Interview: Bermudian Slave Owner Descendant

June 24, 2011

A Bermudian who is a direct descendant of Captain John Ingham – who bought Mary Prince in 1805 for £57 pounds – was interviewed by London’s ‘Colorful Radio,’ and gave his views about the present day impact of racism and slavery through history.

Mark Nash spoke on the occasion of yesterday’s unveiling of the Mary Prince historical plaque at the University of London by Premier Paula Cox.

Born in Bermuda in 1788, Mary Prince was a Bermudian slave who published her autobiography, “The History of Mary Prince, A West Indian Slave“, which is the first account of the life of a black woman to be published in England.

During the interview with the London station, Mr Nash said, “Healing on both sides truly hasn’t happened, and I don’t think that it can happen without some acknowledgement on the part of the white community, an apology and true human dialogue.”

“Because we still live with the legacy of that institution today, through institutional and structural racism that continues to exist and the disparity in outcomes between whites and blacks certainly in my country, and the much of the western world, as a direct result of the institution of slavery and what was instituted post abolition in order to keep the status quo, in order to keep the economic power concentrated in the hands of white folks.”

Below is Mr Nash’s speech, which was read on his behalf by Jak Beula at the unveiling of the plaque in London:

I would like to first acknowledge the Premier of Bermuda, the Honourable Paula Cox, JP MP. Thank you, Madame Premier, for representing our country today at this remembrance of Mary Prince, a true Bermudian heroine.

In 1805 Mary Prince was sold for fifty seven pounds to Captain John Ingham and his wife Mary of Spanish Point, Bermuda. Two hundred and six years (and six generations) later I found myself on the grounds of the Senate House at the University of London.

As a direct descendant of Captain Ingham I had come, with my wife, to visit the historical plaque honouring Mary Prince, which was installed in 2007.

It was very important to me to pay homage to this heroine who, along with other enslaved peoples, had been heinously brutalised by my family.

After four hours of looking we finally determined that the plaque was no longer in place. Before flying out the next morning I contacted The Nubian Jak Community Trust as I knew they had been instrumental in having the plaque erected.

That is how I met Jak Beula and how I became involved in this ceremony. After learning that the plaque was shortly to be reinstalled after completion of building works, I advised Jak that I wished to pay for the cost of the installation.

I’ve also committed to reimburse the original cost of the plaque in the form of a donation to The Nubian Jak Community Trust so that they can continue their good works.

I didn’t offer to do this out of a sense of guilt but from a deep-seated belief that acknowledgement, apology and open dialogue are pathways to reconciliation and healing.

And reconciliation and healing are what we need, certainly in my country.

In Bermuda (as in most of the western world), we struggle with the aftermath of slavery and systems of oppression that still plague us today.

Disparities in educational and employment opportunities, housing, healthcare, prison population, distribution of wealth, and overall life outcomes continue to exist along racial lines.

While some would say progress has been made, it has come in fits and starts and has been offered begrudgingly by those that would take comfort in the status quo.

Whilst legislative remedies will be required to dismantle structural racism and provide racial equity and justice, it is authentic human interaction that will help bridge the spiritual divide.

I’ve heard it said that “coincidence is God’s desire to remain anonymous”. It was not coincidence that brought me into Jak Beula’s life just weeks before this plaque was to be unveiled.

The universe has provided me an opportunity to provide, in some small way, a form of reparations on behalf of my family.

The question is, what happens next? As a white person, it’s important for me to recognise that the pain of slavery still exists today.

Just as the trauma of slavery was passed intergenerationally to descendants of enslaved peoples, I often think about what was passed down through the generations of their oppressors.

What human part of themselves did my ancestors have to close off to inflict such treatment on other human beings, to literally whip one woman to death (as was recounted in Mary Prince’s autobiography)?

I believe that we sacrificed a part of our humanity, perhaps the ability to form true authentic relationships with “the other”.

But I don’t believe that our spiritual condition is immutable. I believe that, walking through fear and discomfort, we can and should acknowledge the past and apologise for our ancestors’ part in it.

I believe we should openly discuss the disparities that continue to exist along racial lines, how they were borne in slavery and how they continue today, in large part, through apathy and implicit acceptance of inequality as the way of the world.

I believe that through embracing our common humanity and forming truly authentic relationships across racial lines we can build a community that can achieve racial equity and racial justice.

