The “offensive image and comment recently posted online by a local businessman” was “racist, divisive and unnecessarily jeopardized the livelihood of his staff and their families,” OBA Chairperson Senator Lynne Woolridge said today, adding that “at Easter, a remembrance of sacrifice and hope, let’s remember to put our energies toward lifting one another up and bringing us all together.”
Rick Olson Apologises After Being Strongly Criticized For Social Media Post
Businessman Rick Olson has been strongly criticized for his decision to post a social media comment linking to a Wikipedia page called “Hanged, drawn and quartered”, with the post depicting a photo of someone being executed, with Mr Olson captioning it: “This might be a deterrent for blocking Parliament?”.
The comment was deleted by the administrator of the group, however screenshots were reposted, with Mr Olson’s comment being heavily criticized by many people, with some stating they viewed it as racist. Some said they would refrain from patronizing his businesses due to it, and flyers to that effect have been circulating.
The following day, Mr Olson made another post on social media saying he wants to “sincerely apologize to all Bermudians for the insensitive post.”
“I fully understand the social /political precarious situation and now realize my sarcastic personality is not welcome,” he added. “This situation will not reoccur, lesson learned, and again sorry for my insulting post, it certainly wasn’t intended that way.”
PLP: ’This Blatant Form Of Racial Bigotry Has No Place In Bermuda’
The PLP previously said, “The disclosure on social media by Rick Olson that black Bermudians who protested on December 2nd should be ‘hanged, drawn and quartered’ has appalled thousands of Bermudians.
“This blatant form of racial bigotry has no place in Bermuda and we call upon the OBA Government to declare exactly where it stands when society is confronted with this bigotry.
“Olson, as President of Chops Ltd., has the concession, approved by the OBA Government, to operate at Bermuda’s most popular public beach, Horseshoe Bay.
“This is the type of individual the OBA Government is content to do business with. We are outraged. It is unacceptable and we call on the OBA Government to act rather than remain silent as they have been for years, when confronted with the issue of race.”
Premier ‘Registered His Great Displeasure About The Post’
A spokesperson for the Premier also commented on the matter, previously saying, “The Government of Bermuda has zero tolerance for any form of racism, bigotry or discrimination.
“The Premier yesterday reached out to the individual concerned, registered his great displeasure about the post and urged him to remove it and apologize publicly.
“It should be noted that any member of the public who has a grievance in this regard is encouraged to file a complaint with the Human Rights Commission for a determination on the matter.
“Part of the Commission’s remit is to use its good office to settle any complaints or grievances arising out “acts of unlawful discrimination” and, where warranted, “institute prosecutions…”
Senator Woolridge: ’Offensive Image And Comment Was Racist, Divisive’
OBA Chairperson Senator Lynne Woolridge said, “Time and again we’ve recognized the power of social media, for good and bad.
“The offensive image and comment recently posted online by a local businessman is an example of the latter. It was racist, divisive and unnecessarily jeopardized the livelihood of his staff and their families.
“At all times of the year, but most importantly at Easter, a remembrance of sacrifice and hope, let’s remember to put our energies toward lifting one another up and bringing us all together.”