Wake Up, Stop The Violence, Fulfill Potential

November 19, 2014

[Opinion column written by Eron Hill] In the recent weeks the sounds of gunshots have permeated the air all over the island. Reckless and senseless shooters have fired shots in a number of places where parents, teens, and children were all present in what otherwise would be a community friendly environment; on one of those occasions four young men were shot in one night.

The community is crying out to you “Wake up Young Men, stop the violence, fulfill your potential!

  • We are brothers; we live together on a 22 square mile island only miles apart from each other
  • Yet we share a deep hatred for one another
  • Many of us are related to one another
  • Yet we fight each other
  • We grew up together, and went to school together
  • Yet we try to kill each other

On 25 separate occasions we have killed each other. The gang violence that has plagued our island over the years has created a non-stop perpetuating cycle of retaliatory acts; but my brothers, we must ask ourselves when will the madness stop? When will we realize that we are only hurting ourselves and our families?

The community is crying out to you “Wake up Young Men, stop the violence, fulfill your potential!

I find myself weekly in the courts with my mentors fighting for young men who have been accused of crimes involving firearms and it is never an easy task when a young man is murdered, and another young man is brought before the courts.

Regardless of the verdict one family will forever mourn the loss of their son, whilst the other if the accused is found guilty will hurt at never being able to see their relative free again. Children growing up without their fathers, households without men, children growing up with resentment and a perpetuating cycle begins again. Stop the war; there are no winners!

The community is crying out to you “Wake up Young Men, stop the violence, fulfill your potential!

If the violence continues as it has been the criminal defense segment of the legal fraternity will continue to be employed. However, as a young Bermudian man I would rather exercise and display my talent in Parliament fighting to change legislation to enhance the lives of the young men of this island as opposed to being employed as a result of this perpetuating violence.

My boss often reminds me that we cannot control who we represent and says that in this profession we are like doctors, they don’t control who shows up at the emergency room in need of help similar to how we can’t control who will end up arrested and before the courts in need of assistance.

However, for me personally, I grow close with the young men that I work with, especially after enduring months of trials together. I truly do care for each and every young man that I have worked and I fear that the next phone call we may receive could be that they have been the victim of one of these senseless murders.

Like your parents I am terrified that the prison count will rise in tandem with the body count.

The community is crying out to you “Wake up Young Men, stop the violence, fulfill your potential!

Let’s be real, the men on both sides of the gun are predominantly black young men. We are black men and we all have the same ancestors; in a small island like Bermuda it is not surprising that in some cases the young men feuding are actually related to one another in one way or another.

There should be unity among all young men island wide. It is unfortunate that as black men we are the most violent towards each other and the most separated when it comes to unity. This is genocide among black young men. I didn’t always wear a suit and tie; I understand what it is like as a young man, we have an ego to feed. We must let go of the past, as it cannot be changed or erased no matter how much we may like it to be.

Anyone can fire a gun, that is easy to do but it takes a real man to provide for care for their mother, care for their family, and take care of their kids. Remember that!

We must realize that in a war, when there is any loss of life there is no winner. Please “Wake up Young Men, stop the violence, fulfill your potential!

- Eron Hill, a former member of Bermuda’s Youth Parliament, is currently a legal understudy pursuing his law degree.

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Comments (42)

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  1. aceboy says:

    Where were you back in 2008 and 2009 when we had almost daily shootings?

    • Umm.... says:

      Give it a rest. He was a teen who probably didn’t have the courage and/or platform that he has now as a young man with a public profile. The fact that he’s addressing this issue publicly should be commended. We need more young people to step up and voice their condemnation of these acts. And to be active in the solutions. This won’t be fixed just by adults.

      • aceboy says:

        All of the shock and horror I am seeing from the PLP is from the RECENT shootings. Their memories are very short is all I am saying. This isn’t a new situation, despite all efforts to make out that it is.

    • betty dump says:

      He was probably 11 years old thereabouts… let’s be real

    • Believe says:

      He mentioned the earlier shootings too “On 25 separate occasions we have killed each other.” He is not making a political commentary here, why try and turn it into one ? In truth, this is one of his better pieces.

      Respect the fact that a young black male who has aspirations in life is trying to reach out to others. If even one person is helped to rethink their path in life by the commentary of Eron Hill or Calvin Minors, then that is a positive thing and both young men should be commended for attempting!

  2. San George says:

    Hill your community lacks structure, leadership, institutions and an economic foundation. Until those issues are addressed those young men and women BTW who you refer to are going to be pro-creating.

