Posted by: Ms Morris | November 22, 2009

The Deafening Silence

Since beginning school this year my time has not been my own. I am inundated with work that leaves me little time for lifes little pleasures, like reading the paper online. When I do click over however and read about another spate of shootings I sometimes wish I hadn’t bothered. I absolutely hate the way violence is eating away my mental construct of home and even more so it hurts my heart to not be in a position to do anything about it. I then look at those who are in positions to do something and I continue to be disappointed.

I had my hopes up for the Young Black Male study. I thought it was going to address the issue of person’s who were involved in problematic behavior. This is not saying that the report was bad or not useful I was just expecting somthing else. Ok, not then, surely something would come up in the Throne Speech I mean there has to be something on the agenda for the upcoming year. Suprisingly and sadly, I was wrong again. The silence on the problems of gangs in Bermuda is deafening.

Gang violence is a very real and ongoing problem in Bermuda but yet there has been no real effort from the leaders of Bermuda to get to the root of the problem. They barely acknowledge they exist and from where I’m sitting it seems like its only becuase they were forced to with the appearance of gun violence. Maybe they’re hoping that all the gun carriers will kill each other and they won’t have to deal with it. Who knows? What I do know is that the context that created and caused the rise in gun/gang violence has not changed and as such more persons will be indoctrinated into a way of life that is detrimental to self and the people of Bermuda. If we do not address the factors social, educational, psychological and economic then we will continue to see acts of violence in increasing fashion.

I wonder how long it will take the government to act in ways outside of the obvious. Being punitive simply is not effective. You take one person off the street someone else will take their place. Besides in order to put people in jail you would most likely need people to work with the police and I don’t see that happening until after that watershed moment when the people are pushed too far by some heinous act. I think we need to stop seeing this subset of society as a problem and start seeing them for who they are. Young people. Human beings. Persons to talk to and not simply about. You catch more flies with honey and all that. Some may think I’m naive or out in left field somewhere but to them I say this: You got a better idea?


  1. The PLP Government and liberals in general are responsible for all this crime. Outside of the lack of quality of life ability = House and 4 children at 40 hours a week affordability.
    The influence of liberalism such ATI probation short remission sentences bail granting.
    All in the name of weak liberal politics.
    Half of the violent crimes are vigilante acts.
    The other half poor people trying to eat.
    Dust to dawn curfews should have follow all murders.

  2. Have we figured it out? Has anyone? We’ve recognized a problem, we’ve even gone so far as to explore the reasons behind the problem, but it becomes a very sensitive issue when you try and actually put your finger on it. It’s akin to the U.N. not wanting to use the word genocide. Simply because if they did, it would DEMAND action.

    So we’re not at that point, genocide, but we do have a problem. We know the problem exists and we are waiting for answers. Right. Acceptance of a problem is the first step. The road to recovery begins now. Now who has the problem and who wants help? Ahhhh… where do we start?

    Unfortunately, even loaded with all this information, we now need to figure out what to do with it! Too much information can be just as bad as not enough. Who’s responsibility is it? Government’s? Why? They surely can’t be to blame for the problem, and they’ve done the homework, so what more can they do?

    Policing? Do we desire a military state? Is the next Police sub-station going to be put at the top of Middletown? Do we chase all the dope pushers out of the seedy underbellies of Bermuda? How are these guns getting into Bermuda? Should we be employing more sniffer dogs and armed forces at our ports of entry? Should the Boat Patrol be on 24/7 watch of our shores?

    Too many questions, not a whole lot of answers. Planning sucks. Who has the time or desire to deal with this when we have so many other things to deal with? We keep bringing in experts, religious icons and motivational speakers to enlighten people who either are not getting the message, or are getting it, but don’t need or want it.

    So here we are with a bucket load of info and no idea of what to do next. We have become adept at recognizing things and ignoring them.

    Never were we in more need of a plan.

  3. Sparxx, you’re on the money with that one. We need a plan.

    To borrow your metaphor, we may not be at the point of genocide but do we really want to wait unitl we’re forced to use the term? I don’t like being reactionary. I’d much rather be proactive.

    Within your response you’ve identified things that can be done. I do believe better there needs to be more done in the way of finding out how guns are coming into the island. Increased boat policing isn’t a bad idea at all in my opinion. I’m sure we’d find more than guns coming in that route.

