Carlton Simmons: Bermuda Has Been Mute

April 4, 2011

Carlton Simmons from ‘Youth on the Move’ spoke at the vigil held this past weekend at Victor Scott School in memory of murder victim Kimwandae Walker, saying “It bothers me that Bermuda has been so mute about this issue and I said that, you know, Bermuda found a spider that existed in Bermuda that bit 10 people a year and they die, they would hunt that spider down all throughout the country.”

“If Bermuda had a bird that when it bit you, one person per year died they would hunt that bird down till it no longer existed. I remember, somebody spotted a lionfish on a reef and it became major news, because it has the potential to kill it has never killed anybody in Bermuda yet.”

“So it bothers me that we have accepted so easily that we can sit back and watch a young man be killed just about every single month and we have not yet heard the cries that need to be heard. It bothers me, that we spend more energy fighting over land that doesn’t belong to us than we do over the babies that should inherit this country,” continued Mr Simmons.

“I want to apologize to the children for not leaving them the nation that we inherited. Most of us as adults grew up in a Bermuda where you did not have to live through this. And I want to apologize to all the babies here for us not doing a better job to protect you and to give you the future that we inherited.”

“I want to apologize to the mothers of all the sons that have been murdered, because they are paying the debt that us as an entire country ran up. We ignored the signs of our children for years and years and years. And when it was bats, we didn’t listen. And when it was knives, we didn’t listen, and when it was fights, we didn’t listen. Now, they’re killing each other and we’re still not listening. ”

“I don’t know how many more boys have to die but unite, so that the SDO people are worried about the people who get killed on the streets and then when we have these things that is not enough room on a field because everybody is concerned, until we get to that point, we can expect more young men to pay off Bermuda’s debt.”

“So, to the mothers’ of all those kids that have been killed, as painful as it maybe they are paying the price so they hopefully one day we can have a better future. Because the more of them that die, hopefully the more of us will come to realize that we have to do more than what we are doing. And I just want to thank everybody here for coming out tonight, and I feel on it to have known Kimwandae one day and to be among the people who actually care. So, I don’t have anything else to say but I want to thank you for that.”

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  1. Jim Garlic says:

    Carlton , your heart is in the right place and brother I SALUTE YOU….We as a community could and should do much better ,but unfortunatly many don’t understand that We are at War.People are still acting as if they are living in a vacuum .There is a Guerrilla war going on right here on this little reef we live on ,and, It’s escalating. The stakes are being raised daily and to be honest it takes a helluva lot of COURAGE to confront this scourge head on ,and you’ve been doing it from the heart from the beginning.GODSPEED MY BROTHER…

  2. The mon says:

    This the first he said something worth listening to he really had me wondering sometimes.

  3. Kim Smith says:

    With all due respect, I think that people are afraid and unsure of just what can be done. We are talking about people with guns who have proven that they are willing to end a person’s life at the pull of a trigger. Furthermore, these men didn’t just wake up one morning as killers… this has been a slow boil and there are people all around those individuals who have allowed their behaviour to deteriorate to this point. There is no way around it; any solutions will require a change on everyone’s part, especially on the part of the individuals themselves.

  4. Get Out says:

    people just “Get Out” of that stupid A$$ island. nothin is gona stop the BLOODSHEAD or if ya stupid enough u may just wait untill its u who gets shot!!!

    • The mon says:

      And go where I feel you BDA is to small but go where people can’t aford to pick up and run. The problem the Drug business in Bermuda is a family industry people and woven it into their family life style the problem is we act like where different then everyone else we don’t want to believe it like this welll it is. Some White Folk would be surprise of how many of their friend and may be family memebers have be dealing for years built companies and still doing it. What do we really want Bermuda I try do what I can with the information I have and I can’t lie I get scared but it has to be done. So come on people enough is enough you know some of these girls that hang with these guy let the police know so they can be check out too same for the guys it better they get caught now then before they get to deep.