Thank you Mary Prince, for your life, for your amazing strength and courage. Thank your for being a driving force for change and for a lifetime of fighting your oppressors.

Thank you for sharing your story, which significantly contributed to the abolition of the slave trade.

I extend my apologies on behalf of my family, for what we did to you and to others we enslaved. I pray that in my lifetime, following your incredible example, I can help bring us closer to a world where skin colour favours no one.

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  1. Observing the Week says:

    What a genuine soulful person.

  2. What a great way to recall history. I really enjoyed listening to Mark’s interview it was just brillant! Well done Mark !

  3. Stop Pointing ya Fingers says:

    WOW!!!!!! Finally some recognition! The rest of the people on this island should take heed of those words and really chuck it up and admit that RACISM still exists today!! Wake up BDA!!

  4. Portia says:

    I’m sorry, Mr.

    • UsedNAbused says:

      As much as I understand the white people who posted on here reasons why there confused to why black Bermudians feel the way we do is because you have financial benefits to make your life easier.

      You mentioned the choices blacks make. Well if you think about it the majority of us dont have a choice to go college. Why? Because our parents cant afford it while white families can.

      You have advantages all across the board of life. The sad part is, because your not black you will never understand.

    • Ganja Mon says:

      As much as I understand the white people who posted on here reasons why there confused to why black Bermudians feel the way we do is because you have financial benefits to make your life easier.

      You mentioned the choices blacks make. Well if you think about it the majority of us dont have a choice to go college. Why? Because our parents cant afford it while white families can.

      You have advantages all across the board of life. The sad part is, because your not black you will never understand and think were just making bad decisions. Slavery was hundreds of years ago which was followed by segregation then replaced by discrimination even up till today. You were made superior in many ways leaving us as bottem feeders in a population.

      We dont need an apology, what we need is equality. Remember only 50 years ago Governments stopped segregating communities. How in those 50 years do you think were going to somehow have no problems mentally and emotionally knowing why we are what we are.

      We were and still are disadvantaged. What we have to triple jump to acheive in life, you only have to take a step.

  5. Hooray says:

    I know Mark Nash personally, and am so proud of him.

  6. Portia says:

    I’m sorry, Mr. Nash, but you have it wrong. As generous as your acts are, the white population does not “owe” an apology to the black population. I am NOT white myself, but I believe it is important for blacks to stop fretting over the past, and using it as a crutch to explain why they are where they are today. I see far too many of my black brothers and sisters making making poor life choices on a DAILY basis. What has that got to do with white people? So they choose not to get an education, not to work hard for what they want, not to save money, to have children for multiple fathers who will not support them, to engage in drugs, gangs and illegal activities…and this is all because of what white people did centuries ago? I think not.

    Maybe there are people who do not like us because of the color of our skin. Well, that is their problem. It is not my job to change their minds or help them “see the error of their ways”. My energy is better directed in other ways. My job is to work hard to succeed in life as long as I can and do the best that I can. There is no one holding me down, or holding me back. Only I can do that to myself.

    • FutureLawyer says:

      What is your problem? Black people that did not make your list of bad choices still encounter a little racism.

    • UncleElvis says:

      Do you not get that there are still inequalities between the races, caused by slavery?
      Some of the “choices” you list are caused directly by these inequalities.

      And what about “your black brothers and sisters” who DON’T make poor life choices “on a DAILY basis”, but STILL aren’t doing as well as white folks in the same situation?

      We’ve come a long way and, as long as we stop making this a political thing, will continue to move towards true equality. But we’re not there yet, by any stretch and to call the past “a crutch” is a disservice.

    • Organic Bermudian says:

      You sound ignorant BROTHER!! It is sooo easy to judge others whose shoes you can not even fit into then lend an ear or hand to help them out of thier problems! Ask yourself why do you hold such stong beliefs about your own people! Futhermore I have meant and been neighbours with many races who do the exact things you believe are generic to your own brothers and sisters! As Morgan Heritage sings give a helping hand to your brother ……

    • Portia says:

      Uncle Elvis – I am not disputing the fact that racism still exists – what I am saying in my post is “so what do you intend to do about it?” That choice belongs to the individual alone. And please explain how racial inequalities cause the problems I mentioned above. How does the fact that my ancestor was a slave cause me, for example, to not finish high school, or not go to college, or become a teen parent? If I follow your rationale, it seems that you are saying that a person is “fated” to succeed or not succeed based on their skin color. That cannot be correct. The real disservice is following this type of “victim mentality” thinking, because blacks can, and do, succeed in Bermuda, every day, despite racism.

