavery and white dominance (which no longer exists here) we should have been working on these broken human beings that are killing each other because of self hate. They hate blackness, they hate their black peers, and have no respect for black neighborhoods, black authority, black businesses, black government etc. I guess 15 or 20 years from now the Big Conversation may focus on this problem if we’re lucky.

    • royalty says:

      Instead of reflecting on slavery and white dominance (which no longer exists here) ???Are you serious?? These things do exist!!! We are now in MODERN day slavery..the plantation is the business you are working for. black folks are struggling to become entrepaneurs due to lack of nurturance at home. Mothers are FORCED to work two and three jobs while technology(playstation, B.E.T, ipods, computer, cellphones, etc.)eats the minds of this New Generation. Our minds are still enslaved(mental slavery). I agree with this author wholeheartedly and applaud them for voicing their opinion. We are children of the Most High therefore What God has created let no man nor woman put asunder.

      • LOL (original) says:

        Modern day slavery reflects those that have and those that have not you must not see the restaurants that are black owned with all foreign help with some small exceptions. At the end of the day the employer (who ever they are)has us all black and white by the balls. I struggle to pay rent and feed my kids every day and I’m white.

        LOL

    • Allan G says:

      I agree the Big Conversation needs to become more focused locally but the roots come from slavery and thus the conversation started there….we must continue in a local context. However when it comes to personal wealth and the economic infrastructure which ultimately drives decision making…white dominance is still very much in power in Bermuda. (Hoteliers, Media, Banks, Major Retail stores, Upscale restaurants…all white owned.) One look at the curriculum and you wonder if the population is really 60% black because this is not reflected in the curriculum. Education and money are very powerful tools in any society.

      • LOL (original) says:

        Also why the conversation end there see my reply above to royalty. Race is the old new way to keep us fighting while the rich black and white keep………..

        LOL at us all.

    • Rolfe Commissiong says:

      The Big Conversation did address this and not just issues of white privilege.lectures and workshops by Dr. DeGruy, professor Pieterse and others over the last four years are testimony to that. And for the record we did very little on slavery. Although I think the writer who I doubt is 23 as he posits will not deny that the issue of slavery and the subsequent 140 yrs of second and third class citizenship of black Bermudians has contributed to the condition of black people and black men in this country. The past is prologue. The real question was where were you when the conversation was going on.

      Moreover, I have been trying to bring the issue of what is happening to black men in this in this country for close to fifteen years, when others did not want to touch the subject. That is a fact!

      • LOL (original) says:

        I wasn’t able to fit in your box like perception of white people so I did not show but someone I know did and needless to say we spent a lot of time arguing the points which no matter how I looked at it and I do have an open mind to others views just did not fit my experiences so the convoy ended in frustration on his and my part to the point that we don’t see each other any more and if we do we don’t talk about it or politics anymore. I do not think these matters can be hash out in groups and that it can only be an idivdual effort. If everyone tried it would work but in groups everyone feels their side’s pains and fustration….

        LOL

  5. Graeme Outerbridge says:

    None of them had to die–If we were on it and really cared about all our families^^

  6. tha herbalist says:

    understand tha article n praise it…but talkin bout it aint goin fix tha damn problem…keep talkin n its goin get worse…no-one goin b happy til innocent bystanders r hit…

    • just sayin' says:

      Innocent people HAVE ALREADY been hit! Still hasn’t changed a thing…

  7. royalty says:

    “Black folks are denied a full understanding of their history and culture and the role that racism plays in maintenance of racial inequality in the present day, Black blood is guaranteed to be spilled…by self-hating Black hands.” I most definately feel you on this my brother. This was a good read and I pray the government will look into this further and find a solution for this problem. Bring Ashay back into the schools PLEASE!

  8. TRUE DAT says:

    WHOEVER WROTE THIS IS A VERY BRIGHT AND INTELLEGENT PERSON…
    THEREFORE IF YOU ARE TRULY A THUG GANGSTER..
    I CHALLENGE YOU TO BE THE ONE TO STOP.
    AND START TO PUT AN END TO THE IGNORANCE
    AND REACH OUT TO YOUR STREET FAMILY AND TEACH THEM WHAT YOU KNOW AND CLEARLY UNDERSTAND, JUDGING BY YOUR ARTICAL

    MAKE THE CHANGE!
    BECAUSE EVEN THOUGH YOU CAME FROM SOME ROUGH BEGININGS
    YOU HAVE GAINED A WHOLE LOT OF VITAL INFORMATION
    SO SHARE IT WITH YOUR PEOPLES
    AND HELP THEM TO SEE WHAT YOU SEE!!!
    SO THAT OUR LITTLE PEOPLE CAN HAVE A CHANCE
    PEACE N LOVE
    MY BROTHER

  9. Huey says:

    It’s time for BLACK people all over the world to “KNOW THYSELF”!! How long will we be taught “HIS”-STORY!! We have to do our own research to learn our true story; if we don’t, then like the writer said more blood will be shed senselessly. It’s soooo much that we as black folks just take for granted and for truth. How long will the slavery last, yeah we’re emancipated but are we really “FREE”. I don’t think so, because I agree with the author and I am researching and trying to find out OUR-STORY!! We have been abused, manipulated and made to be jealous and envious of each other for material gain. Money isn’t real and until we unveil our eyes to see the truth and lies that we are taught, then we will remain in this cycle. We need a paradigm shift in our society in order to see that we are being played by a handful of elitist oligarchs!! I know I can’t specifically suggest a solution because people think that when you say stuff like this that you’re a conspiracy theorist. I’m tired of people minds being so shallow that if it isn’t about Manchester United, Chelsea, Tiger Woods, Lil Wayne or any of the many distractions that they use to keep us in the dark, it’s just not important. Get off of your high horse and wake up before it’s too late and you wake up in George Owell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four!! Thank you Bernews for publishing stories that truly matter and are real genuine issues. I know that you are doing your best in a world where you have to be “politically correct” just to stay in business. However, people are beginning to wake up in droves and we’re seeing that the UBP and the PLP work for the same interest point blank!! We need a true government for and by the “PEOPLE”!! Let’s work hard to reach our young black males so that another two or three generations aren’t written off. @ itwasn’t me- ARE YOU SERIOUS!! That’s we’re we’ll always disagree and then the he say, she say begins. Stop pulling one point about racism and making his whole essay about that. You have black elitist too that feel that they are special because they have a very succesful business or are CEO of a fortune 500 company. It’s not about color, it’s about the ideology. A lot of people won’t agree or believe me but the NAACP even sold out BLACK people!! Do your research and stop making it a BLACK and WHITE issue. Because that’s where the convo will always end becasue someone’s “feelings” will be hurt and they don’t want to hear it anymore, so we’ll never find a solution….

  10. Yng Black Mind says:

    This post is directly to the author of this article. You asked us (older Black Bermudians) to be real. I am 35 – was raised with both mother and father, church background, good school, college, etc. When most people (young or old) read that, they believe that I lived a charmed life – - that there was no struggle or pain.

    That is why I share this information now – - I have experienced adultery, physical abuse, emotional abuse, abandon issues, bullying, loss (death of close relatives), financial issues, sexual baggage (including STI scares), teenage pregnancy scares, etc. ALL PERSONALLY.

    I share that so you understand that we all have issues – - the brother on the street as well as the brother in the borardroom. You mentioned that until we deal with our own problems/issues, we can never really solve the bigger problem – I completely agree with you. Everyday, I wake up and continue on my life’s journey, facing my issues as they come. I deal with them and move forward – I do not sit and get into a self-loathing mindset – I do not have the time to feel sorry for myself. I hope and pray that all the adults who read your article understand that point, instead of doing what they do most times – “well, I give when I can and I can’t do anything to solve the problem – it’s the younger generation.”

    I am saying right here right now that I will put myself in a position to assist any young person who is willing to help themselves – - if you don’t know how to start, I will help you. If you want help, email me and I will arrange to sit with you and get started – - project.ride.08@gmail.com

    • LOL (original) says:

      Man I said it once and I’ll say it again get into politics, keep your ideals and help cure this country. You have my vote.

      LOL

    • Missy says:

      These young men need to be willing to change their life around and they are too scared of a book, pen & paper and little extra work to make it out. They are too scared of what they think they cant do.

  11. Vanessa says:

    Thank you for shedding light on this topic — it was long overdue. The only attention our young black men are getting from the larger society is negative attention.

    Let’s find away to work together toward a solution and stop all the lip service. Bermuda needs a change.

  12. Normal says:

    Two Words: inspiring and insightful.

