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Commentary: I am a proud Bermudian
Published on July 31, 2014 Email To Friend    Print Version

By Michael Weeks MP

A few months ago, I wrote an opinion piece entitled “A tale of two Bermudas” in which I spoke of the inequality between different segments of our community. Since then, it seems as if the divisions between us have grown.

michael_weeks.jpg
Michael Weeks graduated from Howard University in Washington DC with a Bachelor's in Business Administration, Majoring in Accounting and a minor in Social Work. He is a Progressive Labour Party (PLP) Member of Parliament and Shadow Minister for Youth, Sport, Community and Cultural Development.
In recent weeks, we have witnessed the OBA exhibit behaviours that clearly indicate which Bermuda they do not represent: Mr and Mrs Hardworking, Grassroots, Everyday Bermudian.

Actions over words

On the issue of PRC holders gaining status, the OBA simply decided to ignore our calls for collaboration to close the loophole that could potentially create a pathway to status for 6,000 PRCs, their spouses, and their children. In fact, many OBA MPs decided to take a stand in support of PRC holders being granted status.

This comes from a party that denied they would grant status to PRCs during their election campaign. The OBA knows how sensitive this issue is to Bermudians, yet they have aligned themselves against the will and experiences of Bermudians.

On July 23, 2014, OBA Senator Michael Fahy stated via a ministerial statement that the OBA will grant status to thousands of non-Bermudians.

It is clear that the OBA is looking out for non-Bermudians.

The OBA continues to try to bamboozle the people of this country by putting on a face of concern in front of the camera or in the written media about the issues Bermudians are facing. Their actions, however, speak otherwise.

Voting record

Recently, Minister Wayne Scott talked candidly about Emancipation events being held in the days ahead, when the country will be able to pause and recognize the courage of our ancestors.

However, who can forget about a recent sitting of the House of Assembly during which Minister Scott had an opportunity to truly pay homage to our ancestor’s courage by throwing his support behind the entire issue of the ‘Commission of Inquiry into land grabs’. Predictably, the minister of community, culture and sport voted against this motion.

The same is true for former premier, MP Craig Cannonier, who gave, what I thought, was a rather passionate speech on the floor of the House in reference to his connections to a family who experienced this whole ‘Land Grab’ atrocity.

However, when the time came to show genuine support for this very serious action, he also sided with his party and voted against this historic motion.

These are but two examples of the lack of concern for the people of this country by this OBA government. So, again, Bermuda, do we see a pattern of indifference? Are we fully recognizing which side members of the OBA stand on?

One would think that the OBA that spoke of social and economic equality for all during the pre-election would have helped to champion this cause.

Instead, they fought tooth and nail against this motion.

Say it isn’t so.

A Proud Bermudian

A Bermuda that works for Bermudians is the core of the PLP’s vision for taking our island and all Bermudian people forward. To achieve this vision, we must address the elephant in the room: the growing economic, social and political schism that is creating two Bermudas.

In the future, I will speak more to the issues that we need to resolve as Bermudians. More importantly, I will present viable options that we must explore.

I speak firstly as a son, father, and grandfather who wants equality for all Bermudians. Let us build a Bermuda where our Bermudian children will not be left behind.

I am Michael A. Weeks, a Proud Bermudian.
 
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Comments:

Randolph Wallace:

I find it difficult to understand this article, partly because the context was not well established. All nations (territories) have, I guess PRC is the term. Based on the writer's bio I see he lived in DC and went to an HBCU. I wonder if he was treated as a 2d class citizen there. Maybe in small places individuals have a more acute existential fear. There are proud people all over the world who are neighborly and accomodating to "PRCs". Why is being a proud Bermudian so diametrically opposed to inclusion? Can't they both occupy the same space? I really wish the context was more clearly developed. We must all remember that we are sometimes strangers in other communities with "proud" citizens.

Randolph Wallace:

I find it difficult to understand this article, partly because the context was not well established. All nations(territories) have, I guess PRC is the term. Based on the writer's bio I see he lived in DC and went to an HBCU. I wonder if he was treated as a 2d class citizen there. Maybe in small places individuals have a more acute existential fear. There are proud people all over the world who are neighborly and accomodating to "PRCs". Why is being a proud Bermudian so diametrically opposed to inclusion? Can't they both occupy the same space? I really wish the context was more clearly developed. We must all remember that we are sometimes strangers in other communities with "proud" citizens.


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