      Organic Bermudian – FYI, I am a SISTER, my BROTHER, and certainly not ignorant! I am not judging anyone at all, but i can’t deny what I see around me. I never said that other races didn’t do the same things I mentioned above, because I am sure they do, but we are not talking about other races here. I have always helped my brothers and sisters as much as I can, and will continue to do so. You don’t know anything about me, or what I do for others, so don’t make assumptions.

      • UncleElvis says:

        “If I follow your rationale, it seems that you are saying that a person is “fated” to succeed or not succeed based on their skin color. That cannot be correct.”

        It’s not correct. That’s not what I’m saying at ALL. Nor am I saying that following the “victim mentality” is ok.

        As for how it affects you, personally, I can’t say. I don’t know you.

        But surely you can see that it does and has affected others, can’t you?
        The history of abuse, the economic and class disparities, the lowered expectations, the inability for many years of many blacks to actually GET an education, creating a societal stigma we see today where calling someone an “Einstein” is an insult, being into education is a negative, dropping out and selling drugs is cool and sexy and dangerous and successful black folks that DO go to college and get good jobs and take care of their families are called “Sellouts” and “House Negroes” and “Oreo”.
        You don’t see ANY of that as being tied to the effects of slavery?

        You rose up and got through, and that’s amazing. But it was a struggle, no?
        It shouldn’t have been. Not if we had true equality. The fact that it was? That’s what I’m talking about.

        and “SISTER, my BROTHER, and certainly not ignorant! I am not judging anyone at all, but…”

        Um… you kind of are judging people…

        • Scott says:

          this is one of the big problems though..as you say with the whole history of abuse creating the stigmas you mentioned… with education being negative, drugs are cool, successful blacks are called sellouts..

          sure those stigmas and mentalities were caused from slavery and the years of segregation.. obvioulsy if you hear something enough you start to believe it..

          what how exactly is that supposed to be fixed by whites today? forgive me if this sounds rude, but do you want whites to pat blacks on the head like children and tell them “its ok, the boogy man is gone, come out from being scared”?

          if the blacks who use these stigmas as their view on life actually want to be successful, then they need to NOT see education as an insult, they need to NOT see drugs as cool, and they need to NOT call those who succeed sellouts, but instead use them as role models.

          I just do not see exactly what whites can do about this mentality though? Yes it was caused by the evils of the past, but i dont think simply acknowledging and apologizing on an official level will really do anything until this mentality that you described is actually lost by the people who have it.

          since those evil days are over, who is the one that carries on this outlook? its the parents who keep telling their children that everythign is the white mans fault and dont expect to amount to anything… you do not have whites telling blacks they are useless, or they deserve to be in low jobs anymore… sure there is still a struggle to make it to the top, but why do parents teach their children from the start that there’s no point in trying? Thats why this negative mentality carries on.

          • UncleElvis says:

            I’m not sure if you’ve read any of my other posts in this thread, but this is not even a little bit what I’m saying.

            I don’t think it can be “fixed by whites today”, and have never even insinuated that. But I do think that we, as white Bermudians, have a role to play in fixing this. What that role is, I don’t know, but I do know that, as a member of this society, I have a responsibility to help fix what is broken. Not because of my ancestors, not because of my skin colour, but because I love my home and something needs to be fixed.

            What we can do about it… figuring that out is the next step, if you ask me. But first, we have to get past this blame game, as it does nothing but cause defensiveness and hurt feelings.

            What we ALL need to do is put aside this “YOUR PEOPLE DID THIS TO US!” and “IT’S NOT MY FAULT, SO I DON’T HAVE DO DO ANYTHING!” bullshit and say, together, as a community, “This is broken, how do we fix it?”

            Resentments, anger, accusations, blame, rage and bitterness do absolutely nothing to solve the problem.

            • Scott says:

              yeah i did read them.. which is why i was a bit confused at this post.. i guess i misinterpreted it.

              what you’ve just said makes more sense.. i for one am much more open to helping equalize things when im not constantly blamed.

              • UncleElvis says:

                You can’t control what others do. If they want to blame you, let them, but meet that blame with open and honest realities and questions and opinions and a willingness to work together even IF they want to keep blaming you.

