Real solutions to black advancement

The best way to solve racial inequity is through investment in solid education.  MP Renee Webb knows it.  The Irish knew it.  Why can’t Bermudian’s accept it?  Education is the key to black advancement.

In today’s Royal Gazette, Renee Webb makes a spot on review of how to provide real opportunity to underprivileged Bermudian’s:

“Until you address the education system you cannot turn around and say people should hire people who are under qualified. “

She continues by making a case for ensuring Bermudians are properly qualified:

“Are we making sure Bermudians are qualified to take over? That’s the big issue. Are we training them to take their rightful place in the country? “

“Is Government creating a scenario where Bermudians can work overseas and they are getting training. Is that being encouraged? I think the cause is laudable but, if you look at a quota system you have to look at the economy, how it works. Look at the education system, look at work permit policy. “

Exactly.  The performance of the education system speaks for itself.  Then look at work permits.  Every single one accepted is scrutinized by the immigration department.  That means either one of two things:  Either the immigration department is inept or there are no qualified Bermudians available for the vast numbers of jobs filled by primarily white ex-pats.

30+ years ago, the Irish understood the struggles of being racially profiled.  An editorial in the times online outlines the struggles and success of the UK’s Irish Community.  It suggests that 30 years ago, it was not uncommon for boarding houses to post signs saying ‘No blacks, no Irish, no dogs’.  The writer contests that while he can’t speak for blacks, the Irish have achieved success through hard work and focus on education.

“the real reason why the Irish are now at an advantage is by virtue of education. The present generation of affluent Irish came from a state that continuously made schools a priority, even when Ireland’s lacklustre economy meant that the Irish Government was educating us for emigration. Even now, Irish class sizes are smaller than here and Irish teachers better paid.”

Stop and think for a moment.  Where is there a growing competitive jurisdiction threatening our dominance over the reinsurance markets?  Why it must be Dublin, Ireland of course!  Coincidence?  Likely not.

Why can’t Bermudians achieve that kind of success?  While the Irish made education a priority, what priorities have we seen under 9 years of Progressive Labour Party governance?   How much time was wasted pursuing  independence?  How much time has been focused on pointing the finger of blame?  How much time will be wasted on poor legislation that will potentially jeopardize our strong economy?  If Bermudians aren’t qualified for the jobs, what is the point?

We should be putting focus on ensuring Bermudians are qualified.  This means education, full stop.  Yet how much focus has been placed on education in all these years?  Has it been a priority?  Has education again fallen off the radar thanks to a magical study but no further updates on what is actually being done?  Shouldn’t fixing education be an ongoing focus and our top priority? 

Racial inequity should be solved through the most effective means possible: an unrelenting focus on education.  The PLP as a whole may not want to listen, but even their own MP’s are saying it.  There are many examples of underprivileged races like the Irish who knew it and took advantage.  Why aren’t Bermudians listening?  Why are we not giving education, the best means of providing opportunities for black advancement, 110% of our focus and energy?

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12 thoughts on “Real solutions to black advancement

  1. Closing the Technical Institute and abolishing Tiered Secondary Education were PLP-sympathetic moves by the UBP. This is probably why the current government has not moved to correct these failures. In my opinion the problems with both of these should have been corrected rather than abolishing them altogether. I suspect that the current administration has been scratching their heads for the whole 8 years to come up with a new system that might work that does not resemble anything from our past, successful or otherwise. Apparently, there has been no success reinventing the wheel yet. Let’s hope for a real stroke of genius in the near future.

  2. bda’s socio-political structure is obviously different from states but the fact that blks in both countries share a legacy of slavery and it’s by products i thought the following observation from a study by the U of Chicago holds some truth in regards to this post:
    “The next two questions, v6126 and v6128, are perhaps the most insidious of the lot. V6126 makes the observation that various groups of immigrants have overcome discrimination and succeeded in society and then states that blacks can and should do the same. This is a proposition that on its face seems quite reasonable, yet it completely ignores a great many relevant factors such as the fact
    that Irish, Italians and Jews came here as free people, did not suffer hundreds of years of involuntary servitude and another hundred of legal apartheid; these other groups did not have their cultures and heritages forcibly stolen from them. So a statement that on its face seems rather non-controversial — “other groups made it; so can blacks”– is seriously flawed, on closer examination.”

  3. Are you somehow suggesting that Jews were not enslaved for hundreds if not thousands of years?
    Did Jews not overcome that history to become a very successful segment of many societies around the world?
    If they did, what is the primary factor holding back blacks?
    In order to answer that question, I refer you to the remarks of former NAACP President Bruce Gordon: http://www.denispitcher.com/2007/07/bruce-gordons-a.html
    The core problem I see is that we are far too quick to embrace the “Victim Mentality” when we should be embracing the mentality of “Accountable people”.
    With that in mind do you somehow contest that education should not be our number one priority?