    Knowing that the author is a young black man gives evidence to the fact that our young Bermudians have amazing potential. This article has opened my eyes to a perspective that I never truly considered regarding Bermuda and its current social problems.

    All you haters, stop hating and see the value of what our young men have to say.

  13. first time comment says:

    this is an excellent article, not only written well but it is so real. Young man I appreciate your honesty and my heart goes out to you. I have always believed that you as an individual make a choice to do certain things and I still believe that. But I now know that your background has so much to do with the choices that you make. Your background has a lot to do with the reasons you do what you do.

    I do believe as you said that as black people we need to know and pass on our own roots. We have to make the difference. I will pray for myself that I will be able to respect, recognize and reconcile each young man that comes into my pathway.
    Us as parents need to stop and think what we are doing to our children. What are we portraying to them, what are we showing them. Everything we do should be out of love and love should be shown. All you mothers who run your childs father in the ground in front of your child you should stop. And all you fathers who are not there, stop and think, this is your child, your flesh and blood. MAKE A DIFFERENCE
    To all who normally comment, dont be negative or pull this person down. Just think about what he has said and all the many other young men out there that feel the same way, and what each of us can do as individuals and then as a group.

  14. Kay says:

    Wow… I know people with Post Secondary educations and numerous professional designations that can’t write half as well as this young man.

    It really opens your eyes to the fact that there is so much potential in men that society has turned their back on…

    If the government wants a change, like REALLY wants a change- they need to wake up. Employing a intellegent young man like this as a consultant would be more effective than 20 of Brown’s imported consultants ever were!

    • Allan G says:

      I agree with you Kay this man has potential…but it’s not just the government…it’s all of us…the entire society that needs to step in and help this brotha and those like him. Government can only do so much…and has lots of red tape…all of us need to ask…what can I do today…that is practical that can help make a change….I would like the journalist who liasoned with this author to share with folks like myself who want to be real and help…but don’t know how to start or where to go, what we can do to take steps to move forward. Enough talking…lets take action!

    • wiaruz says:

      ………….and politicians

  15. Terry says:

    Can someone direct me to where this was published first. I can only find it here and on Facebook. Can’t find it in/on any local paper.

    Just asking.

    • Lorraine says:

      I am not sure but… it’s kind of insulting to not first consider Bernews.com as the orginal source for this piece.

      Bernews puts out awesome work. I think they would have shown credit if it was from another source. Let’s spin your question in a kinder way.
      Hey, Bernews.com thanks for the story. Can you share with us details of where it came from?

      Sorry but… I like bernews.com and I feel your comment disrespected them just a little.

      Imjustsaying!

    • nameless says:

      I was under the impression that it was an original opinion piece someone submitted to Bernews, like others they’ve posted on behalf of various people.

    • bernews says:

      It’s an opinion piece written by someone we know and submitted to us….hasn’t been printed anywhere else to our knowledge.

      The author is not a criminal of any form, in fact – he’s a very positive young brother.

      The article isn’t his personal experiences per se – its more from the combined perceived perspective of some of the young men he knows and has come across, life experiences as a black man, along with some of his thoughts on the impact of race/racism. (Those are our words not his.)

      • Lorraine says:

        That’s what I thought and it’s how your presented it. Bernews offered a classy explaination. You kept it very kind. So… I won’t
        “In their face!!!” LOL!!!

        In all due respect Bernews provides quality local news and researches stories of value for our community. They do not have to get their stories from other papers. (if that is indeed what the original question implied)

  16. mixed up says:

    Misery loves company an Sh*t rolls down hill. Unfortunately, many of our older generation of Black people have been subjected to demeaning and demoralizing experiences in life. But what is more unfortunate is the fact that these people have chosen to project these experiences onto their youth. Now in no way am i saying that all should be forgotten but somewhere along the way we have to realize that negative feelings can be contagious. We all want better for our children so lets offer it rather than dwelling in our own misery. It is true that many of our youth have been given no direction and no understanding of themselves. so i am not surprised at the statements made in this article. Life has become so complicated for all of us and it seems that that has caused us to turn a blind eye to everyone around us. Bermuda is a small place with big issues but i hate to see a divide between our black people and our white when it comes to dealing with these issues, especially since we have such a vast, and steady growing, community of mixed race individuals. Consider the pressure that they also feel because of all this talk. Every person here in Bermuda has an opportunity to make a better way for themselves and those dependent on them, but it is up to us to take it. I myself didn’t have the greatest opportunities in front of me coming up but fortunately for me someone did step in and share a bit of inspiration with me. I easily could have followed the wrong path but the little guiding light that i had was enough to set me free. I hear many older people say what terrible things they would do to some of the “lil Gangstas” given the chance. But only a few talk about what they can do to help. I understand where this young man is coming from, and all i can hope is that if or when he has a son, he will see the way to make things better for them. People need to stop dwelling on the past and realize that the future is of the highest importance.If we are hearing the plea from these young men then we need to address it. Older people, black and white, Stop projecting hatred and start teaching the youth what they need to know. Step up to the plate and fix the things that you have broken. Don’t just turn away and expect someone else to. The government in this country needs to address the struggles that the average family is dealing with (black and white). Once this happens then the families can focus more on raising their youth in positive ways. If the roots of the tree are fighting for nourishment, the branches will never bloom!

  17. Selina says:

    To the young author THANK YOU. I’m sure this took lots of courage. You’re a young man with a wealth of knowledge.

    Bermuda -To those that will read this article and hear what this young man is truly pleading for -WAKE UP.

    The author has offered and olive branch to our leaders, parents and wider community.
    He is PLEADING FOR HELP TO STOP THE VIOLENCE. Stop the blame game, the MYOB game and the NIMBY (not in my back yard/neighborhood).

    Our young black man have been labeled thugs and gangsters but truly they are our BABIES. Are we waiting for all our young men to be dead before something is done? Are we waiting until it has robbed the island of its beauty? Are we waiting until some innocent child/person has been murdered?

    We the community need to stop the negativity and FIND THE SOLUTION. We as parents, leaders and the community need to searching for a contact for this young man. He maybe the solution to bringing our young black man and the country together.

    Has anyone really decided to find out who this young man is? Would he be willing to bring his Street Brothers to the table?

    Come on Bermuda- UNITE AND SAVE OUR BABIES

  18. Nichole says:

    He is only speaking about what everyone in Bermuda is too afriad to say or speak about themselves. Open secret. Very good read.

    Africa was almost robbed naked
    Slavery was money, so they began making slave ships
    Egypt was the place that Alexander the Great went
    He was so shocked at the mountains with black faces
    Shot up they nose to impose what basically
    Still goes on today, you see?
    If the truth is told, the youth can grow
    Then learn to survive until they gain control
    Nobody says you have to be gangstas, hoes
    Read more learn more, change the globe

    • Missy says:

      Thanks for Quoting “Nas” I know i can! The thing is artist only produce a few songs like this ever because it is not what sells!

  19. Wisdom says:

    I’m TIRED of the young black men that blame society for them being MUDERERS!! There is no excuse!! And the same way that you all are defending and feeling sorry for this boy is why they have turned out this way. He is abvioulsy a VERY smart young man so why not use that for good instead of evil. Because you had a hard upbringing you turn to violence and murder!! Come on now!! I know MANY successful black man that had even harder upbringings that are contributing to society!1
    These kids are all spoiled and don’t know how to work hard to get anything. Nothing is going to be handed to you young man you have to work hard just like the rest of us!! There is NO EXCUSE FOR MURDER!! NONE!!!
    Work hard and live a Good Clean Life and contribute to society. Stop blaming and start doing!! End it with you!!

    • royalty says:

      You,ve got a lot of WIS-DUMB…step down please! All that have something possitive to say keep the positive vibes coming. Bermuda needs Positive Real Talk

    • A Yng Black Female says:

      With all due respect.. its people like you that author was talking about… here he is trying to enlighten Bermuda and talk real and people like you are so negative… This is why the young people of Bermuda cant be bothered and dont respect their elders. Its People like you who dont show no love the ones who walk across the boys sitting on the wall and look at them in disgust, Sigh SHM (( Shake My Head)) Its a shame that young black males only get noticed when they are out there killing and selling drugs but when a brother does something positive he is rewarded with such negativity… Come on open your eyes and stop being so narrow minded!

      To The Author– Keep It Up, Bermuda Really Needed This

    • dhunte says:

      there is no excuse for your silly rant…wise – I think not..