                You can only do your own do and letting someone else’s baggage affect your actions is letting them win.

        • BdaPapa says:

          “You rose up and got through, and that’s amazing. But it was a struggle, no?It shouldn’t have been. Not if we had true equality. The fact that it was? That’s what I’m talking about.” – Elvis
          Completely wrong Elvis!!!! Life IS a struggle for everyone not just black people. We never have the type of equality that you are talking about. Some white people have to work harder than other white people and some if not all black people have to work harder than all white people. The sooner everyone realizes this the better. I think what you are talking about is “opportunity” rather than struggle.

          • UncleElvis says:

            I’m not sure how to respond to this, as i’m not sure what you’re saying I,m saying is wrong…

  7. Point Fingers says:

    Hope the OBA bloggers are reading this. But with the likes of OBA members as Sir John and Patricia Pamplin who wants to bury the past, I am not hopeful.

    • UncleElvis says:

      Your name is certainly appropriate.

      Way to make this political. Well done.

    • Common Sense says:

      Amazing how people can point fingers. Sir John Swan has done more for black people in this community during the course of his business career alone than anyone else I can think of, helping countless people to obtain mortgages and own their own homes – and that’s not counting his impact on politics and attempting to bridge the racial divide during the past 40 years. As for Patricia Pamplin, she just happens to be the daughter of one of the most influential blacks in Bermuda’s history – a true hero in every sense of the word – and she has always been extremely proud of her heritage and her father. It appears that some people make a concerted effort to re-write history. Blacks who have worked hard all their lives to better their fellow blacks while also working to integrate the community are constantly castigated by some of the blacks who have benefited from their efforts.

  8. Whoa says:

    Mark Nash, wonderful recognition, which more white Bermudians would follow you, the names of Gibbons, Barritts and Dunkleys comes to mind.

    • sandgrownan says:

      OK, for the sake of argument, let’s say a representative of each of thsoe families (we could no doubt find others, but they’re easy targets eh?) made similar comments to Mr. Nash, what next?

      Are we cool bro?
      Will the PLP stand on their record rather than play the rc at the drop of hat?

      • LOL (original) says:

        Could there be legal repercussions? Just a though as many land disputes are out there could said apology be taken as taking responsibility for this type of act? If not then why not? What difference will the apology have on the psyche of Blacks in this country? Will it stop them from some of the racism that comes from them as well? Bermuda is too small for this stuff if we can end it we will be better off (political parties might not but we as a country will).

        LOL

    • Skeptical says:

      There are white rich families that make every effort to help out. Just because they do not do it publicly, like this man, does not make what they are doing any less meaningful. They provide scholarships for black students to school and college, sponsor young black athletes, mentor black businessmen, provide assistance for loans and mortgages and generally lend a helping hand. You don’t know what they do and it is not necessary for you to know and they are under no obligation to let you know.

  9. Painful Truth says:

    It always hurts when the raw truth is told.

    • sandgrownan says:

      How does it hurt?

    • LOL (original) says:

      Then let the whole truth come out about how and who racism is being propagated by now today.

      LOL fight long against something and it becomes part of you. Slave mentality is a good example of this. Very much like hostage syndrome if I understand the premise correctly. Is that sort of what you are thinking Portia?

  10. UncleElvis says:

    I’ve asked this before and will continue to ask whenever this comes up, until someone answers:

    Who do we apologize to? How many times? Is once enough?

    and

    What happens after?

    I’ve acknowledged, MANY times, racial inequalities that stem from slavery that continue to this day and have tried, in my own way, to try to help fix those inequalities (which, to me, is better than an apology), am I off the hook?

    Is Mark off the hook with this speech?

    And, finally, can we PLEASE stop using this for cheap political pointmaking?
    This has NOTHING to do with the OBA or Dr. Gibbons or Messrs. Barritt or Dunkley.

    • sandgrownan says:

      Very well put.

    • sandgrownan says:

      Will Dr. Hodgson stop writing letters?

      • Organic Bermudian says:

        Since you have not got it by now chaps the apology is in your thinking, ignorance and pride – simple shift to the left or right of your horrid thought process/remarks/beliefs and you can make a difference in someone life you feel should be “over it!” Duh!!

        • UncleElvis says:

          You have no idea who I am or how I think, so your post is nothing more than a VERY racist attack, based on nothing but perceived skin colour.