    • Outta Here... says:

      People ARE leaving the island – in droves. Ex-pats are now making a mass exodus and taking their money with them (high rents, private school tuition, large grocery bills, restaurant and bar tabs, local admin team jobs…). They uprooted their lives once to move here – it’s no big deal for them to do it again. They don’t need to stick around and put up with the BS on this island. And it won’t be long until the foreign workers / laborers pick up and leave too. They can make money somewhere else and send it home – they too picked up and left their homeland to come here – they can do it again too. And more and more Bermudians are sending our children off-island for private school. What does that leave us with? LESS MONEY, MORE CRIME. That’s the makings of a 3rd world country. It’s up to us to deal with this, to deal with our own mess, the mess our children have gotten into. We can’t expect the whole island to deal with this issue – it only effects a small segment of us. Please stop blaming all of Bermuda for being “mute.” We know who needs to speak up and stop being mute!!

  5. Truth of the matter... says:

    Mr. Simmons: I applaud your passion and hear you. I appreciate your analogy to the “spider” – it makes very good sense and is a good example of the situation we are in. However, this “spider” is not biting people randomly – not every resident of BDA is subject to this spider’s bite. This spider is biting only certain groups of the population, in certain neighborhoods, certain families. That being said, we are not going to have the support, passion, interest from the entire 60,000+ population. People know where this spider hunts so we avoid those areas of the island. If we don’t belong to his favorite “food group,” we don’t worry AS much about him as others need to. It is very sad, but it is the truth. And just as sad, how can we expect to fight these spiders when we aren’t armed like they are? The police are armed against them, but even they are not winning the battle. Again, I applaud your passion but not everyone is going to be vocal.

  6. Dear Carlton says:

    If someone can give us 10 tangible things we could do to help our community that would be great. I think i’m with the masses and we just don’t know what to do!

  7. if only.. says:

    with all due respect, “hunting down” these people isnt as easy as a spider or bird. if it was something that bit someone and killed one a year, sure we could go hunting all those spiders… but we’d also be hunting the ones that never bit anyone, just because they are of the same species. we can’t do that with people.

    im sure a lot of people would like to say “to hell with guilt/innocence, you are guilty by association”, but it just doesnt work that way.

    Sadly, Bermuda as an island is vocal…its the ones that are entrenched in this mess that are staying silent.

    • White Jesus says:

      Black widows are not welcome in Bermuda and it’s perfectly ok to hunt down and exterminate every last one of them.

    • it's coming says:

      Thats where your wrong, it does work that way. guilty by association is used maybe just not in bermuda. look at that country to the left we call the states guilty by association is treated the same as if you commited the crime yourself, if your friend ask you to take them to the store then they rob it and shoot someone even if you stayed in the car and u didnt know they were going to do it they are charging you with them and if they dont catch them but they catch u they throw more time at you if you dont give them up. thats how alot of people get caught they get warrents on you from unpaid parking tickets unpaid child support and stuff like that and keep it on their desk until they looking for one of ya boys then they start locking up all the associates until someone talk and eventually they talk because they know when they start that the police are watching them until they catch the person they looking for

  8. Mark says:

    unfortunately, unlike lion fish and spiders, you can’t hunt these people down and kill them. although they are making a good go of it themselves

  9. the truth shall set you free says:

    This island has been corrupted by greed and materialism( much like the rest of the world). Until we all look within ourselves to see what we each can do differently, the cycle will continue. This has become a dog eat dog island i.e kill or be killed, stab in the back before you’re stabbed, and so on. At some point we stopped caring about the man on the street, your neighbor, even our families aren’t closely bonded like in year’s past.

  10. My two cents says:

    With all due respect. the analogy is good, but not that simple. The difference being that man has free will and rules the world. These guys are who they are and the justice system and family members allow and enable them to be bad seeds for a variety of reasons. Sometimes, a good boy can become bad simply by hanging with the wrong crowd. Parents HAVE to watch their children like hawks, but reality is that not all parents are capable of this.