    • Bermudian abroad says:

      I am sorry but I think you all have your minds set. This person is correct, there is NO reason for murder of anyone of any race. I am sorry to say that racism goes both ways and until you stop pointing out black/white and come together as Bermudians our Island is only going to self destruct.

  20. Lineage says:

    Whoever you are that wrote this Hearticle…Respect and Love for your stand. Hold firm in knowing who you are and where you come from. Study your Rights and Freedoms as a young blk brother. Plan Organize and Direct your life in how you know it needs to go and I encourage u to take advantage of anything that’s out there that will get you where you know you need to be.

    @ Royalty and Huey….REAL TALK!

    This article bought tears to my eyes because most of what this brother is saying i’ve been sounding like a broken record saying it myself. When I see my young brothers and sisters in my community I’m one of those ppl that would humbly say…”pull your pants up..it looks more attractive” “you have a lovely smile” POSITIVENESS! Now, what pisses me off is how everybody always got something to say. Instead of nick picking really analyse what has been revealed. This community is so stubborn sometimes…nobody likes anybody telling them what to do especially if they younger than us and we always gotta be doing things when we feel like it or on our own terms. We need to be challenging ourselves! This dirty laid back mentality is got to go!

    SOLUTIONS:
    EMPLOYMENT: You who are employers of any business, I challenge you to come off of cloud nine for a minute and understand what your, UNDER 70,000 dollars a year employees have to deal with besides YOU pressuring them about working overtime with still not enough pay to keep the lights on. Bringing in foreigners for us to train then you laying us off without even assisting us firstly to find assured re-employment! More than 3 months for maternity leave!

    EDUCATION: PUT THE SCHOOLS BACK HOW THEY USE TO BE! MAKE CEDARBRIDGE THE UNIVERSITY OF BERMUDA!!! STONINGTON CAN B OUR COMMUNITY COLLEGE!!! Bring forward the ASHAY Program in all curriculums, YUP start if from nursery right up to high school! How is that we know so much about English history and nothing of Our-story of ROYALTY! Bring forward Needlwork classes/Home Economics, Tech-Institutions.

    COMMUNITY: STOP PUTTING YOUR CHILDREN LAST THEY DIDN’T ASK TO BE HERE! I don’t care if new boyfriend or girlfriend is paying the bills OR giving you good lovin’…if dem can’t respect and embrace you and your child/children as a whole then he or she needs to cut a trail! LISTEN TO AND TAKE HEED TO YOUR CHILDREN WHEN THEY SPEAK!

    Stop watching what everyone elses is doing and gossiping about it IN ENVY AND JEALOUSY…STOP HATING…our children are picking up these same traits!

    You who call yourselves Christians,Muslims,Jehovah Witness??(some of you) Stop looking down on ppl that do not go to your denominations or haven’t been ‘saved’ in YOUR books! Just who do u think you are? According to the scripture book you read and preach from the Messiah did not ever carry himself like that. You are str8 up HYPOCRITES and gloat in partiality! And in case some of you didn’t know all if not most WESTERNIZED churchical concepts, laws and or guidelines come from Catholicism!

    Stop the grudging! Bermuda is too small you gonna end up seeing the person the next day or how bout that same person may just end up being “the good Samaritan” to pick you up where you’ve fallen and can’t get up! Or chances are you and that person are related!

    ENGLAND/GOVERNMENT: Instead of using jail in most of these young men’s cases we need an institution/rehab center to pull these young men and women off the streets and really tap into what’s going on in their lives. Have a location outside of Bermuda if need be. Our moneys need to be used for the major things not the minor. Our country is in a serious crisis. It’s overpopulated with RUDE DISRESPECTFUL, ARROGANT foreigners(SOME)which is one of the main pressures our community is facing. I wish i could have 10 SO-CALLED relatives shacked up in my apartment!!
    How you expect us to be home owners and the rents, mortgages on top of renovations are only affordable for Donald Trump or Bill Gates??? BERMUDIANS ARE NO WHERE NEAR BEING MILLIONAIRES!!
    These guns are entering into our country someway and instead of channeling the outcomes of these guns, channel in on how they are getting through…scan the tourist too if you gonna be scanning the locals when we come back from abroad. Don’t they do that to us when we pass through their ports??? Unless you’ve got insiders doing a pack?!#um jus sayn…
    And another thing I’ve noticed…how come whenever its the Rugby Classics up Nationals I have never seen parking tickets on the cars or cycles that park on the side of the road and sometimes get left over night? Then you claim their aren’t any prejudices in this country? ITS HERE AND ITS EVIDENT! And I’m not speaking souly of color prejudice…

    Our community is suffering and crying out for help and all we’re getting is a kleenex instead of a hankerchief…smh…

    Anymore solutions anyone?

  21. The other shoe... says:

    Sorry , but I had no personal epiphany when reading this .
    I don’t know why so many think the author is blessed with some sort of un-natural intelligence. It’s basicall a whine and nothing that any one who’s got a reasonable brian hasn’t already thought about .. and in even MORE depth.

    How many have tried to talk with most of these guys ? I have , many times and I’ll save you a lot of trouble right now … Don’t waste your time.
    They have no sense of what makes the other side tick , no understanding of ‘normal values’ whatsoever and no wish to respect anyone other than the misguided respect they show others who would be otherwise incarcerated, a.k.a. their peers..

    Regardless of upbringing it doesn’t take long for a child to know the difference between right and wrong.
    It’s all about personal responsibility and choices . No-one is putting a gun to these guys (and girls) heads , no one is shackling them to this behavior . It’s their choice. When they start talking and acting like responsible mature citizens the rest of the world will ‘mysteriously’ stop turning it’s collective back on them.

    And yeah , a lot of people have had a rough time coming up , many of them worse than the author .. I’d trade any of my best days from my childhood with any of his worst !

  22. did you all read it? says:

    I agree with the author 100% instead of finding fault in what he said try to understand him. He laid out the very reasons that this violence is taking place. He’s not saying its right because of the reasons, he’s just putting it out there and giving a suggestion as to how we can address it and showed a possible result if we put in the work. I swear some of you are full of it and just want something to talk about.

    You say he should use his skills to do something positive….What do you call this? He is attempting to help make a change by speaking what he knows in the hope that we will step up.

    But go ahead and pass it off as someone just crying and making excuses. If we don’t take heed to what he is saying we are doomed. He is right. Simple

    • Lineage says:

      EXACTLY!!!

    • royalty says:

      I concur!

    • St. Davids says:

      Well said, all the naysayers to this article save your breath. I commend the author of this article and commend Bernews for posting it. I hope all major news papers in Bermuda see the good in this article regardless of the harsh truths it sheds light on and post it front page. Every Bermudian needs to read this regardless of whether or not you have come to these conclusions before. I hope the author of this article finds the courage to make himself public and become a figure youths, black and white, can look up to.

      You were right that the messenger is not important and the message is, but whom better than a person who has come from a similar background to the ones you speak of in this article to lead the movement that our Island desperately needs. Having the courage to write and submit this article is the first step, critics will be critics, ignore their worthless attempt at analyzing a sentence or two. It’s about the big picture. There is a major problem in Bermuda, nothing significant has been done as of yet to fix it, and no one with a direction as clear as this has publicly stepped up to fix it. Be the change you seek and become the leader misguided youths need.

      I take it from the article you are probably around 22 years old, and what better age than this to start a new career! I too am 22 and white and live in Bermuda, you be Batman and I’ll be Robin and we will begin the face lift this beautiful Island so desperately needs.

      Respect,
      One love.

