Comment Was Racist, Divisive, Jeopardized Staff

April 15, 2017 | 78 Comments

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.”

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  1. watching says:

    Why did the Senator, nor the Premier, mention the business owner’s name?

    • JAWS says:

      Is he on the OBA Immigration board at the present moment or did they sack him?

      • Question oba? says:

        If Dr. Brown had said that the oba would have done a Commission of Inquiry, a 2 million dollar police investigation and tried to sued the company he was buying his burgers from over in Boston.

        I see Vick ball is still a oba senator even after the commission of inquiry ….hmmm so does that mean the Premier forgave him after the the commission came back with their recommendations of a police investigation on Ball. The oba has the biggest shovel in the game around truth and lies until it hits home!!! :)

        • bdaboy says:

          “If Dr. Brown had said that..”

          He did say that, and a lot worse…but you haters didn’t notice.

          hypocrites!

    • scoalsy says:

      observably you are reading with blinders on :(

  2. ImJustSayin says:

    The man is a jerk. It’s about time some people realize that.

    • A Chap called V says:

      Just remember that many people patronising his businesses might well be tourists and have no idea of what he has done. We need them to enjoy themselves and want to return to Bermuda.

      By all means boycott and spread the word (I won’t patronise his places for a long time, if ever).

      Do you Google the political opinions and Facebook pages of bars/restaurants you visit on vacation?

    • FUI says:

      perhaps you are

  3. Toodle-oo says:

    Had RO referenced the same Wikepedia page to a bunch of OBA protestors ‘peacefully demonstrating and blocking access to the house ‘ over a piece of PLP legislation NOT a peep would have been said .

    In fact, the same voices raising holy hell now would probably even agree with him .

    • Lol says:

      Bruh your racist defelcection and white supremacist’s tears are tasty. Well if the PLP did this, well if the PLP did that, just more defelection coming from a typical OBA supporter. News flash, the PLP DID NOT do it, one of your own did but you cant seem to find any nerve in tour racist body to condemn one of your own’s actions.

      • Lol says:

        Your*

      • Point boy says:

        He without sin (mistakes). Cast the first stone.

        This has been blown way out of proportion.

        I’m sure the man is sorry. I will also bet that there has been far more sinister comments posted online!

        • The only thing he was sorry about was he got CAUGHT OUT.
          Because someone says their sorry, dont mean that they change their ideology. Now if he repents and works along with CURB then I MIGHT be convinced.
          LMFAO

      • Point boy says:

        @Lol.
        Neither did the OBA. Your talking about deflecting the blame, your pointing in the wrong direction. He is not an OBA representative.

        • Lol says:

          @point boy, i was responding to the comment made by one of your buddies talking about if the plp made the legislation. Anyways you know what im talking about, but you want to play dumb and defelect and be technical. And yes he is an OBA guy. For the premier to personally tell him to apoligize what that makes him? Just because he is not in parliment or a minister does not mean him and the oba share the same old oligarchy mentality. And for the fact govt have not revoked his license for the horseshoe bay beach concession stand says a whole lot. But who cares what white supremacists like u think. U alls time is up anyways…

      • bdaboy says:

        “News flash, the PLP DID NOT do it,”

        They did far worse things than that. Disgusting bigots you are.

    • Izzypop says:

      Funny how things work when Peggy Burns holds up a plaque about white mental Illness and it was filled. Y loads of racist comments about pple it was fine by many.
      Now the shoe is on the other foot and it’s an outrage

      • uiq says:

        They’re both ridiculous people saying obnoxious things.

        Oh but why miss the opportunity to make a palaver over minor league frippery.

      • Real Onion says:

        so you can report when a BLACK calls a White person Mental Illness but you dont like it when a White calls a Black mental Illness…

        • Positive Pessimist says:

          I wouldn’t say across the board that whites suffer from mental illness. However, when you look back to slavery days when whites would go over and capture humans beings, stuff them in the hold of a ship like cargo, hardly feed them, throw them overboard if they were sick, take them in chains and auction them off, beat them until they bled, sexually assault the women, separate families by selling off the children, lynch them, etc. etc. etc. did have to involve the traits of psychopaths-yet it was accepted as perfectly normal. We won’t even get into what happened to the Native Americans or aborigines. This happened for generations and whites didn’t feel it was wrong. To many blacks, that would make one think there had to be mass mental illness involved to justify that and consider it normal. If it was not abolished, would it still be going on today with whites thinking it was fine? Just keeping it real for a minute, Bernews-we’re all adults here. I’m not saying I accept what some people think, but I can understand why they would think it, based on past experience.