  4. “that Irish, Italians and Jews came here as free people, did not suffer hundreds of years of involuntary servitude and another hundred of legal apartheid; these other groups did not have their cultures and heritages forcibly stolen from them.”
    Europeans enthusiastically participated in Irish enslavement at least from Viking times up until abolition. Bermuda is one of the many places in the new world where Irish slaves served. By all accounts this was not a version of “slavery light” although it came to be referred to euphemistically as “indentured servitude”. Irish culture, language and religion were definitely suppressed as part of their enslavement. Many Irish, Afro-Carribeans and Afro-Irish-Carribeans also came to Bermuda as free women and men particularly after abolition.
    Jews were most certainly subject to legal discrimination and segregation for an extraordinarily long period and range of places including Toronto in the 20th century. I have certainly heard Jews referred to using some pretty nasty racial slurs in Toronto as recently as this year.
    I think you may be trying to make the point that comparisons can serve to enforce racist attitudes and are of limited use when dealing with these matters and you would probably be correct. I assume Denis is trying to learn from the success of others rather than emphasize our own failures.

  5. Mr Nalton Brangman is right except the college should be closed,shut down.
    there are only 800 children per year being born in Bermua,for a number of years.
    If we gave each child,if qualified,for a college overseas $20,000 each.
    now lets see 800children times 20,000 dollars let me go to a govt school
    That is 16 million dollars with (4)four million over ,so we can build some nice places like across the road on the college grounds, as there are 20 acres there.
    Or we could take the $20million and divide it by $20,000, and that would educate 1000
    children from bermuda per year.
    but we only have 800 per year being born.
    there are more black children going to private school in bermuda,than there are white bda children in private school.
    The bda/govt school system has been disfunctional for manny years by the people whom run it,not the govt.
    I have realatives whom went to the govt schools, one is 40yrs of age and one is 50yrs of age,neither can read or write today.
    can you blame the schools “yes” part of it.
    How to solve it ??? give parents a voucher for each child,and tell them that they are reponsible for your children education.
    then there would be a change,the good teachers would stay,those whom are only there for the money would leave,the system.
    get rid of the education dept,govt would save alot of money,and rich black parents would not be double taxed.and all children would have an equal chance,as there are just as manny bright children amongst poor people as there are amongst rich people.
    and a few numbers for you folks,
    for manny years about 2500 PHD’s have been produced in the USA about the same in western europe and the pacific rim.
    now in the year 2005,
    the usa 2500
    europe 2500
    pacific rim 21,000 phd’s
    education???? i think we have a problem,
    we are and have been waisting our only resourse.
    and a little humour.
    the milkman will deliver
    the premier is milking us.
    sea ya!

  6. good point dennis – my point was not merely black and white – the study also shows that caribbean blks who emigrated to the states were able to follow the socioeconomic success patterns of the jews, irish etc. – re; brice gordon – i am well aware of his views – but like clarence thomas – he is a blk person who benefited from affirmative action only to suggest that those who r coming along now don’t need it. he also quit in the middle of his tenure as had of the naacp which doesn’t add to his credibility.
    BUT i do agree that we should be getting rid of the “Victim Mentality” and be embracing the mentality of “Accountable people”.
    question dennis – do you think that dunkley is
    a.) more accomplished than dr. brown
    b.) a better choice for premier than dr. brown
    c.) a leader with a definitive vision

  7. Harry,
    Unfortunately there’s a flaw in your logic.
    20000 for tuition * 800 new kids a year works, however a proper university degree usually requires 4 years.
    So in reality, it would take $64 million a year to give every Bermudian child a university education without taking into account tertiary costs such as living + travel expenses etc.

  8. There is a lot of misinformed and uneducated racism in bermuda.
    May i suggest:-
    black red necks and white liberals,
    by:-
    Thomas Sowell
    very well reaserched book,
    The real history of slavery,i found most interesting,as he mentions four countries in “AFRICA” to day that still have slavery.
    africans are still selling africans for about $35.00 each, today.
    we dont seem to hear about that in bermuda,
    all we hear about is alot of long gone dead people.
    another subject he writes about:-
    Black Education:
    Achievements,Myths and Tragedies.
    How closly Bermuda has followed the patern in the USA
    Very good book about 350 pages paper back for us $17.95 and about 60 pages of nots and references.
    Mr Sowell writes sowell he will edcuate you.

  9. Vanz,
    I have said many times that I am no fan of the UBP.
    Regarding your questions:
    “do you think that dunkley is ”
    a.) more accomplished than dr. brown
    I cannot debate this as each have accomplished alot under very different circumstances so it’d be comparing apples to oranges.
    b.) a better choice for premier than dr. brown
    I also can’t debate this as I don’t have enough of an understanding of Dunkley’s intended policies.
    c.) a leader with a definitive vision
    Again, I can’t speak for this because I still don’t know what his vision is.