  23. Peace and Love says:

    Let me start by saying first and foremost that you are indeed truly gifted and your writing articulates this I, like ‘LostInFaltts” applaud you for your honesty and for being so open. I’m glad that you have decided to come forth and express yourself and give some answers as to what may be the root cause of the problems that are currently plaguing our island thus providing an answer to the simple question that some of us may have, and that is “Why?”..Why is this happening? While some may appreciate your candor you are going to find the “naysayers” who will still find fault and find something negative to say. You have chosen to speak out when you could have remained silent. Silence represents fear, anger or indifference and are all signs of someone’s needs, feelings or wants not being met.
    I’m saddened by the burden that you have chosen to bear, In life we will ALWAYS come across those who will PRETEND that they are there for you and that they have your back, but the real question is are they being genuine and do they really care? Many of us come from “not so pleasant circumstances filled with issues, whilst some of us come from “perceived” great circumstances that exist with issues as well. We are often told to suck it up and get over it…never any discussion….just deal with it!! This might work for some of us, but others of us just need someone to actually HEAR us!
    You speak of your experience of your Ashay Rites to Passage program whilst at Dellwood so that means that you and I would have crossed paths at one time or the other. I agree Ashay was a phenomenal program and yes you were taught to “reject the stereotypes and make ourselves over using the best of our history as a guidepost for what each of us has the potential to achieve” and yes it was “our own” that took that very program out of the school.. My question to that is; what were they afraid of? What was wrong with our young black men being given tools to empower themselves?
    You speak of race, which IS a subject that everyone runs away from; it is still considered ‘taboo” something we don’t talk about. The minute one mentions black or white you are quickly shut down, why are you bringing race into this we are asked. RACISM EXISTS AND IS LIVE AND WELL, NOT JUST HERE IN BERMUDA BUT WORLDWIDE and this is something that needs to be discussed. We need to have debates, we need to shout and scream we need to let our voices be heard…we need to stop burying our heads in the sand and lying to ourselves, we need to step out into the real world and stop swimming in the river of denial and making believe that everything is ok, because it is not!!!
    I’m with you and what you have written. I feel your passion and also recognize your pain..I’m not going to leave an email address for you because you know where we are..If you are as you say a former Dellwood student than the same gang is in ET that was there when you attended. We were always advocates for the so called labeled “problem kids”. We still work outside of school mediating and counseling. I can speak for myself and my co-workers would echo my sentiments, I am REAL, I am not CONDESCENDING and I am not FEARFUL and I am GENUINE!! As I have told others (former students) that have returned to us for advice, we may not have all the answers but we definitely have the tools to help guide you on your way. Our door is always open, feel free to stop by, because like you we too are looking for a solution!!! Peace and Love

    • royalty says:

      thumbs up 4 this comment!!!!

      • Lineage says:

        Yes Give thanks.. Peace and Love..I was hoping you’d pop up!

    • hhhmmmm says:

      A standing ovation to Peace & Love!!! BRAVO BRAVO!!!

    • LOL (original) says:

      This is again the argument isn’t it? The only people who can talk candidly about race are black people and white people that are saying the same thing in agreement. What is it going to take to get you people Bermuda that is to acknowledge that all white people have not had it easy and have had to work for what they have? Both black and White on this island have successes and failures. Both Black (some) and White (some) have had things handed down to them not all. This topic does not get anywhere because the left hand will not acknowledge the right hand or some how thinks the grass is different on the other side. I reject white privilege and black privilege as I find that this is only for those who have money already and or run in certain circles which you need money to run in anyway. I acknowledge that Slavery was bad and I acknowledge that all peoples of this world black and white have committed atrocities to each other and other races. No one is without sin. The difference is that as an individual you have choices. You have to reject the world’s views and do for yourself. If it is not with in you to drive yourself then no one will push you in the right direction and succeed. Peace and Love RACISM DOES EXIST as this person and others have suggested killing white people due to white people being the ones who put them in shackles. Those people are dead already although slavery does still exist in some places. Slavery is not new and was not new when Africa was enslaved. Again even Africa took salves and rapped women before the great African slavery it’s all recorded in history. History is riddle with one people did this so the other people did that and so on and so on. People continue this bitterness right until today until what end? Till we all kill each other. I love my country and am proud to be from here but until we create our own character and stop following the past we are lost sheep from the people with money to the people on the street. I do not shy from race talks I just demand a mutual understanding which I find that people do not want to give because they have been programmed by educators no less that we should not get along and that we should not hang together. I’ve watched the older generation put expectations on the youth and then close every door they can to keep the youth down that is what I see on this island. The older generation preserving there hate through the youth. Sorry for the rant it over now back to your regularly scheduled race baiting session first up black vs white , black vs black white vs black and so on see the repetition YET…….

      LOL

  24. jah says:

    The Author hits a number of points. Bermuda has forgotten what is important. We have become so stuck on materialism both young and old black and white that we fail to provide for our children that, remember this, didn’t ask to be here.

    While understanding that everyone, even little white children have problems within their homes certain circumstances can prevent individual cases from turning out for the best do to resources.

    I am not one to make excuses for anyone’s bad behavior especially not murder and I don’t believe the author is doing this neither. I simply think he is trying to give insight of his world beyond what is reported in the media for your information.

    So my question now is where do we go from here? I may not have the answer but I believe that together we can all come up with a better way forward to educate a generation on the edge.

  25. Bermyman says:

    This is a fantastic piece, but I think that the character is fabricated and that the author is not himslef on the street everyday. They are putting it into the perspective of a character. These experiences I dont think are from the individual them self. There is no way this person would have such grammatical control and obvious eductation to be living that kid of life still. I can understand they are speaking on behalf of the young black man though. Well written and thought provoking. Hopefully we can all change Bermuda for the good

    • True Dat says:

      @Bermyman I was kinda thinking the same thing!!!!
      thats why i wrote what i did in my comment!!!

    • LWhite says:

      I hate to admit it but, you are most likely correct. I am a product of the Bermuda school system and I work very hard to write well. Truthfully, my BSSC has let me down in the global world.

  26. Living in Hells kitchen says:

    This article brings me pain and sorrow. Alot of you have so much critisim in your response. It angers me. Its you people who have turned street people callous. your very reactions is why they wont open up to you or trust you, you make a JOKE of our pain. Yea its our choice our decision our life, but at the same time if 1 doesnt know any better HOW ARE THEY SUPPOSED TO CHOOSE RIGHTLY????? Excuses are nothing but excuses to that i agree, but how else does one explain how they got to where they are?
    I live all up in the mix. I have dear friends from both sides of the swords. Ive watched pure families in heart ache and pain. Im HURTING along with many others. These guys are on the streets cause thats where they are shown LOVE. N it may not be genuine but its the only love their getting. I can hang on any street at any time cause im got that LOVE from these pple. N to be honest its a FALSE LOVE. Cause at the end of the day, it could be ya own “boy” who took ya life away. Street life is definitely no live to live by. But its available, its always there with open arms. Its a false sense of secureness and nuturing. Something everybody needs and yearns for. I cant go on Im gotta go but you plle make me sick with your shallow comments. YOU KNOW NOTHING BESIDES WHAT YOU PAID TO LEARN IN UNIVERSITY

  27. hhhmmmm says:

    To the young man that wrote this article firstly I say Paul Laurence Dunbar wrote We Wear the Mask. Secondly I applaud your article.

    Your words came through loud and clear. Lets hope others hear what you are saying.

    • dhunte says:

      @ hmmmm says…It is more than hearing, when are we going to collectively do something sustainable? Can’t wait for white folk to engage in the silly made for TV big conversation with its’ false prophet, past time to hold this govt accountable, right time to force them to take care of all of us, not just the muckety mucks..We are our very worse enemies and many of our youth have correctly arrived at the same conclusion…

  28. Terry says:

    Have to agree with Bermyman to some degree. I have read various other articles with similar characteristics. This is the work of the Bengal T………….

  29. Future. says:

    What we as Bermudians need to do is tackle the problems head on. The PLP,UBP,BDA, will tread lightly on these issues because they are afraid to be tackle it head on and fix the problem because of fear of a backlash from the public. With change it is impossible to make everyone happy. Yes we must be able to deal with the violence in Bermuda with Tact but at the same time have a no tolerance attitude towards it. How do you expect to improve society when the youth of today who have no guidance are making babies and transferring the same values and way of life onto there children. It will only get progressively worse with the coming generations without proper guidance. Most Bermudians lack Discipline and structure without it we are lost as a country. This young man had some valid points that all lead back to the “Home” the foundation that we bring our children up in. Wake up Bermuda this problem is not going to fix itself.

  30. Across the seas says:

    I have to say that this article is very well written better than anything I could have wrote on my best day.
    As far as an education on our Afrikan history has nothing to do with the BS these young guys are doing. I didn’t have a whole lot of education on black history when I was coming up through school. We had Bermuda History and Civics. Yet I alone with many others that graduated in late 80’s and early 90’s turn out just fine; even though many of us didn’t have two parent homes or parent to talk to and help us in our studies. We as young responsible adults made a choice from young ages to be something. I will not lie some of us did get into trouble and had brushes with law along the way.

    At the same time this generation has become a different kind of parent we have let television, video games, and gansta rap bring up our children. We have failed at be parents. We stopped giving our children good old fashion spankings; instead we give them time out. We no longer let the neighbor take charge when we are away from the home. There in lies the problem not only in Bermuda but across the world, no discipline for our children. That’s just my view although I could be wrong on some eyes

  31. Someone says:

    A very good article, but also highlights another point:

    The Africans that sold us into slavery were BLACK! Yes, black tribes stole and sold other black tribes. I grow tired of this blame the white emu for slavery. Africans were doing it to others years before the “white” men. Egyptians had Jewish and other slaves.

