Premier: “A Powerful Moment For Bermuda”

June 9, 2020

“Racism in Bermuda isn’t new, and racist attitudes still persist in Bermuda,” Premier David Burt said, adding that “we must maintain the energy to continue to fix injustice.“

Speaking at last night’s [June 8] press briefing, Premier Burt said, “Yesterday was a powerful moment for Bermuda. Thousands took to the streets to show solidarity and support for the Black Lives Matter movement, while demanding justice, and elimination of racism in Bermuda.

BLM Black Lives Matter march Bermuda June 2020 DF (14)

“As we marched, we affirmed that Black Lives Matter, and with the rest of the world, remembered American black men and women who have been murdered by the state. It is clear that the events in United States have affected many, and I’m pleased that this government changed the laws, so that a legal and peaceful protest could take place this Sunday.

“Racism in Bermuda isn’t new, and racist attitudes still persist in Bermuda. Police brutality in Bermuda, is not new either, and neither are police who may have racists views. 2 December 2016 and recent local events have proven that that is the case. There is still economic disparity between black and white people who do the same jobs in Bermuda. This is our truth, and of course, it is not enough just to talk about it, but we must continue to act on it.

“Bermuda’s justice system is not colorblind. We have to make sure that we continue the reforms to our justice system so that the differing treatment of black person versus white persons inside of the criminal justice system is no longer there.

“This inequity is what led this government to decriminalize cannabis possession because the outcome of that law disproportionately, negatively affected black males, with 95% of convictions of cannabis possession being black males, whereas the usage statistics amongst black and whites is similar.

“In the House of Assembly on Friday, I said that as a country, we must maintain the energy to continue to fix injustice. It is my hope, when we move forward with making additional changes to legislation, legislation that will dismantle laws, practices, and policies of systemic racism that negatively impact black people, they’ll be met with the same energy for real change in equity that we saw on display this weekend.

“In April, then Minister Jamahl Simmons invited the public to provide their opinions on current laws that they believe should be updated. The objective was to get public feedback to assist the government with updating, reforming, and repealing existing laws and introducing new laws that will benefit the people of Bermuda, because it’s important that the government listens to the people it represents. And this online forum provides opportunity for us to engage in meaningful consultation, so that persons can provide their feedback.

“Additionally, the Minister for Community Affairs and Sports, the Hon Lovitta Foggo, will shortly issue a statement announcing that she has reopened the Bermuda Race Relations discussion. In order to move forward we must address and improve the relationships between the various sub communities on this island. Minister Foggo did open that up, and it was engaged in with her Ministry earlier, but she’s reopening that consultation and persons are invited to visit to add their thoughts to these issues.“

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Comments (18)

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  1. bermy yout. says:

    Ay if my granny or grandpa get corona and die cause of this march umma be vax. real talk.

  2. sure says:

    Must be an election around the corner.

    • sandgrownan says:

      He is playing a very good political game isn’t he, and is the luckiest Premier in history.

      He was grappling with the failure of his Crypto Currency initiative, failure to deal with Immigration reform and an economy in chronic tailspin. Not to mention, failure to tackle gaming, education, transport, trash collection… etc etc. An administration unmarred with success.

      And then he gets handed two golden balls! COVID 19, which he has handled admirably, and the George Floyd inspired BLM movement. His political capital now couldn’t be higher, and we’ve all forgotten how boned the economy is and was and he has something on which to blame twenty years of PLP failure.

      Question is..what does he do now? All the stuff mentioned above is good…but where’s the money coming from? Who is paying off the debt? What is the economic plan? Is there one, or are we going to have to rely on weed?

      The fact is, we’re exactly where we were in February.

      • JAWS says:

        People like you are the very reason people like me are shouting BLACK LIVES MATTER! Take your knee off us we can’t breath. You have no respect for people of color and don’t feel a black man can perform just as a good as a white man. This protest around the World has taught you nothing.

        • sandgrownan says:

          No! I was there Sunday marching for the same things you were. The question is, are you going to hold the political leadership of Bermuda accountable? Be honest with yourself.

          • Imjustsaying says:

            Exactly. They had chances to make changes and didn’t.

          • Eyes wide open says:

            The people held the ubpOBA accountable and kicked them out 24 – 11. Black Lives Matter.

            • sandgrownan says:

              20 years of inaction would suggest that the PLP, actually don’t really care. Think about it. 20 years of decline and failure.

      • Imjustsaying says:

        So this Primire’s party has been in power a few times and what have they done about racism not a bloody thing. All lip service.

    • REAL TALK says:

      Must be because it’s the second time Bermuda has seen whites and blacks stand strong for the same thing. The last time was the status for all which voted out the oba/UBP. :)

    • Wahoo says:

      Very likely. Every press conference is like a taxpayer funded pep rally.

  3. Toodle-oo says:

    Now stop politicizing the Covid 19 updates and stick to the subject.

  4. Bermuda is growing up says:

    Can this mean that we are beginning to see each other as people and are willing now to try to work on supporting each other and strengthening our community instead of ripping ourselves apart.

    I want to believe….

  5. Rod L says:

    And if we get a sudden wave of Covid 19 cases in the next couple weeks, I know exactly who to blame – starting with The Premier and The Commissioner of Police, both of whom have shown themselves to be more interested in pandering to the moment rather than protecting the health of the populace. It’s interesting that a guy can be fined $3,000.00 for free diving to put a lobster on his table while harming nobody and yet Sunday’s event is not only allowed but applauded. While many of us, myself included, are busy checking our privilege in the days ahead, perhaps these two gentlemen can take a few moments to check their vanity.

  6. Boston Whaler Owner says:

    wonders which is worse,a virus that is easily spread amongst people or racism or plain stupidity of people.

  7. Charlly X says:

    I’m sorta disgusted with the PLP ! It took for an American to murdered in his own country for Racial change in ours . They’ve been in control since 2008 and now I hear the Premier talking about dismantle of Racist policies on our law books . When will we stop being house birds No wonder they were Afraid of Dr.Brown . He knew how to organize and centralize . From here on in all I can say is Educate yourselves !!!

  8. Bermudian says:

    Racism and prejudice is experienced by all races not just blacks. In order for all of us to come together, listen and heal truth needs to be told and acknowledged.