          Are you actually saying that the apology is a metaphor? Seriously?

          All these calls for an apology from whites ISN’T actually a call for an apology, it’s a metaphor for something else?

          Nonsense.

          • Organic Bermudian says:

            Obvious YOU believe your rehtoric therefore I will allow you and sandgrown happiness Whatever colour you are. I barely consideryour race or gender mate!! Happy hating

            • UncleElvis says:

              Wow.

              THAT is your response to questions? Attacks and lashing out like a child?

              Seriously?

              You come in with HORRIBLE accusations against me (I don’t speak for sandgrownan at all. Please don’t lump me in with him.) and when I respond with legitimate questions, you freak out like this?
              Nice.

              Well done.

              That’s a surefire way to change minds and hearts.

        • sandgrownan says:

          Oh how wrong you are….I’m merely asking…what next? It’s reasonable question. Reparations? If so, how much, by whom?

      • UncleElvis says:

        No need for personal attacks.

    • Also wonders says:

      @ UE , next to Portia’s post , that’s the 2nd best entry here so far .

  11. Scott says:

    eh i see this as an honest outlook, but not terribly productive.

    for one, i’d say the vast majority of whites acknowledge the past and its wrongs..
    some, including me, can acknowledge that there is some institutionalized racism as well.. im sure it happens…

    but the question is, what is it that those blacks that feel so oppressed really want? Do they simply want an apology? well it will be hard getting that from people that werent involved in the slave trade… i wont apologize for what people who are long dead did..

    do they want open discussion? if thats the case then stop calling every white person that defends their position a racist. just because they do not think the problem is there, or just because they think blacks should prove they are equal as opposed to having it handed to them does not make them racist. Just because some whites feel that its aall about personal choice, and that the opportunity to go and get an education and work your way up, instead of affirmative, oes not make them a racist. If you want an open discussion, then discuss it… dont simply feel that you can guilt people into handing to you what you want.

    thirdly, yes there are all these disparities.. but it starts with education. We have free schooling in bermuda… why is it the white’s fault if you cant get a high school diploma?? finihs high school, work and do courses at bda college… then come talk about disparities of whites vs black BERMUDIANS once you try to enter the career field.

    lastly, i do not feel that “legislating” to fix disparities is a good idea. affirmative action is basically the reverse of equal… someone has a better chance of getting a position based on the color of their skin and quota’s. That only breeds contempt, as well as promotes bad work ethics..obviously there are probably many who would use it as a great opportunity, but the availability to abuse the system is too great.

    been a long post.. at the end of the day we cna all discuss it and try to fix our issues… but once name calling and demands start coming out then it pretty much kills and chance of proper remedies.

    • LOL (original) says:

      Correct and is close to how I feel too.

      LOL

  12. Dumb people says:

    what next? Is to teach the young people their true history, if they don’t know where they’ve been they won’t know where their going & history will just repeat it’s self.

    • UncleElvis says:

      Agreed that this is needed, but why does there need to be an apology first in order for this to happen? Why can’t this happen on its own?

      • LOL (original) says:

        “True history” is that before slavery or after? I ask this becuse it seems that most historians start African history at the point of slavery of Africa? I do get that it was a dramatic event but do you want to study Africa before slavery as well?

        LOL

    • FutureLawyer says:

      As a young person i completely agree

  13. vanz says:

    wow, quite impressed by UE’s open mindedness – also – marriage counselors say that if ur in a bad relationship for 10 years it will take 10 years to heal from it – bda is in for a long period of healing

    • UncleElvis says:

      You shouldn’t be surprised, Vance. I’m not saying anything any different than I ever have. Just singing the same old tune.

      And can you link to some of those marriage counsellors that say that, and explain how it applies to the racial situation?

      See, ‘cuz I don’t see a correlation, as, to extend your metaphor, the couple is still together. Most bad relationships don’t end up like that. The couple usually splits up before there can be healing. That is not, nor can it be, what happened here.

      Sorry… it doesn’t fit.

      • LOL (original) says:

        This coming from the guy who emails everyone he can though the PLP website istributing pics of Slaves in America befor an election.