  32. Been There... says:

    First of all, I applaud the young man who STOOD UP and wrote this article.
    Now…I too grew up in a house filled with rage, alcohol, domestic violence and adultry. I too grew up not knowing where our next meal would come from, sharing clothes etc. So I too know all to well the need to survive “By any means necessary”. The only difference is that I am female, which means that back in my day, there weren’t as many options out there for women in the struggle other than to become the “girl” of someone in the game. Fortunatley for me, I was given the opportunity at a job that was willing to train me and work with my potential, because they were trying to same me from myself and the “street life” that many of their family members had succumbed to, NOT BY CHOICE BUT BY NECESSITY!!! Unfortunately, many of my best girlfriends were not so fortunate and found themselves products of the “street”. So here I sit in my comfortable office, but I HAVE NEVER AND WILL NEVER LOOK DOWN UPON A PERSON BECAUSE OF WHAT THE DO TO SURVIVE! BECAUSE BY THE GRACE OF GOD THAT IS NOT ME! People please stop being so judgemental and reach out to these young men and women. Bermuda does not give a second glance to people like us that don’t have college degrees, simply based on what they see on paper! If most employees took time out to sit and talk with individuals, they would see that THE VAST MAJORITY are highly educated. Come on Bermuda, a drug dealer/thug has to be EXTREMELY brilliant because of the mere fact that they are YEARS AHEAD of the police/customs with being able to move, bring in guns/drugs undetected!!! CAN Y9OU IMAGINE WHAT COMPANIES AND CORPORATIONS WOULD GAIN IF THEY PUT THESE YOUNG MINDS TO USE IN THE BUSINESS WORLD??? I have personally spoken to several of these young men from BOTH sides of the war and what I have heard some of them say is absolutely amazing! They can quote things from books, Bermuda’s laws etc to a “T”. But because of basic survival needs, most never finished high school so their prospects of finding gainful employment are 0%. Open up yor hearts and minds Bermuda, listen to what this young man is speaking, and take it to heart. YOU WHO HOLD THE KEY TO EMPLOYMENT ARE UTTERLY AND MAINLY RESOPONSIBLE FOR THE FUTURE AND CURRENT CURCUMSTANCES IN OUR COUNTRY! WISE UP PEOPL PLEASE AND SAVE OUR COUNTRY BEFORE WE ARE AT THE END OF OUR ROPE!
    Young Black Man – Bless UP!!

    • A Yng Black Female says:

      I Agree 100% Bermuda Just Needs To Open Their Eyes And See…. And Its A Shame That Some People With These High Paying Jobs Forget Where They Come From

  33. Terry says:

    It all started in the Garden of Eden. The serpeant has raised it’s head again. We blame the powerfull and others yet man still gives them control. There is an irony here that will never end.

    When in need most ask.

    When in need just for greed, most take.

    Were all in need. Lets give like the billions that gave so we could be where we are but have lost direction.

  34. Terry says:

    Yah gotta love that “Smoking Gun” over there on BIAW. They want the author to engage.

    We’ll see what happens.
    Give me a break. The “JNC” party from MIT will engage, the Ren people from Curving avenue will engage and all that will be left is ….well go read it. It’s all about them and their place in society. All this knowledge yet we know not whom they are.

    Yeah…in your face…damn right. Stand up or shut up.

  35. wondering says:

    Have not read ANY of the comments at all to permit me not to become jaded in any way but this is the tip of the iceberg of some of our socio-economic problems that we face and we should first look within ourselves to fix our problems and use the experience of the world to guide us to the path of righteousness in the social and Biblical and Spiritual sense………….I was in Jamaica two years ago and saw a video entitled “We Ah Kill We”………such a poignant colloquialism to encapsulate the TRUTH. As stated in another forum on this wonderful website (the Burchall’s et al need to be commended) the problem in this predominantly Black society is that we were duped into thinking that the “white man” was the problem……now we have a “black” government and the problems have not decreased! We need to stop making excuses for ourselves.

    Haiti the oldest Republic, Jamaica, home of the larger slave revolts…..who sold who into slavery for all those who subscribe to the WHITE MAN DONE IT.

    “WHITEY” as the evil spirit, cave dwelling COMRADE of the seven sins and its ethnic co-sinners (sorry for the cynicism) went to deep dark Africa and beyond nearly void of all resistance to the tropical diseases, etc and void of the technological advances of navigation etc and WALTZED out of Africa with 400 million African Warrior Kings and Queens and Kingdoms and Queendoms with no help!!!!

    Give it a rest and move past it!

    We helped the situation….reparations are due yes but let us get the right group(s) to pay….WHITEY has no place in this discussion………we need to be REAL and stop continuing to succumb to OURSELVES; if I were to type BLACKIE I would be scorned(and I am a Black Man who has been ravaged by no father, abusive stepfather, dysfunctional family) but agree with the author that a functioning Black Male had influence in my life enough to allow me to have the mental courage as well as the personal fortitude/courage to rise above the bullcrap that too much of society subscribes to.

    All in all a GREAT article that needs to be on FrontReidLaffanBrunswickDundonaldChurchRamblingLaneFairylandsClose……as “we ah promote we” only if “we ah-llow we” to do so “in the land of plenty!

    May GodAllahBuddahJahJehovahJireh have Blessings on all of our souls

    Wonderer

    It doesn’t matter who is in control – the seven sins will always be the downfall of all society. Greed, Sloth, Lust, Wrath, Pride, Gluttony, Envy…..

  36. Terry says:

    I need a walk but the irony is that the “JNC” just posted about Bernews……………..

    Looks like the Ord Road Crew are still alive………………….amazing…………..Fairy-lands…….and no ground to plow………………you’ll get it.

  37. Kathy says:

    All I can say is “Mamma Mia”!

    Pick yourself up, dust off and begin anew. Not too late for a young intelligent person like yourself.

    Never too late!

    “what your father did…what your mother did…it’s all Gone, Gone, Gone…” – you know the song. Someone higher than your mother and your father loves you and you need to report to Him (no one else)! If you never felt the love or encouragement of a mother or a father, know that God loves you and he wants you to succeed. You are clearly intelligent and need to redirect your life.

    Drop the “friends” and start new.

  38. Eva says:

    I was very impressed with this young black male who felt the need to educated us, black, white citizens residing on the isles of Bermuda. While reading this, it only confirmed my thoughts surrounding the black male experience. I’ve been married to three black males whom lacked the presence of a male authority in their life. They all have one characteristic in common, selfishness! They did not know how to treat a woman, compromise, or aware of the basic elements involved in loving and protecting their wife and home life. At the end of the day, I could not blame them but realized that they did not know! They were never taught or shown how to treat a woman. Most of the males in their life were unfaithful to their wives and fathered children outside of the marriage.

    This young gentleman is correct when he articulated that the black men today are not taught their history or how to be a black male. My husbands’ rage did not materialize into killing other black males but manifest itself to the point where the marriage would not and could not survive.

    BRAVO! Article well written and long overdue!

  39. Missy says:

    In the society that we live in today I find it very hard that young some men have no were to GO. Last time I checked there was always somebodies MOMMA, AUNTIE, NANA, GODMA, NEIGHTBOUGHR, TEACHER or a FEMALE of some sort holding these young mens hand. Buying them clothes, shoes, BB’s and all of the other latest gear. So I say this because it is only a select few, a handful of young men out there that have absolutely no where to go.

    To say people need to stop being fake, snobbish, hypocritical and all the above. These young men must be willing to change and stop the persons they are becoming.

    A “n#igga killer” is the way these young men, feel they become “men”. How about these young men take initiative to step outside the box and become individuals? They need to stop being scared of what they can become and stop settling for what they know they can be!

    Why do we need to always go back as far as before slavery, when we have people alive today that have overcome obstacles and has strived towards excellence and still want more than what they have achieved. Such as…………..

    DR. BENJAMIN CARSON a world renowned innovative paediatric surgeon that has performed the first intra-uterine procedure to relieve pressure on the brain of a hydrocephalic fetal twin. He has also written a book, works with young people and is always asked to speak at numerous functions.

    ERNEST GAINES is a published author who longed for books of beloved southern background and when he realized there were no books of the great South he wrote them himself. Now his books are being read and analysed all across America and parts of the world.