          “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” (George Santayana)

        • Real real Ungin says:

          Clearly your ramblings make sense to you.
          Unfortunately others are left baffled

      • The point she had with white mental illness was how white people (USED to?) hang and murder Black people without remorse.
        Keep it in text.

    • Honestly says:

      Stay in your lane!

    • FoolsDie4LackOfWisdom says:

      Clearly they are NOT

    • Sickofantz says:

      So you think what he wrote was OK?

  4. Micro says:

    Ignorant, derogatory, sure. I wouldn’t go so far as to call it racist, bigoted, or divisive.

    • Mb says:

      I would
      It was meant to be divisive and get a rise
      Stop excusing it
      It was also stupid to be so flip that he thought there was anything ok about posting what he did when he is a leading entrepreneur and employer in Bermuda. With that comes something called responsibility.
      If he is really sorry I suggest he shut down his Facebook, hand over social media for his business to experts, sign up sensitivity training and make significant donations to some appropriate charities
      He’s done none of that

      • bdaboy says:

        “It was meant to be divisive and get a rise”

        i guess he’d be a perfect plp supporter

    • VJ says:

      It’s racist because at one point black people were lynched for alleged “crimes”. The fear of being lynched was also a deterrent to keep people in line. Understand now?

      • uiq says:

        Fear of mob violence is often used to intimidate people

        Too many people want to make this kind of silly s&!t the second coming of Emmett Till. It isn’t and won’t be. Knock it off.

        • Educated says:

          Fear of elitist, entitled and racists is more like it.
          The world is such a state because of the of them….check their history: Australia, New Zealand, America, India, China, Caribbean, England and Bermuda they have consistently imposed their rule, views and laws upon people they have deemed savages, inferior, needing (of their concepts) etc.
          Every Minority group has been told you are better off if you think ‘our’ way because like God we will SAVE you from yourselves!

          • uiq says:

            Yes, yes, because nothing says ‘cultural imperialism’ like some dope popping off on Facebook.

            “They” are out to get you, one demented social media post at a time.

      • truth says:

        firstly lynchings have occurred frequently in recent history for various non-racial (but equally stupid) reasons. secondly he is saying to lynch them because of their actions, no mention of their race. YOU made the race inference. understand now?

      • Zevon says:

        What race were the people who actually were hung drawn and quartered? In the thirteenth century, in the reign of Henry III?

        • It Now 2017 says:

          Did the protest in BERMUDA???

        • Heard Enough says:

          Took you long enough to respond. You must have been busy.
          Oh! I finally figuered out who is the BELCO bird.

          Psst! By the way it was RO’s way of passing a Subliminal message or racist code He thought he did so cleaverly.

        • What race were de protesters?

      • Real Onion says:

        Witches were also hanged..Salem…but they were all white,so your arguement is moot.

        NOT one Black person was ever Hanged,Drawn and Quartered,so the connection to Blacks is FAKE.

      • Truth is killin' me... says:

        And all the white people in the photo were scared of the same thing…being hung and quartered!

      • Hubris says:

        Lynched, Yes.
        Hung, Drawn and Quartered, No.
        That punishment was reserved for crimes of treason, which blocking Parliament gates would qualify as.
        Do you understand now?

        • Reading Out Loud says:

          Please re-read your comment silly

        • bdaboy says:

          “Do you understand now?”

          of course, they don’t, they can’t even remember how pathetic their plp government was

      • aceboy says:

        The PLP branded the protests against the Uighurs as a lynch mob and Burgess claimed the COI was a lynch mob.

        This is nothing to do with a lynch mob. In your rush to scream racism you are mixing up things.

    • Hubris says:

      Agreed, this is what happens when people want to play the race card. They see race issues everywhere.

      Let’s follow the bouncing ball.

      Hanged, drawn and quartered is a punishment for high treason.

      High treason is criminal disloyalty to one’s government for example, attempting to overthrow its government.

      Its not like he put up a picture of a gibbet, that would be a little harder to explain.