    Your question ties into the whole personality driven vs. process driven organizations which is an arguement of Bruce Gordon’s which I support. Our island won’t get ahead until we stop looking for one definitive “savior” and start looking to establish plans and processes that will survive any one leadership.
    As great as a leader as Premier Brown may be, if he gets hit by a bus tomorrow, what then? Is all lost? This is why I don’t like comparing leaders because I don’t think leadership alone makes a good government.
    While I don’t have any issues with Dr. Brown as a person, I simply don’t share his opinions with regards to leadership style. I have alluded to each of our respective positions in this post (http://www.denispitcher.com/2007/08/what-do-todays-.html). Personally I want a consultative government that is open, transparent and participatory. These are not traits exuded by our present leadership.
    Personally, if I were voting in Canada, I’d be a Green Party supporter. I am a radical centrist in that I believe in and support their ideals for equality, environmentism and various other planks of their platform. Unfortunately, there is no such representation here and thus I find myself lost between the divide of UBP vs PLP.
    If I beleived in either party, I would likely join them and either run as a candidate, or assist in leading their youth wing. However, I don’t believe in either party and thus I remain independent in my support.

  10. Denis,that is if all 800 wanted to go to college but all 800 would not want to go .
    at the bda college they only have 291 and you could not get 800 per year to go from bermuda.
    Besides it would be better to spend 64 million on edcation instead of wasting 20million per year. went through all of this with the bermuda college when they were at prospect in the 1970’s.Nothing has changed,and manny have put time and effort to improve things but to no avail.so you have got to change the system,to change the mind set of the”I’m entitled staff”,
    and it will contiue to get worse,and you will continue to see your tax dollars wasted.

  11. $64 million…hmmm…isn’t that the cost overrun on Berkely? Granted that’s a one off, but it kind of puts things in perspective.
    Denis,
    I think you are on the right track. You might like the book Built to Last. It’s premised more on management within the private sector, but the fundamental point applies everywhere: the best organizations focus on building effective processes to create bench strength in their talent pool while leader dominated organizations who ignore process almost invariably fail.

  12. Key! Makes no difference where in the west one lives: To get the ‘good stuff’, you got to have the ‘right stuff’. Key= education AND a desire to succeed!
    UBP/PLP?
    A vision with out a plan is only dreaming; a plan with out a vision is only wasting time.
    Harry is right, there is absolutely no way on God’s earth that you could get 800 to attend college/university. This is as it should be as we must also have plumbers, masons, electricians, fisherman, farmers, and milkmen to name a few. Although some of those practising today did obtain four year degrees and good for them as they have set excellent examples for their families to follow.
    Independence – for what? We simply have nothing to sell, and like Quebec, would not be able to sustain our current standard of living-employment, etc. Quebec played that game, but in the end, the reality that there is no way they would sustain their current level of employment, tax income, medical care, etc., had they left… Maybe if France took them under their wing as a colony, they might make it. For too long Quebeckers were often portrayed as less capable than other Canadians – they needed, language protection, and more cash than all other have not provinces to survive. They still get, a much bigger slice of the Federal Transfer Pie, and where pray tell would these funds come from after separation. I find them just as capable as any other group of Canadians and French is one of the two Official Canadian languages and is here to stay! My Canada includes Quebec!
    An independent Bermuda would soon find its self afloat mid Atlantic with out the resources – manpower to sustain what is now the highest standard of living in the world. How many of us who have successful careers off island, would be willing to return to help build an independent Rock?
    Harry is right again regarding present day slavery in Africa – I know first hand as I witnessed it with my own eyes – broke my heart seeing 24 young girls, tied together standing under what looked like a Poinciana Tree, only it had purple flowers. I asked my U.N. driver why the girls were so: “Man, they are waiting for the ‘TRADERS’ to arrive – they will bring many $$ for their families!” Stop the car I said – promptly got out and threw up lunch! And, not a white man in site – the Traders were Arabs – black Arabs. I was told to mind my business! This was three years ago!
    We got to stop fighting and hating each other – it is time to seek leadership with both a vision and a plan, that will be inclusive and not fly blind, always looking behine. And with out a ‘king-pin’ to keep it going. Denee is right, we need leadership that if suddenly lost, the air-ship will continue along its planed route while the co-pilot’s take over.
    I see no such leadership in either party!
    Public Education:
    I am 57, went to Francis Patton, Prospect Boys’ and St. Georges’ Sec. Like most of the class of 66, graduated with my “School Leaving Certificate – maintained a ‘B’ average. Applied to attend college in California; surprised to learn I only had a 10th Grade Education. It seems that nothing has changed. Yet, I managed to do very well in my chosen field, and today am contract consultant to the U.N. No one kept me back! My only limitaton was me!
    Reality Check: the vast majority of the other males in my class did not aspire to much more than making a weekly pay check. Few attended college and most now blame the ‘man’ for why they don’t have more of the pie.
    Today, there is more opportunity, funds available for the best and brightest, and for some not so bright, but with ambition and a desire to suceed. It warms my heart to read most of the posts herein, as I can see that Denis, Vanz, Mike will ensure that our collective futures are brighter and most encouraging is them byes are talking… maybe there is hope.

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