    SHAWN GOATER a very prominent Bermudian that has worked hard at getting to wear he has come. A prominent footballer in the eyes of Bermuda and her people. He had to put in the efforts of hard work and determination and of course some people doubted and questioned him to see if he will every make it. But in the end he made it!

    DR. MALCOM V. BROCK a Bermudian who currently conducts cancer research at Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore specializing in bringing innovative basic, bench top research to the clinic and to the bedside. He is a peer reviewer for various medical journals including the Annals of Thoracic Surgery, Journal of Clinical Oncology, and Archives of Surgery.

    Need I say more about the great persons I have named above?

    One thing they all had to do to get to where they are is HARD WORK. Silver Spoon in the mouth or not HARD WORK IS NEED TO GET ANYWHERE YOU WANT TO BE IN LIFE.

    Life wasn’t meant to be just a walk in the park. Work, effort, determination and sacrifice is needed to get to where you want to go. That goes with anything if it’s getting an education or getting a job, having a child and even overcoming the obstacles you were bought up in.

    At some point these young men need to say NO, this is not what I want my life to be like. But some of these young men have burned so many bridges over and over again that they have to prove to people that they are willing and open to get help, before someone says “let me help you through this AGAIN”.

    So I command you (Perspective of a Young Black Man) on your work of literature and ask of you and everyone reading this Share your knowledge of our past and present with each other. OUR FRIENDS, FAMILY, CHILDREN, NIGHBOURS, and even THE PEOPLE WE MEET AT THE LAUNDRY MAT!!! It beats having a conversation about the weather. The knowledge and the tools are not always going to be in front of you, you have to get out there and grab it by the hands. No one can deny you knowledge with all the resources available to us today! Once you have knowledge you have freedom from ignorance, mental slavery and this will open your eyes to a mind full of insight!

    • awawa says:

      yea man, i agree 100%. u know the score. im glad to see someone else reading through the BS. glad you brought up prominent bermudians. people need to realize that these prominent bermudians are the ones worth commending. people always need to strive for excellence!

  40. Lori says:

    You’re all a bunch of fakers. You sit carrying emotional burdens from your past supressing your feelings because society says you have to to be viewed as strong. We were not created to carry emotional burdens. Millions of people in this world today are sick, depressed, mentally ill, stressed, lashing out a peopple, have become abusers in many aspects; all to fullfil a deeply imbedded lie that you have to be strong to be viewed as a success in society. How many people do we have to see destroyed by alcohol, drugs, drug misuse, rape, murder, molestation, mentally ill, sickness riddling their minds and bodies all from deeply repressed emotions.

    Your man dumps you so you in a deeply rooted need to be accepted you jump into another relationship and another and another. Never actually getting free from the last. Never actually dealing with why you feel a deeply rooted need to be accepted. What happened? Who hurt you? Who rejected you? Piles of emotionals supressed. Bitter, angry people, lashing out at your kids, co-workers, friends and society.

    Man misuing women because they hate or are angry at their mothers because they had boyfriend after boyfriend and it hurt them. It bothered them but they never expressed it. Stuff it and go on. Now, they have no respect for women. Situation after situation people carrying their emotional burdens. Suppressing their pains and stresses. When do you get free?

    The Church full of emotional fakers carrying their own burdens and suppressing their emotional pains of the past; trying to reach out to people but don’t know how to be real to reach them. They don’t believe their own Word when Jesus said “Cast all your cares upon Me” along with hundreds of other sciptures with the same message. Instead they put on the same mask that the world puts on to deal with the same life situations.

    ALL FAKERS. Yet so many are searching for something real.

  41. Mike says:

    I don’t have the answers to solve the issues. I’m not sure anyone has.

    The only thing I do know is that looking at some of the attacks you people make on each simply because they have a different view to the one you hold, isn’t going to solve a dam thing.

    So much energy goes into anger. A waste.

  42. Sara says:

    I appreciate the authors views and it is a well written piece. I don’t feel these are the authors experiences, but him telling experiences of people he has spoken with because he cares about Bermuda. Please correct me if I am wrong.
    Let’s not forget altogether the significance of personal responsibility. There are millions of homeless and poor people that have parents and governments that have FAILED them. It is a worldwide problem. But, the majority of these people do not result to killing other people. There is NEVER a good excuse for taking someone’s life unless it is self defense. At the end of the day, there is assistance and help if you take the personal responsibility to ask for it and you are willing to work for it.
    That being said, Bermuda is a tough place right now to make it, unless you are in the privileged sector of society.

  43. Huey says:

    http://www.maafa21.com interesting DVD that you can even watch on Youtube for FREE!!! This isn’t a BLACK or WHITE thing like I previously stated, but there is a BLACK Genocide taking place and it is one of the reasons that so many BLACKS are disenfranchised and just swept to the side. A MUST SEE FOR ALL!!!

  44. Wakeup People says:

    Very interesting piece. The author has made some valid points one of which I would like to emphaize on – Families who really could not care less about other family members.

    In Bermuda today, it seems to be a common trend among SOME parents, especially mothers to want to demand that their sons not only take care of them lock, stock and barrel, but these mothers offer little if any support and encouragement to these young men they call sons. It behooves me to think sometimes it is as though they wish their sons were never born for one reason or the other.

    I know many professional young Bermudian men who face a daily battle with their parents who belittle them from end to end of the island. Someone actually commented they have never heard a parent speak so critically of a son who has a very suscessful job. The reason you ask, maybe mamma boy went against the grain and failed to follow the dream Mamma wanted for him so that her son(s) can take care of her and she does not have to work a day in her life.

    The end results, disillusioned abd bitter young men who no matter how hard they try at what they do, they continue to hear that they are always doing something wrong. All they get is bile, no word of encouragement from their familes and thus they are left to seek the solace of their peers for what they find lacking in the warmth of their homes.

    And this is just the tip of the iceberg!!

  45. Judy says:

    Wow this is DEEP!!!!!

  46. KeepItReal says:

    All behaviors have meaning and root causes. Study the psychology and long term effects of unresolved abandonment issues. Educate yourselves on what could drive a young person to have no regard for life (its a collective set of abandonment experiences – whether actal of perceived abandonment) and having no corrective learning experience (CLE) at school, church, home or elsewhere to bring you ‘back’. This is very, very real! Read the cases of teens shootings at schools or malls in USA and what lead to this mentality – they are lashing out at society. Educate yourselves about at which point a person abandons their core belief system? Educate yourselves on the psychology and symptoms of unresolved abandonment issues. Some do not have the tools in their toolbox to free themselves from issue, after issue, after issue. For those who cannot deal with their unresolved abandonment issues, either they react by shooting n looting (no conscience any more) or they are out there addicted to alcohol or drugs or both (haven’t fully lost their conscience YET, however, they are still damaging their families and society in less direct ways)
    Please refer to the CLE link on the following site. http://www.itsallaboutabandonment.com
    Come on, Bermuda. The blame games needs to end.

  47. Hope says:

    This is an excellent read! The author and /or dictator seems to be very well educated and of sound mind. I know there is allot of different influences that attribute to certain decisions made in life. I do also know you/we cannot allow ourselves to remain victims of our “have not’s” as this will only lead to sitting on a wall and being a menace…At the same rate if you had potential to do better and continue to get shut down because of your neighborhood or your last name then this can and will be very discouraging. I believe our upbringing is a big influence in what we do in life. I am however a strong believer in you are the master of your future and if you don’t want or want to live your life in certain manners then you have the ability to do so. I do think we (community), Gov’t, and all social rehab places and helpers need to be consistent.. We can’t hold a pep rally or prayer stand or march the day after a shooting and then hear nothing more of it because this is where the NO TRUST comes in for them. It seems to be done on a need be basis and that’s it…He has shed light on how most of his peers think and deal with so let’s dig a little deeper and get to the root….

    Does anybody remember a time when if you came to school with a dirty shirt and some1 was called? I am sure that allot of this is missed as I have dropped off my kid to school and seen children that look like where and y…My kid had come home and asked if they can take extra lunch or breakfast because a certain child in their class never has none….What happened to our units it’s just not there anymore..ITS SAD…

  48. Kennette J Burgess says:

    Great article. Thank you Bernews for allowing this young man to say what was on his mind. Very moving.

    I loved “Have you told your Black boys anything about their history, before slavery?” That is what y family preaches and why I think blacks should attend HBCUs. It was at my HBCU where I learned about my African heritage about my African Kings & Queens, Black inventors, Mansa Musa, Mary Prince, Marcus Garvey, Toussaint L’Ouverture, Mali, the griot aka story teller, Imhotep and the many others. We MUST study our history, our culture and know what we can do, who we can become, what we are capable of.