    Some people enjoy watching the disfunction in our community – it is aided and abetted by policies and regulation.

    That violence will not be contained in the black community forever.

  3. Gail Aruda says:

    Well said, Eron. Thank you for your wise and honest words.

    • watchfuleyes says:

      Lets be encouraging to the young man. Keep speaking out Eron and maybe you will be a role model for some others.

  4. Onion says:

    Why are you defending murderers and shooters in court?

    • Umm.... says:

      Because even those suspects are innocent until proven guilty. Whether you like it or not, we are all subject to the same laws that afford us a fair trial and legal representation. Any solution that we implement to end this violence must be lawful. Otherwise it will backfire and create an even worse situation than we currently have.

    • hmmm says:

      He is not, he is helping a lawyer.

    • Kiya says:

      Go back and read what the young men is actually saying. This is the problem we all want to comment on things but we are missing the main point being made. We have a problem in our Community(Bermuda) stop trying to pick at negative things. Lets put some positive engery together and try defuse this situation.

  5. Need Peace says:

    What a magnificent article Eron Hill!! Good luck in your future endeavors! I look at you and am proud to be Bermudian!

  6. animallover says:

    Just would like to know what you intend to do about it Mr. Hill? It’s fine to do all this talking but what’s the answer? Do you have a plan of action? How do you propose to have this situation sorted out? We can all write stories or articles about this, but no one has a clue how to stop it. Ganga are all over the world, and they get stronger and stronger, being brainwashed by a few. Is it finally time to get tough with gangsters and let them know that if they continue with this behavior than drastic measures will take place? Is there any help for those who want out but cannot get out? Something has to be done. We need answers.

    • hmmm says:

      Rants like Beans and Jamahl send the wrong message to people. It makes folks seem like if it is acceptible for them, then it must be acceptible for me too.

      PLP need to get their house in order and stop contributing to the “I don’t care what you think” attitudes that exist. the tone at the top gets magnified 10 fold elsewhere.

      • PLP need to get their house in order and stop contributing to the “I don’t care what you think” attitudes that exist. The tone at the top gets magnified 10 fold elsewhere.”
        This applies to the so called “Reverend Tweed” who can’t accept that the violence dubbed, “black on black” is a reality :-( Tell us Mr. Tweed, who is it other than blacks shooting / killing blacks?
        Of course, it isn’t right nor a sign of intelligence or lack there-of but in reality, that’s the bottom-line; youngsters who are wanna-be-gangsters shooting for recognition :-( Shame yes, but true !

    • BermyL says:

      He is being a positive role model. Isn’t that something? Speaking out against the wrongs in society. Isn’t that something? He could have gone about his business and not opted to write this piece.

      I agree that we need more than speeches and opinion pieces but I’ll take that over nothing. When someone does or says something positive they should be supported for it. We can advance the conversation by suggesting further action and not attacking the person who started the conversation without suggesting action.

  7. hmmm says:

    Eron , how about the parents, the community or the lack thereof.

    Community have to open their eyes.
    These lost people cannot find their own way. Their own way led them to the lost life they are in.

    Step up community, before you lose your next child. Parents in that community , by being part of something positive that your kids see , then they will see you as a better role model.

    That bit of land that needs clearing up, that trash that was dumped. Organize a community clean up…get the kids involved, all bring a lunch or drinks and eat together and share the achivement together.

    Do something together. Start today. DO NOT WAIT FOR SOMEONE ELSE TO DO IT.

    Parents remember, you need to involve, encourage and support your kids, steer your kids (even grown up kids) in the right direction when they veer off. Kicking them out of the house does not end your parenting role. When they turn 18 does not end your parenting role.. That role exists until you die.

  8. cmbbda says:

    “This is genocide among black young men” – genocide implies there is an outside group victimizing and mass murdering young black men – lets call it what it really is – mass suicide. These young men victimize themselves.

    What is the solution?

    • Micro says:

      This pretty much. Time and time again we see people giving speaches and opinons but never offering solution or doing anything to curb to the problem.

  9. Yes I says:

    Great effort Eron. I appreciate your humility and courage to address this epidemic of senseless violence. I’m not convinced that the forum which you have chosen to voice your opinion is being heard by those who are mostly affected by these crimes. Nevertheless, thank you for making an effort and I wish you all the best in your future endeavors.

  10. Starting point says:

    Notice a ton of folks complaining to the poster that he presents no solutions, yet none of them offer a single one themselves…..hypocrites.

    • hmmm says:

      That is not true….