      Its about time you people stop seeing everything as racist.

      *and by the term you people I mean the ones complaining not black people*

      • Black Person says:

        Tis time ‘youpeople’ opened your eyes.
        Do you tell Jews to stop seeing things??
        Do you tell women stop crying sexual harrasment everytime her boss send her sexually explicit text??
        Do you tell the indigenous people to stopping crying fowl when a government pumps oil through their sacred land???
        Do you even know what it’s like to have a white person use subliminal messages to attack you? Hurt you! Mock you! Deman you? Try to put you in your place? Than stop telling me HOW To FEEL!!

        • bdaboy says:

          “Tis time ‘youpeople’ opened your eyes.
          Do you tell Jews to stop seeing things??
          Do you tell women stop crying sexual harrasment everytime her boss send her sexually explicit text??
          Do you tell the indigenous people to stopping crying fowl when a government pumps oil through their sacred land???
          Do you even know what it’s like to have a person use subliminal messages to attack you? Hurt you! Mock you! Deman you? Try to put you in your place? Than stop telling me HOW To FEEL!!”

          Do you tell gay people they’ve made a choice, are committing a sin and should not have the same rights as everyone else?
          Yes, you do!

      • Well because there has been 400 years of the race game,and one race benefitted and still beneftting, and another race suffered and still suffering from the race game, it’s kinda hard to determine what is and what is not.

        • wahoo says:

          Take a better look and you will see people of all colors benefitting and they tend to be the ones who are working hard and not dwelling on race based politics. I know how your mind works and this is too good an opportunity for you to let pass it is really the only hope that the PLP have – dividing us racially. I am not going to defend RO but I do think that this is getting blown way out of proportion and you are loving it. Shame.

  5. Barbie says:

    To think I was just going to book a reservation. We will not be going there tonight. His apology was just as insulting as the original post.

    • Prove it says:

      boo hoo. take your money elsewhere. as if an owner’s personal philosophy or online comments were ever a factor when picking a restaurant. no one cares about you and your slactivism.

      • VJ says:

        Hey, he’s going to be the one boo-hoo-hooing. You might not care, but I’m sure HE does!!!

  6. Eyeswideshut says:

    Rick Sorry is so sad a response coming from you knowing that you don’t have a sorry bone in your body, evident by you’re first excuse followed by you’re apology. I was a regular customer at your restaurant but the only reason I be near your restaurant in the near future is to see how many people who Agree and don’t care and continue to patronize your business, some will say but what about the people jobs!! my reply is Ricks not the only person that can run the beach change is good, so sad I really like the beach but as a Black man i can’t bring myself to forgive you knowing that you just apologize because of social media pressure, and the fact that you don’t see the wrong in what you did ,you need to find help I feel sorry for you you’re so blind, I will find somewhere else to eat and drink.

  7. Y-Gurl says:

    Idiot of all idiots

  8. VJ says:

    I must say that I have a new found respect for the OBA for standing up and publicly criticizing Mr. Olson’s comments. I’m quite sure that he didn’t expect this public backlash. Let this be a lesson to people that they can’t just say whatever they want, whenever they want. That goes for black, white, PLP or OBA. We can’t expect our young people to act right when we’re so disrespectful to one another.

    • So Silly says:

      But the OBA will still give him the lucrative contract at Horshoe Bay.

    • wahoo says:

      Absolutely. We also need to name and shame the man from the Air Canada flight a few months ago who started talking vile hatred in the gate area and all the way to Bermuda. He then left the airport with no interference from police.

      • Up D hill says:

        Or the PLP, or the the noise makers we hear now! Only when it suits them!!

  9. Oh,I see now says:

    I 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

    You knew exactly what you meant to say the ONLY thing you’re sorry for is having to apologize for it mate.A close second behind not being able to use the N word is to make light of hangings especially when referencing people of ANY hue of the rainbow.As a child we learned a song when confronted with bigotry ,I’ll sing a bit.

    “Red and yellow black or white we are precious in his sight
    Jesus loves the little children of the worrrrld”.

  10. Positive Pessimist says:

    I don’t in any way condone what Mr. Olson said but he didn’t expect this national backlash and shouldn’t be turned into a pariah. I’m black and while I was upset at the comment on reflection I can imagine that he feels truly awful right now. There’s no need to keep beating the man down. We should remember what time of year it is and as a mostly Christian country our belief is that Christ died to forgive all our sins, so we should show forgiveness to others. Many of us have said worst, but in private and we know it. Let’s accept his apology and move on and let this be a lesson learned for ALL of us.