    Great message author. I also agree with the generational gap that is big problem. We need to close this gap with more interaction with each other, education, and understanding.

    Blessings

  49. Gios_007 says:

    All I can say is wow. I have met several young men that frequent the walls of Bermuda, sitting and chatting because we Bermudians don’t give them the time of day. Young man you are a representative to all of us ignorant people who believe that you sit there because you are uneducated or jugglers, I beg to differ. You are a child of God and Bermuda, you deserve to be heard. You have expressed your self in a manner that no Government representative or consultant could ever do, I am on my knees praising you because you have done what no other Bermudian has had the nerve to do. Yes they have spoken, but they have not lived the life or felt your pain. I applaud you for one your direct approach to a subject that we (bermudians try to hide from), and you have risked a lot of pain by telling us what you have been through in your life. Maybe now others will see and recognize the wrongs that we have committed against not only the young black men, but all Bermudians. WAKE UP BERMUDA OUR YOUTH ARE SPEAKING AND WE NEED TO LISTEN. Sir and I will call you Sir because you have deserved both my respect and my apology. I am sorry for the wrong that has been done to all young men like you and I hope that we Bermudians will take your message and embrace it and fight for change. Stay positive and don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t. You are our future. REST IN PEACE ALL OF MY BLACK BROTHERS WHO HAVE HAD THEIR LIVES TAKEN. yOU ARE ALL GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN. Wake up Bermuda our children need us. Bless up

  50. Gios_007 says:

    Why can’t Bernews have this printed in the Royal Gazette. Compared to all of the negative stuff, this is real. Remember the saying “and our children shall lead us”. Here is your chance to do something great, publish this young mans story please.

  51. awawa says:

    FACK this is stupid!!!!!

    bermuda is an extremely rich, educated and fortunate place to live. the opperotunities for advancement from any social situation or status in bermuda are incredible. in fact, i would dare to say that bermuda has one of the highest oppertunities for advancement in the world. our government gives away hundreds of thousands in scholorships every year. this is considered incredible to people from other countries where their government doesnt support a damn thing. Bermudians make the sort of money that other countries dream about! Go anywhere else and tell people what our minimum wage is! its unbelieveable! yea things are a bit more expensive but man everyone is bermuda is livin the f#ckin LIFE compared to the caribbean!

    why do you think people come to bermuda to work? cuz its f&cking rich. why do you think we have closed borders? becuz if we didnt the entire caribbean would f&cking move to bermuda cuz of how safe it is, how much money can be made, and how great life is on this golf course island. the quality of life in bermuda is absolutely unbelieveable. top notch.

    ok now lets get right down to the issue. f#ck white people they have caused us black men to kill each other. get the f#ck outta here dun. what type of retarded sh#t is this. for gods sake you ask why we havent killed any white people just us blacks. Yea of course us black people have had a major disadvantage in the past. Slavery, then oppression. However, the time of disadvantage is OVER! black people have exactly even opperotunity as white people. in fact, young black men have more of an opperotunity than white people, through such multinational programs like affirmative action and ethnic diversity in schools and employments. these programs ensure black people get taken before white people! I mean come on people, the most powerful man in the world (the president of the united states) is black!

    Yea we may not start out with the same amount of money as others but we can do anything if us as people stopped making excuses! so busy blaming everyone else but our damn selves! blaming other people hands them control of the problem. blame yourself and the problem is yours to control!

    you wanna know what the black stereotype is now? there are two of them. The young black man who is a thug and also the well educated black man who has worked hard to overcome the trouble he has faced. both of these stereotypes fall under this large umbrella that black people are so disadvantaged that all of them go through this life being victims of this oppression and circumstance and its not their fault they decided to shoot someone in the f&cking face, its the system. Let someone shoot your family and see who your blaming, the killer or the system. Im so sick of this.

    Sh#t most of us blacks in bermuda come from great homes! If young black men dont wanna be thought of as thugs stop dressing like thugs as is the style in bermuda. If your giving of the image of being a thug, why shuldnt i believe you? Give off the image of someone approachable. So, first off, change your style. Second, change your attitude. Its people like you who are writing this article who romanticise the idea of being a gangster. I mean, why not, it only furthers the stereotype of us struggling through oppresion even deeper. When are people going to get that just because rap and reggae and everything else says its cool to be a gangster and kill people dosnt make it true. I bet you half the killers killed someone and then was like holy sh#t, this is real life, i cant believe i did that. Its this romanticism that creates the drive to push the limits and live the gangster life style. Becuz in bermuda its CERTAINLY not the lack of opperotunity. So lets change attitudes ok? lets say, u kno what, im not going to talk about gangsters, be a gangster, have any gangster friends, and talk about how i grew up in the hood becuz i dont need that negative shit. If you stop talking about something and its not cool anymore, guess what, it goes away, like bell bottom jeans. I need to get away from the negative shit by doing what i got to do for me. Im not going to blame anyone, im going to empower myself and strive to achieve. I am sick of excuses. Stop feeding people excuses.
    At this point, its only black people holding ourselves back.

    Now just incase any of you doubt my credentials as someone who has dealt with his fair share of adversity, trust me i been through some sh#t, but guess what? im not going to talk about it. do you kno why? cuz thats negativity is not who i am. i have made myself into what i am today. Nobody gave me sh#t. Nobody gives anyone else in the entire world sh#t.

    No wonder the older generation is made at us youth. We are to busy blaming ghosts of percieved abuse. Go get beaten by police and sprayed with fire hoses and attacked by dogs (civil rights movement) before you talk about the white guy that once mistook you as a waiter. We all know that there is such a minimal amount of racial abuse in bermuda its shameful to even mention it. We are the majority for god sake. Now of course im gunna get people responding to this telling me im crazy and that abuse is rampant. but lets get real for a bit ok guys?

    yea and last thing. 14 murders is really not bad at all ok? I dont want to see a SINGLE bermudian die, not even 1, but 14 murders for a year is really safe if we are talking global statistics. and guess what, there are people everywhere, so might at well live in bermuda where its safe and 70% of us still sleep with our doors unlocked. Lets not turn a mosquito bite into AIDS here. Lets not feed into this oppressed black people stereotype again and makeout how ghetto bermuda is when it really isnt at all. did u kno that bermuda has the highest internet access per capita in the world? not, ghetto. So in short lets not make excuses. Lets pressure the youth to excel and hold the INDIVIDUAL accountable for their actions.

    • you sound stupid says:

      Why are you tearing the man down for speaking what he sees…you speak of all this opportunity in Bermuda and all of the riches, bit what have you done to lead the horse to the water? How is someone supposed to see what’s available when there us nobody willing to show them because do to their hard times the make bad choices and therefore are passed off as trouble makers?

      I’m so tired of people saying “many people have hard times but their not killing people or living a gangster lifestyle” yeah that may be true but there are some who have made bad choices as a result and it only takes but a few drops of engine oil to contaminate Bermudas drinking supply of water. SHUT UP for real. Just because you made different choices doesn’t make you better then anyone. People react differently to things. You could have given your opinion without shooting the man down. The only one being negative is YOU!

      I know for a fact that a lot of what he said is true and its not excuses its the reality of how some feel and without someone to guide them they will continue to make choices that are hurtful to others. Why don’t you act like you care and support someone you see who thinks like that and show them a better way? Instead of talking the crap you are speaking. Divide and conquer is the best tool to destroy a people and you are feeding right into it like a fool.

      If we want to see better choices made by those involved in violent acts we must show that we care.

      Everyone in Bermuda is not living in paradise so get off of your high horse and see what’s happening down below because you are way off base.

      • awawa says:

        you know, your right. I did come off drastic, harsh and non caring. Its just something im passionate about. I feel that things are leveling out for us as a whole, and people need to be encouraged to make the right choices, especially now when we have been presented the opperotunities. I came off agressive because i just desperately want people to make the right choice and understand that there are several ways of going about things, not always studying the negative aspects that may be in front or behind them. I want bermudians to move forward to a better understanding of the opperotunity we are presented. I sincerly do not mean to offend people. Im sorry for the drastic voice, but i take comfort in knowing that us as bermudians have built such an excellent place to live and are capable enough as people to achieve whatever we set our minds to. Look at what we have already accomplished. Look at the people previously listed in comments under this article. amazing achievements. I just want people to strive for the best and not feel as though something is/can/will hold them back from what they wish to accomplish. I want people to understand that they are the sole determinants of their future. Not the country (as it is facilitating to advancement), not the past and certainly not anyone else.