        LOL

  14. Toby Butterfield says:

    I am a white Bermudian and I’m so grateful for what Mark has done here. Facing and addressing our past is the only way forward. There is no doubt that it’s going to be a bumpy ride as we are dealing with systems of power and belief that have been operating for centuries. There are systems in place that continue to produce different outcomes along racial lines. There are also systems of belief that operate to desensitize us to these outcomes and to deny them and explain them away with all sorts of reasons other than the truth. This is what systems of oppression do. They hand out unfair treatment and they protect their survival by manipulating our perception so that we don’t see them. This is not something black people or the PLP made up, this is taught at hundreds of universities. The most important thing we can understand is that we haven’t just inherited a racial reality but we have also inherited a defended and desensitized way of looking at it.

    There are many typical arguments that our defense mechanisms put up so that we don’t have to begin seeing the uncomfortable truths. One of them is we bring up education. We want different levels of education to explain all of the differences in outcomes within the black and white community. It’s funny because one characteristic of the culture of higher education is its value of logic and statistics yet we reject the statistics which prove that education alone is not the answer. For instance one survey showed that whites with no college degree wound up being paid more in Bermuda than blacks with a degree. We don’t want to accept this inequality so our defense mechanisms flare and attack the statistics, question the source, shoot the messenger (in this case me) or assume that those blacks got the wrong sort of degrees. Education helps blacks advance but equally vital in getting ahead is coming across as ‘less black’ through your accent and your cultural choices and by not bringing up race at work. Blacks who do advance up the management hierarchy here do so by aligning with conditions that whites don’t face and aren’t even aware of. There is still so much institutional racism in the workplace that educational achievement will not fix.

    Another argument that we are conditioned to bring up when we read something like this article is we point to all the logistical difficulties in reparative efforts. We say “who do we apologize to?” or “how much do we pay and to whom?” Then these questions are seen as a rational reason to shut down the discussion. What they really show is that we don’t want to go down that road. Difficulty doesn’t stop us with things we really want or need. The corporate world solves difficult problems all the time. It’s about motivation and what we deem to be right. People face a tremendously daunting mess after a hurricane or tornado but they find a way to rebuild because they want to. Those questions cannot be the end of the conversation. Practical methods of bringing about reparative effects have been developed around the world. Mark has modeled some of them. There are plenty of resources out there, including at CURE/Human Rights Commission that can guide us in this. It is about will not about difficulty.
    Personally I’ve been looking at racism intensely for several years and it’s allowed me to become conscious of all sorts of things I was blocking out before. For instance I’ve seen how things were much easier for my father because he was white. He arrived here in 1950 from England with almost nothing and was able to achieve financially. This was in part due to his education and efforts and temperament. This was also due to the fact that he was deemed more trustworthy by those with financial and political power because he was white. He was not actively blocked from his business ventures as so many blacks were in the 50’s and 60’s. He benefitted from the immigration policies which granted status to whites to help counteract the increasing number of black voters. He was a wonderful kind man so even with the conditioning of the day, he would have been aware of some of the racial inequality and by not speaking out against it he benefitted from that too. I have benefitted in my life and am still handed the psychological edge in many situations to this day because I am white. It has been very painful to see this but it is no longer something I try to bargain my way out of seeing. I have unfairly received monetary and emotional advantages because I am white. I owe a debt and that is that. I simply consider it part of my work now to work to dismantle the systems that have overpaid me. I put time and money towards this cause and will continue to. One of the things I can do is to offer to support other whites who are beginning to question the way things are. It is a disorienting and painful journey so I’d like to be an understanding and supportive ally for them as I continue my own journey.

    • LOL (original) says:

      Ok states just one question can we get a link to a break down of stats that show just Bermudian’s salaries and degrees? Just saying I make an ok salary but I know some black people who make more than I and will most likely make more than me in my whole life unless I pass some more exams I do not hope to make what they make. I not attacking you these stats just do not seem to fit my reality. Just so you know I have worked in a feild were I look at salaries all day some made me sick and yes they were usually expats white and black.

      LOL

    • Bryan says:

      Toby , you have open eyes my brother. As a young black man I have long understood the reality of what you have expressed in your post and until people start to look at the legacy of institutions set up by the likes of Cecil Rhodes and his ilk then perceptions will continue to be skewed toward a manufactured reality! Very refreshing to know that there are people of intelligence and thoughtfulness that are endeavoring to make a difference in some way ( White or Black ), Nuff Respect!

