Column: Open Letter From Fubler To MP Brown

March 4, 2016

[Opinion column written by Glenn Fubler]

Dear Walton,

I’m writing you this ‘Open Letter’ regarding your evoking Martin Luther King in a recent TV interview, explaining your inspiration for promoting civil disobedience as a response to proposed immigration changes.

Offering King’s example provides a useful beacon by which we might all be guided, as our community navigates these challenging waters.

We both share with so many, a passion for the welfare of our Island home. I write to offer suggestions that you may or may not find useful.

Like many I have closely studied the life of MLK. When King was thrust into the leadership of that movement, he relied on his research of Ghandi – who reminded all of us to be the change.

It was that mind-set that guided that small minority to galvanize an inclusive movement that eventually transformed the most powerful country in the World – in the face of shameless terrorism.

A guiding principle of the Civil Rights movement was to foster the empowerment of all involved; nurturing a sense of self and avoiding the temptation to promote polarization – “Us vs Them”. Even in the face of house-bombings, with a commitment to principle, eventually they leveraged their power, fostering transformation.

I don’t think that Martin would have organized that traffic blockade on Tuesday morning; especially without a ‘heads up’ to commuters- because of its polarizing implications. That said, the spokesman for the group did capture something of the ‘tone’ that reflected MLK’s spirit.

You might know that in 1979, I organized the petition against the right to vote for all Commonwealth residents who had lived in Bermuda for 3 years. As a result, at the Constitutional Conference that occurred that year, the ‘door was closed’ for any further additions to the Parliamentary Register on those grounds.

That success was based on a number of factors, especially the reality that the previous policy ran afoul of International Human Rights standards.

Martin King inspired a paradigm shift away from ‘fighting the old’, to inspiring people to dream, thus ‘fostering future possibilities’. Encouraging a change of focus from ‘what we are against’, to ‘what we are for’.

At the immigration protest held Thursday, 25/2/16, I heard a speaker evoke May 1981, and he started the chant; “Close the Island Down”.

You might be aware that I was intimately involved in that General Strike which closed Bermuda in 1981. That was a long time ago, but I clearly recall that while that ‘Battle’ was won; for me, there were too many losers, through the unintended consequences of the long-term closures of hotels and other businesses.

As the protest group gathers today on Parliament Hill, perhaps an alternate chant could be; “Open the Island Up”. For those of us who can embrace Ghandi’s be the change; the chant could be an affirmation for us to open both our hearts and minds, as we survey our Bermuda and our world, at a crossroads.

This chant could also be a call for all stakeholders; Government, Opposition, business, unions and NGO’s to truly collaborate and foster a dream; which makes all opportunities accessible and empowers each Bermuda resident to be the change , maximizing our collective potential.

Best Regards,

Glenn

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Comments (24)

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  1. Hmmmm says:

    All of these ‘open’ letters are so insincere and solely for attention and publicity. Had the real intention been to address MP Brown maybe a phone call or email would have sufficed. But then again, there’s no brownie points involved in that now is there. Right right

    • clearasmud says:

      I agree any letter to Walton should speak to his actions only not the action of others!

    • Why do people use Ghandi and he hated Black Africans.
      WTF

      • Waiting for someone to prove me wrong.
        Ill make it easy for you Google Gandhi racial discrimination.
        Class is over now.
        LMFAO

      • Starting Point says:

        As do many Black Africans, whats your point? Bermuda is less a racial divide and more a class divide.

        Bermuda has a class issue not a race issue.

    • George says:

      This was obviously not a letter to Walton Brown but to the whole Island, encouraging us all to see beyond the Us vs Them mentality that benefits no one but the political parties. Walton is seen as the face of the Immigration protesters as he is the one who encouraged civil disobedience.

  2. hmmm says:

    Good article, interesting and right for the 21st Century.

    • The Truth says:

      @hmmm:

      first, not an article. 2nd – this letter is to MP Brown but doesn’t speak to MP Brown’s actions or words which makes it worthless.

      • SpinCycle says:

        You reveal yourself… Article is defined as “a piece of writing included with others in a newspaper, magazine, or other publication.” Ain’t that The Truth!