      • Facts says:

        @hmmm What have you done? Not a damn thing but sit one your computer and criticize. At least he shows Bermuda that there are still some sensible young men out there. You adults haven’t done shite. Go get a clue @hmmmm

        • hmmm says:

          I’ve been involved in helping and working with the youth, giving guidance on temper management and the importance of education, team work, the environment etc, but this is not about me……………………

          Can you tell me how is the below not a suggestion?

          “Step up community, before you lose your next child. Parents in that community , by being part of something positive that your kids see , then they will see you as a better role model.

          That bit of land that needs clearing up, that trash that was dumped. Organize a community clean up…get the kids involved, all bring a lunch or drinks and eat together and share the achivement together.

          Do something together. Start today. DO NOT WAIT FOR SOMEONE ELSE TO DO IT.”

          To add to the above…..

          Maybe the youth can do this too…why wait on adults to start this, why not drag your parents out to help the youth in a clean up challenge for your local community and Bermuda’s community as a wholes benefit?????????

          What’s stopping you doing this from the youth side, why wait for adults to get the ball rolling?

    • Keepin' it Real!...4Real! says:

      i for one have provided many a resolutions…only to fall on false ears. so i must say ya’ll are still way behind the eightball…lots more surprises coming soon to an island near you.

  11. Joonya says:

    Well done Eron Hill and Calvin Minors. Now this type public outspokeness I can see creating a march for!

  12. haha says:

    We ALL have the same ancestors bra, white people and others all came from Africa too!

    • haha says:

      guess those who disliked don’t know their “real” history. smh or choose not to accept it…get ova yaselves

    • Keepin' it Real!...4Real! says:

      so should we all blame our ancestors from Africa for the corrupt world we live in..?

  13. pretty words says:

    Who is your intended audience? The people who need to read this, wont.

  14. A Better Bermuda says:

    One of the roots of this problem is children born to homes without fathers. Mothers have to work to make ends meet and are therefore not around enough and boys don’t have any positive male role models. The gangs make them feel both powerful and like they belong.

    • life says:

      I agree, but I also feel the young ladies need to make better decisions on who they involve themselves with.. I know this is a small island, but some of these fathers have like 2 or 3 kids who they are not taking care of, now if a lady sees these character traits, and other similiar traits, she should be mature enough to know that he is not going to change him overnight and become a grea father, then there is aslo the young ladies who are attracted to these gangsters because of the quick money.. Nothing good comes easy, we all need to make better decisions and the women of the community play a big part in that.

  15. bermudA says:

    Wow! Sorry Erron that you live in a country where young black educated men aren’t listrned too! I hope you venture off in your career!

  16. Need Peace says:

    SMDH! This young man wrote this article appealing to gang members and the benefactors to stop the violence yet some of you ignorant bloggers are asking him for solutions. His appeal is filled with thought provoking scenarios which one may want to consider. Many of us dont know the real benefactors of this violence. They know who they are and their end game. At this point, this is all anyone could do! So Eron, don’t allow anyone to discourage your efforts! Fine job!

  17. Keepin' it Real!...4Real! says:

    jus a lil word to you Eron…life’s hard!, wear a helmet!…and to the rest of you, Eron has chosen to be on the front line of a Babylonial system, so all of this coochie coochie coo stuff, save it…you don’t become the leader of the pack by powder puffing around…he has to form a protective shell for what he shall experience…basic bottom line is i really don’t think that you know what “behind the scenes of politics” is all about, there’s plenty of information available if you’re genuinely seeking the truth…or you could just wait for the next MSM report to fill you in on what they want you to know, and this is quite evident by most posters here…ya’ll arguing about s#!t that shouldn’t even be talked about…then you wonder why you get called stupid…na na!…don get mad, i juz keepin’ it real.

  18. Derek A. G. Jones says:

    This is an important subject and it’s good to see a young man such as Eron addressing it. He’s in a good position to effect change. I have recommended to Calvin Minors AKA Sportin Sam to reach out to Eron and see if they can work together in bringing about the change Bermuda desperately needs. I hereby recommend Eron do the same and try to get in touch with Calvin.

  19. StillThatBS says:

    Everyone always has something to say on forums like these….

    Until I see and hear someone else speaking up…EVERYONE needs to stop chirping.

    How does Bermuda expect to change if no one is willing to accept change?

  20. UpsetwithVerdict says:

    Erin, maybe you and some your friends can be mentors to these young men in the violence cause they need help too or try and help them make better life choices..good job bra! proud of u!