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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Mike Taylor
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Mike Taylor

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… Read more »

vanz
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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… Read more »

Denis Pitcher
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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… Read more »

Mike Taylor
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Mike Taylor

“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… Read more »

harry
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harry

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… Read more »

vanz
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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… Read more »

Denis Pitcher
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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.

harry
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harry

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… Read more »

Denis Pitcher
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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… Read more »

harry
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harry

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… Read more »

silencedogood
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silencedogood

$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.

CERP
Guest

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… Read more »