  3. Kim Smith says:

    Bravo, Glenn Fubler! I have been struggling with a way to constructively respond to how this issue is being handled and I am grateful at how you have been able to articulate a more honourable and effective approach… and so eloquently. Thank you.

  4. stunned... says:

    finally someone speaks with credibility and offers constructive critism and suggestion. hijacking the words of Dr. Martin Luther King for this purpose is deplorable especially when Dr. Kings words advocated inclusion but what i see is this hate-mongering exercise to exclude and deny people from our society…go figure.

    • Obviously you havent heard ALL his speeches, especially before he was murdered when he was advocating Black Economic Empowerment.
      Do ya homework before you use ya hole in ya face.
      LMFAO

      • stunned... says:

        red herring and baseless comment, pure and simple.

    • Dreaddy says:

      Perhaps those whose view of Dr. King is exclusively as a Kumbaya singing inclusionist should research his views and philosophy a bit more. Here’s a start:

      http://kingencyclopedia.stanford.edu/kingweb/popular_requests/frequentdocs/birmingham.pdf

    • Truth Teller says:

      No “Stunned”, all Glenn Fubler has done is mimic white derived memes and
      given comfort to the racist and reactionary elements within Bermuda’s white resident population.

      Note how they champion him as he presumes to lecture black people in a passive aggressive manner while blowing air kisses to the aforementioned elements.

      Typical.

  5. stunned... says:

    *criticism*

  6. Kenneth E. Dill says:

    I agree whole-heartedly wit Onion Juice, people need to know the real history and mindset of Ghandi before they place his civil disobedience views on a pedestal. He was a fervent believer in the caste system and did not hold those unlike him and his “tribe” in high regard. Google , “The Myth of Mahatma Ghandi” and read what the historians say about him and his beliefs which are well documented. Ghandi was not that great! I am sure that many, like the author of this open letter may have a bit of a rethink. The story goes “When a man looks back over his life he should be proud of all of it, not just parts…”. We need to stop quoting what the establishment wants us to know while leading a bovine existence and do some independent research and then form our own opinions.

  7. Unbelievable says:

    Thank you, Glenn.

  8. Swing Voter says:

    Fubler is the poster child for free thinkers. Always puts personal polictics aside to address the real issues. Too many of us are fighting 2016 issues with 1981 tactics!

  9. Thank you Glenn! says:

    Your open letter is refreshing and exactly what needed to be said. Many of those protesting want to shut the island down with no regard for their own fellow ‘sisters and brothers’ who will be even more affected. This protest is purely political and not about any bipartisan anything. An angry mob of disengenuos people and they do not reflect the position of many more Bermudians.

  10. ALVIN WILLIAMS says:

    I don’t what it is that has prompt Glen Fubler to almost repudiate almost everything he once believe in; especially when it came to the just protest of the people. I don’t recall him been critical of those two government senators who by their statements have sort to diminish the national rights and aspirations of Bermudians in the name of attaining the rights of non-Bermudians. All this talk about the dictates of the United Nations which has compel Bermuda to act is hypocrisy coming from a political group that has never been concern about what the United Nations thought and I can point to one issue and that is of national independence which the UN has constantly call for independence to be given to the world remaining dependent territories of which Bermuda is one of the few. I doubt if many of nation members of the UN would back a policy which sees them compromising of rights of a majority population for the sake of a minority especially when many had to struggle against dominance of a foreign minority for their independence and freedom. It is to be remembered these are not economic migrants who are fleeing oppression in their homelands; there is only one group that fits that bill and that is the four Uygurs who were given sanction by the former PLP government who no doubt would face oppression or even death if they ever return to china. Fubler you are presenting a revisionist view of the current struggle that is going on in Bermuda which has pitted the national rights of Bermudians against a government and it’s political supporters who would deny those rights. that open letter which you address to MP Brown is address to the wrong person and is out of contexts to the just struggle of Bermudian for national rights in their own country. such a letter should be address to the Leader of the OBA government which has launch Bermuda on a path which will only bring forth more conflict and continue division in Bermuda.