        The scary part for me is that nowadays people have begun to talk about gang problems and gun violence. The blame for these things such as extreme violence cannot be placed on external factors such as the abandonment of our fathers leaving us or the racial abuse felt by bermudians. it has to be placed on the indvidual every time. Once you start setting, placing or even indicating that the blame rests on anyone but the individual it begins to spread like a virus. People begin thinking thoughts such as oh, i cant do anything about it, this is the way it is, and this is the way it always will be. You essentially normalize the thought. this process will eventually turn the thought from a thought into a social norm which is exactly what im scared is happening in bermuda today, demostrated by exactly this growing crime rate. By saying about things like how much of a disadvantage we have clouds ability to see the true potential of what you can do. Dont let the world tell you you have a disadvantage. No one is their surroundings. People need to understand that at this moment in time, perhaps for the first time in a long time, we have an equal shot at everything. The older generation wants us to stand up and take that step. They rightfully frown on this violent behaviour and hope that we make the right choices.

        And now is where I once again apologize. I understand how i can come across as self righteous, which i am most certainly not. I am no better than anyone else and i did not wish come across that way. I just want people to put responsibility on their backs.
        Im tired of people getting killed for no reason. and the one thing that im scared of and what young people seem to be doing is allowing this things to happen by shifting the blame from individuals to circumstances.

        And I do want people to know and understand that i really do care. thats exactly why i was so passionate. You asked what i have done to bring the horse to the water and the honest answer is nothing, but thats because im young. I want to start a constant charity football camp for disenfranchised kids when i can do it. so im sorry, i dont want to offend anyone, because my ultimate goal is unity, i guess i just have a different apporach. i hope you can understand where im coming from.

  52. Kila Adams says:

    One word.. CHOICES… we all were raised in dysfunctional families. And the majority of us are not out there killing each other with guns and weapons. When its all said and done.. the excuses won’t hold any weight on Judgment Day!

  53. I hear you says:

    Awawa…you sound mush more reasonable and its good because you also make some good points but they were hidden in your first post behind a angry rant.

    Your right people do have to let go of excuses and not live in their past pain but in order for them to do so they have to be given the opportunity to let it all out and realize their potential. One good way to do that is by taking part in the Mirrors Program where they provide a safe place for young people to vent their problems and offer a great support base for them to reflect on themselves, and take responsibility for their own lives. It puts a lot of what you said in context. Having volunteered for Mirrors I have seen expressed first hand the tragic events that have taken place in many young peoples lives that has left them bitter, lonely, and without care. To many of them the support they received in Mirrors was never before given to them. I’m not saying that Mirrors is a cure all but it is definitely effective. Some people need support and a guiding hand to get trough hard times and see the possibility that they are.

    You may be young but there is much that you can do to help in this cause. You can refer people to the program as well as encourage them to take part the next Cohort will be in June for male’s from 18-24. ( A very important segment)

    Also we as black people have come a long way as far as advancement but we also have a long way to go as far as unity. Nothing against whites but we stand very divided as a people and we must clean ourselves up so that we can truly walk hand to hand with all races. Seems that in our quest for equality we lost sight of who we are and the bond we once shared was broken. That is hurting us more then anything must truly seek the day of one Bermuda.
    Thanks for your insight.

  54. Love says:

    Where are the fathers, uncles, grandpas, godpas, cousins and neighbors. Where are the father figures. This young man has just told Bermuda what is happening and why. It is written in black and white. We meaning Bermuda has to stop saying not my problem or not my child. They are Bermuda’s children. These young need to know that they are loved. They need someone to listen to them, not be negative or judge them.

    Young men, it’s okay to say STOP and NO MORE KILLIN. PLEASE PUT THE GUNS DOWN.

    God knows your pain and he hears your cries, he is waiting for you to call on him.

  55. Colourless Virtue says:

    I don’t like when black people blame white people for their issues. I AM a black man, raised on Elliott Street, attended Victor Scott primary school, and now college educated with a degree, earning a six-figure salary. One of the lucky ones, no, one of the ones that paid attention in school, listened to his elders, learned from all kinds of people, white AND black, poor and rich, ‘bad’ and ‘good’. I also became aware of my spiritual nature, which is far more important than my physical. My body is mortal, my soul is IMmortal.

    The writer may feel that African history is fundamental to a black man living a virtuous life, but I believe that our spiritual roots are most valuable. Having and using spiritual virtues is more divine and godly than taking a life. Spiritual virtues are colourless and invaluable. I am not saying that race or culture or money is unimportant, but it is only relevant in this physical realm. Once we enter the spiritual realm, will it matter how wealthy we are, how big our house is, how nice our car is, all those things that black people get mad at white people for having better or more than us…

    Of course there is an obvious economic disparity, but money is only as good as it is used for. Of course we all need to eat and we all need shelter, clean water, clothing, but I know that Bermudians do not go without these essentials unless they choose to do so. It is so easy to get a job here on this island, whether you are flipping burgers or whether you are a lawyer. So many opportunities, but always so much easier to blame someone else for our inaction…

    And all around me I see black people making life even harder, unprotected sex with random people, a child is born into an already broken situation. The mother happy to have someone that truly loves her, but the child is not receiving the love that he/she needs. I see black people using drugs to numb themselves against the pain life often brings, making the drug dealers and gangs richer…

    Children born into ‘normal’ families with a mother and a father, but are teased by their ‘broken’ friends for being nerds and soft because their life is too easy, but of course that is jealousy speaking. And some of these ‘normal’ kids become gangsters to prove their ‘blackness’ and that they can be hard too…

    Bottom line, we are all individuals trying to live in a society. None of us asked to be born, that was a choice that our parents and God made. We all want to be successful and we all want happiness and love. Love and happiness and justice and all those other virtues are gifts from God. If we keep expecting these things from other humans, and societies and governments, without understanding that they come from God first, we will always be disappointed. If we realized that we are all spiritually connected, we would not inflict injustice and pain and violence on each other because we would realize that to do so means that we are also harming ourselves.

  56. mming says:

    I am a 18 year old girl and i have been through some tough things but i have overcome them. i have also written a book that i would like to get published but i have not had the chances to find someone to publishes it for me. i hope it will get done soon too. i really like what this author i had to say it is so true

    BLACKS IN BERMUDA SHOULD COME TOGETHER AND HELP AND THIS MADNESS THAT IS HAPPENING.
    PARENTS NEED TO BE PARENTS AND NOT THEIR CHILDREN FRIENDS. PARENTS NEED BE STRICTED WITH THEIR KIDS TOO.

    I ALSO FEEL THAT SOME PEOPLE WOULDN’T TALK CAUSE THEIR GANG MEMBERS ARE PROVIDING THEM WITH BIG N BETTER THINGS NOW

    BERMUDIANS WE SHOULD NOT BE LIVING IN FEAR

  57. BermudaBird says:

    On December 7th “Yng Black Mind” put his hand out, offering mentoring help. This is the best thing I’ve seen. This is what it takes. So many of us did not know–do not know–how to get “there” from “here.” This person is willing to show you how. Go for it: project.ride.08@gmail.com.

    I’ve read this admirable post and all the comments and commend the author for putting his words out in such a clear and heartfelt manner.

    I would like to add something extra: Please take a look at Roxbury Prep Charter School, located in a “relatively poor violent neighborhood” of Boston, MA, and you will see what excellent teaching can do. Until Bermuda comes to grips with vastly upgrading educational quality, not much else will work. We KNOW what works in schools; we do not need expensive consultants. The #1 difference is teacher quality—proven again and again.

    Roxbury Prep is a public middle school, 6th through 8th grade; all minorities; 70% qualify for free or reduced-price lunch; classes go from 7:45 a.m. to 4:15 with most kids staying until 5:30 for clubs and tutoring, and even detention; there is no talking in the hallways; every second is maximized; there are high expectations; the school is on the 3rd floor of a health centre (believe me, nothing fancy).

    With MCAS scores of 98% proficient or advanced in English and 96% in Math, Roxbury Prep has become ONE OF THE HIGHEST-PERFORMING SCHOOLS IN THE STATE.

    http://uncommonschools.org/rpcs/ourResults

    Look at KIPP too (Knowledge is Power Program), and other charter schools, leading the way in education and opening pathways for productive, engaging futures especially for disadvantaged young people, but also functioning as a model for all schools.

    This kind of success is possible in Bermuda, even for those on track to become the young black men the author writes about. FIGHT FOR IT!

  58. Riina says:

    R.I.P. Garry (Finga$) Cann….. ii Love You!