  11. twoswordali says:

    The analogy goes only towards if innocent people is being bit by a menace. However this doesnt apply to Bermudas current situation, what we have is a bunch of spiders biting each other but doing it in the open in front of the public. Bermuda is not quiet our tax dollars is spent well and the police is acting fast and people are getting locked up, people who see the “spiders” (gangsters) actions need to just need to start talking more to let the police know where these “spiders” are and where they are biting each other to.

    Do we want people in jail no we donot but when we see people that is hell bent on evil what can you really do to stop it? Satan cannot be killed but he can be avoided and he can be put in a position, where we can reconize him and get him away from us.

    So i hear the cry of mr Simmons but where was his cry for people like the young boy who was murdered at elbow beach? Gina Spence’s daughter? The man who got shot in Shelly bay? All innocent and had no criminal involvement. But you would speak out for known “spiders” in our community??

  12. YOU ARE WHO YOU HANG AROUND says:

    last days……the bible has been saying this forever. Please pick up a bible and read it.

  13. Baffled says:

    Mr. Simmons my sentiments are the same, we made more noise over Tucker’s Point SDO. People are losing their lives and not much is said.I just don’t understant it.

  14. Insider says:

    Carlton, well said.
    This gun problem is killing only a small portion of the population. But its affecting EVERY LAST ONE OF US.
    The majority who have been shot and killed, have been deeply involved in the drug/gang life style. they were not innocent. They made their beds and must now rest peacefully in them.
    But, the effects of the drug/gang life style, every last one of us are feeling. Some one else above posted how contract workers and international businesses are leaving the Island. They were correct in their observation. But this too should be a lesson to us Bermudians. We not only need to stand and correct the ill path of our young people, we need to also correct our long term future investment in Bermuda. Stop depending so heavily on others bringing their monies to our doors. Stop depending on ours to do our work for us. Kills me to see how many non bermudians are employed in Bermuda with their are so many Bermudians either not working or not making enough to live comfortably.
    The drug/gang issue will not be an easy fix. But I promise you, if we do not stop being a cowardly nation, the fix will never come.
    We need to have courage to solve this problem. Too many people say, “they have guns, I do not” “I do not want to die” “they are only killing each other, it doesn’t effect me directly” “what are the police doing, let them do their job”. These are all comments of cowardly hearts. Selfish cowards.
    Courage is being brave in the face of danger, not in the absence of danger.
    Men. This is our fault. We want and enjoy living in a culture were the man is the head of the family, house, community. Well, we are past over due on stepping up and fulfilling our roll.
    Do not look at the mothers, police or even the young lives gone wrong to blame.
    THIS IS THE FAULT OF EVERY MAN IN BERMUDA.
    There was once a NatGeo program where young African elephants were killing and destroying every thing in a wild life park. They were killing Rhinos, Hippos, and other large game. They were attacking people and other female elephants. The solution – they put three (3) THREE, adult MALE male Male elephants into the park range. And within hours the young male elephants had stopped killing. As quickly as the young elephants encountered the bulls, they were quickly put in their place and that was, as they say, the end of that.
    Our situation is no different from this.
    Men, stand up, take your rightful place as “bulls” in this country and lets solve this problem.
    Stop being cowards and absent
    I don’t think I am wrong, thats just my opinion.

  15. Frances says:

    Why is it that when there is a major problem we start our conversation by pointing out what someone else is not doing? If you are engaged in doing what you think is necessary then do it. There is much discussion on this topic on the radio and elsewhere. People do care but the problem. It has festered over a long time and is now not so easy to fix. The one thing we can all do is take responsibility for our part in it and each of us will have to decide what that is. To get to that requires going within and stopping the chatter. Ask the question “how have I contributed unknowingly or knowingly”? You don’t have to be in the neighbourhood to be culpable. Your individual thinking along with the thinking of the rest of the populatioon merges and creates a collective consciousness that affects everyone here. If there is a critical mass of unjust thoughts or thoughts of any kind that causes you to do or not treat yourself and others well then there is a corresponding manifestation in society. We need to take individual and collective responsibility of the state of our current affairs. Before we do anything, we must become conscious of what we have done.