  11. drunken ursula says:

    oh please Lynne, now you speak so many vile comments and statements have come outta your mouth in the pass… about opposition about the government,have you forgotten????

  12. Magik says:

    Nobody is defending his comments or his actions. Unfortunately these businesses employs dozens of people who depend on our patronage to these establishments 200 living.

    I would ask that the community look for ways to punish his actions that don’t involve punishing the staff as well.

    While I grasp for straws on how the best way to do so outside of the public backlash and the already week or two boycott of these restaurants, perhaps people who are more creative can suggest some alternatives.

    Knowing some of these staff personally it is heartbreaking to see the actions of one man potentially ruin others. These workers often work paycheck to paycheck and losing weeks worth of business would be detrimental to them, not to mention the ramifications if these restaurants and the closing.

    Rick’s actions are inexcusable and his calling for protesters to be drawn and quartered, even in jest is something that should not be forgotten, but please in your protest do not cause collateral damage to those who depend on these restaurants to make a living.

    • Positive Pessimist says:

      Maybe as a gesture of goodwill he could make a donation to CURB or something like that? That’s what I would do. In any case, everyone is picking on one man to the point where it’s getting ridiculous. What he did was foolish-you can think anything you want but once you say or act on it, it gets you into situations like this. There’s nothing I hate more than a hypocrite and I am a very fair person and half the people attacking this man have said far worse in their own company than he did. He was foolish and juvenile and didn’t think this through but as I said in my other comment, don’t turn him into a pariah. What more is the guy supposed to do? Let’s move on already.

  13. Don't care says:

    I don’t care how may apologies Mr Olsen makes. My family & I will not visit any of his establishments & I voted OBA at the last election. So embarrassed.

  14. v smtih says:

    The sad thing when people are stupid,its nothing you say will change their way of thinking,an apology means nothing,get them were it hurts
    the most,stop going to his restaurants,but knowing Bermudians
    we forgive too easily.

  15. Rockfish#1nd#2 says:

    Olson has proven to be a bigoted, insensitive,foolish person.
    But to suggest he represents the philosophy of any organization, political or otherwise, is quite a stretch.

  16. Triangle Drifter says:

    Just think, if the mob blocking the HOA had been white & the same person had made the same posting, there would not be a word of protest. It would be ha,ha,ha & all over & forgotten the next day.

    It is not so much what was posted but who posted it that is basis for the uproar in some quarters. What makes the post racist when all of the characters in the post are white. The victim is white. The punishment was carried out in white medieval Europe. They did not know Africa existed at that time.

    In 2017 there are some people who need to get down off their high self righteous horses.

    • VJ says:

      If, if, if….this isn’t a case about if’s. Why is the OBA saying it’s racist, if it’s not? Why did the Premier make him apologize? Stop making excuses, and talking about if this or if that. He’s a white man, the protesters were predominantly black, and we all know the historical method of dealing with disobedient blacks. He was out of order, and you know it.

    • Positive Pessimist says:

      It was the suggestion of lynching that got everyone riled up. That is still a sore topic in the black community, TD. They actually sold postcards of blacks hung and things like that-and there are people still alive today who lived during that horrible period. We have to be careful of justifying too much what he did while accepting that many of us have also said such things about those of other races, and then offering forgiveness and moving on.

    • PBanks says:

      What if it was a black person, a business owner, a PLP supporter, who put up a post suggesting a group of white protesters should be handled that way? Of course there would be cries for a boycott. Come on now.

      It does not matter if it’s “drawn and quartered”, “hung from a tree”, “placed under the guillotine” or “burned at the stake”. Any alluding to the method is a distraction from the motive of the post and how it offended a varied cross section of the community.

  17. ImJustSayin says:

    I will not be patronising any of his establishments. I’ve been known this about him but he has crossed the line.

  18. bdaboy says:

    “We won’t even get into what happened to the Native Americans or aborigines. ”

    Why not?
    Are you afraid of the truth? The fact that it was black people who stole natives from their land and sold them as slaves?
    Why are you so afraid of black history?

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