    • cindy williams says:

      Thank you Toby, for being an ally on the side of truth and justice. As a woman of color, many of us have prayed for the eyes of the white population to be open for centuries and the testimonies of Mark Nash and yourself are the beginnings of a ‘movement’ that I believe will continuously chisel away, dismantle, uproot, and pull down the mountain of systemic racism piece by piece. In the words of the Prophet Amos, “But let justice run down like waters and righteousness as a mighty and ever-flowing stream”, Amos 5:24.

  15. vanz says:

    @ UE, every analogy can’t always be spot on – in a sense black and white bda has been in a relationship with each other politically, geographically, economically etc for centuries – in a macroeconomic sense it has been better for wealthy white entitites, in a general sociopolitical sense it’s been better for working class blks – this is a relationship as there is both parties need the other to make the country (marriage) work – that was the analogy i was going after – i believe there us some truth to it

    • UncleElvis says:

      Fine… but that’s not the point you were making…

      Based on your post, you were saying that an abusive interpersonal relationship takes the same amount of time to heal as the relationship lasted, therefore we should apply that logic to the rift between the races.
      I see this as flawed, as what you’re saying is that it’s going to take centuries for there to be any healing. I disagree completely and said why.

      I don’t disagree with what you said in this latest post, however.
      On an even deeper level, we need each other just because we’re all part of this society and, if we want to make it the best place possible for EVERYONE, we have to work together.
      The problem is that those with a political, financial or racial axe to grind are, by definition, not interested in making this the best place possible for EVERYONE. They’re looking to get theirs.

  16. vanz says:

    @ UE, every analogy can’t always be spot on – in a sense black and white bda has been in a relationship with each other politically, geographically, economically etc for centuries – in a macroeconomic sense it has been better for wealthy white entities, in a general sociopolitical sense it’s been better for working class blks – this is a “relationship” as both parties need the other to make the country (marriage) work – that was the analogy i was going after – i believe there us some truth to it

  17. sparxx says:

    Healing happens only when there is acceptance of our history, and a willingness to make things better. One can not simply put a band-aid on the boo-boo and hope it heals. This injury just didn’t happen, it has been one that has been developed over hundreds of years. Is it right for us to look away when confronted with something we don’t like?

    You can not wish it away. You can not deny it’s existence, you can only hope to make it better. You can only come together as a community and make the difference. Individual apologies are not what’s needed here. It has to be a desire from a nation to acknowledge a legacy of pain and a willingness to heal.

    This is beyond political, this is engrained in the social conscience. Mark’s story fuels his path to see a better world. It should inspire us as whites to accept our history, our forefathers damning sins, and fuel a path to make things right. It is long time to remove the “personal” issues. It may not be the most comfortable pair of shoes, but it most certainly wasn’t comfortable for blacks to live through either, many of whom are still haunted by those memories. It is time for us, as whites, to stop deflecting and start reflecting.

    We never fail to forget Remembrance Day and celebrate those who survived and remember those who died in the world wars, yet do we (as whites) give the same significance to Emancipation Day? How many of us actually consider those millions of blacks who died as part of the slave trade? How many of us just consider it “the first day of Cup match”? Is that experience too hard for us to fathom?

    Mark is inspirational, his story, his family’s past is something that he accepts as his own and his healing continues. He could just as easily committed those sins to his fore-fathers, denied that pain and lived a “normal” life. His heroic efforts to bring his story (HISTORY) to the public should be commended. Our personal healing comes from within, but only as coming together will we heal as a nation.

  18. My heart has been lifted. I really enjoyed reading your perspective it’s just brilliant! It is extremely insightful and gives me great hope. I am so moved by the fact that there are people like you! Reading your reflections made me feel emotional as I too recognize that we still have some ways to go in Bermuda. I did read the research study to which you are referring, and it does provide such evidence to the Bermuda condition. I just pray that we as a people will eventually someday come together. I do not think we have achieved the goal that Martin Luther King prayed for yet ! I plan to visit London, to go and see the plaque as this would be just awesome to see.
    Well done Mark!!

  19. Hi Toby,

    My heart has been lifted. I really enjoyed reading your perspective it’s just brilliant! It is extremely insightful and gives me great hope. I am so moved by the fact that there are people like you! Reading your reflections made me feel emotional as I too recognize that we still have some ways to go in Bermuda. I did read the research study to which you are referring, and it does provide such evidence to the Bermuda condition. I just pray that we as a people will eventually someday come together. I do not think we have achieved the goal that Martin Luther King prayed for yet ! I plan to visit London, to go and see the plaque as this would be just awesome to see.
    Well done Mark!!

  20. thats a nice problem to have says:

    I think your attitude is ungrateful and pathetic. The worst part is that your selfless efforts will be lost on those you aim to help. You should be proud of the advantages your descendants worked hard and smart for over many centuries not wasting time sitting around feeling guilty.

    • UncleElvis says:

      A) “The worst part is that your selfless efforts will be lost on those you aim to help.”

      And? If the reason that you’re doing something is for glory or recognition, then there’s something wrong with your motivations.
      “Selfless efforts” are just that. Selfless. That’s why they’re called that.

      B) “You should be proud of the advantages your descendants worked hard and smart for over many centuries not wasting time sitting around feeling guilty.”

      Um… I think you mean ancestors.

      And… proud? Proud of something you had no hand in whatsoever?
      No. We should be proud of our own accomplishments, not of what other people did long before we were born…

      ESPECIALLY when what those people did was based on an unfair, unequal, barbaric system like slavery or segregation.

    • LOL (original) says:

      @thats a nice problem to have

      Wow dude you sound like the kkk in movies.

      LOL

  21. Graham Maule says:

    I am a friend of Mark Nash’s. I applaud his comments. I wonder how many of my fellow Bermudians are afraid to echo his sentiments publicly.

    I am not.

    Our country needs reconciliation, but I personally feel that the process is not helped whenever we become embroiled in party politics (or “politricks” depending on who you talk to).

    Future generations of Bermudians deserve our best efforts at healing the divide.

  22. MinorMatters says:

    To all the posters here, there’s some truth in each of your posts. Portia, I applaud your spirit in not letting the past be a barrier to the success for which you are striving. As much as it may pain us to even contemplate there are those forces which help racism to prevail and Mr. Nash nicely puts it thus: “…in large part, through apathy and implicit acceptance of inequality as the way of the world.”

    But all of the above is neither here nor there…the question is where do we go from here? Apology while temporarily appeasing and heartfelt is appreciated. The division between Black and White Bermudian is a long way from narrowing. To that end, I ask each poster, as a Bermudian – when was the last time you had a Bermudian of another race in your home for dinner? How many interracially Bermudian married couples do you know? I was born and have lived here all my life and I only have one White Bermudian friend and don’t know any marriages between Black and White Bermudians. If we could drill down to that level, we might make progress in the meantime, Whites will marry everything but a Black Bermudian and vice versa.

    • LOL (original) says:

      I’m married to a black lady thanks and I know some others as well I don’t see what your getting at here.

      LOL

  23. Graham Maule says:

    @ MinorMatters:

    I am a white Bermudian who is married to a black non-Bermudian who happens to be from the same country as Dr. E.F. Gordon, Trinidad & Tobago. Does the fact that my wife is non-Bermudian mean that I cannot contribute to healing the divide in Bermuda?

    Does this also mean that since Dr. Gordon was a non-Bermudian, that you do not value his contribution to Bermudian society?

    There are tons of bi-racial marriages in present day Bermuda, and there are also plenty of people who have friends of every race at dinner in their houses on a regular basis.

    My son will grow up in a Bermuda that has its problems, but I am determined to make it a better place for future generations of Bermudians. I intend to be a part of the solution, not part of the problem.

    I close with some words from another non-Bermudian that are relevant to this discussion:

    “Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery, none but ourselves can free our minds”

    (Bob Marley)

  24. MinorMatters says:

    Thanks to you LOL and Graham Maule, if my post was perceived in that way, then i take responsibility for not making myself clearer. My comments refer particularly to Black and White Bermudians and how they relate to each other. They have a shared past, community and life as this Island is only 20 miles long. However, I trying to ascertain how often do they love, eat, play and pray with each other?

    I was very specific when I spoke of bi-racial marriages: BERMUDIAN. Do you see this often? You are right there are tons of bi-racial marriages and I am part of those statistics.

    What I am highlighting are no-go areas in the Black/White Bermudian Relations and unless there is a genuine desire on the part of White Bermuda to forego some of those deeply embedded attitudes regarding privilege and entitlement, no progress will be seen.

    I see myself as part of the solution, I do not carry hatred for one sector of the community, I am able to walk my talk.