    Just thinking off the top of my head now but I can see how that idea could be linked to Jon’s idea of National Service. I too have always wondered why the regiment isn’t more marine/ coast guard like. I mean we’re an island, wouldn’t that just make sense? The benefits are definitely there. Increased policing of the waters without taxing the police force too much.

    The thing is there are plenty of things that government can do. They just aren’t, and it boggles my mind. The nature of the problem is multi faceted and complex yes, but not unsolvable. Political will was a topic brougt up in discussion in one of my classes this week. I look at our government and wonder do they lack the political will to resolve this issue? If it is that they simply do not have a plan then maybe the hiring of an outside expert would be warrented. An expert in the realm of community development who will look at Bermuda in the Bermuda context and help us map a plan back to sanity.

    Planning may suck and be time consuming but that is what is needed. And isn’t that what we elect our government officials to do?

  4. people talk and now type to much….u lot looking 4 plans …want to explore …. LETS DO ANOTHER STUDY …..blah blah blah talk talk talk.



    your own people have been tellin u de solutions for over 20 yrs.

    redistribution and restructuring of the economic wealth so that all BORN BERMUDIANS are not living under the poverty line.




    rich greedy minority + poor public education + no social engineering + NO NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT PLAN = antisocial behaviour







    Comment edited.

  5. It’s a double edged sword Ms. Morris. Becoming too heavy handed in the normal lives of free people and all of a sudden you have other problems. A stronger police/military may be what’s needed, but I’m not sure I want to have a “big brother” situation on our hands.

    I was part of the first graduating class on youth leadership development a few years ago at the Bermuda College. Part of that class was dedicated to the development of a Youth Leadership program that fills a need.

    We have a lot of great youth organizations that offer many different paths to success. Social programs. grass roots programs, church and sporting organizations, charitable and governmental. What is needed is an avenue that brings all of these groups together, to share ideas and work on problems, together.

    I had developed a program called it the BYA (Bermuda Youth Alliance – believe it or not) because it truly was an alliance. It required that all organizations working with youth come together for support and sharing. Working together to address multi-cultural problems, drug and alcohol abuse, and anything else that would affect our disenfranchised youth.

    It’s a simple theory – many hands make light work. Only by working together do we cross the bridges and expand our victories.

    I will now point you to this site – This is something I would truly like to see happening in Bermuda. We would bring all of our Youth organizations together under one flag over one weekend every year. We could even make a week of it. Have a national conference, and at the end of GYSD we could have a massive celebration at the National Stadium (on a Saturday night) filled with music, arts, sports… all from our youth. The headline event would be the National youth awards that would be held on a Sunday night.

    Ok… I’ve got all this documented, and have many different thoughts and plans to make it work.

    The reality is, the problem is ours. The longer we wait for something to happen, the more lives are being lost. Sometimes the best next plan is one we think of ourselves.

  6. Violent crime is a military problem not a police problem. One night of the “whote card” it will take us back to peace.

  7. Davida –

    I’m afraid you are correct. The silence is deafening. What irony of all is that in a country that boasts about being run by a strong black man, the biggest challenge currently facing us is what do we do with our young black men…

    I’m not suggesting that Ewart Brown has the key to all of our social ills but can we not as the small community we are reach out to the “wall-sitters” and find out where the breakdown in communication lies? What is it that has pushed them to the periphery of our society and encourages the anti-social behaviour they are engaging in?

    I think inasmuch as the solution lies in each one of us, the onus is on our MEN to stand up and assume the role that they once prided themselves on – as regulators and protectors of our community. If each man on this island took one or two young men under his wing providing positive direction and reinforcement of values I’m sure we would see a lot less of the negative behaviour currently being displayed. These boys are clearly missing something that in many ways only another man can provide.

  8. u people r a collective joke may the gangs take over bermuda

  9. 42 are keeping the order. If it wasnt for them the garrison would be running wild like the case before the courts down East. The last recession garrison warned Bermuda with Jammys Caines no work more crime.
    College punks the Gaglio case is the worst case senario.

  10. @CO Would you say most men in Bermuda are capable of being role models? IMHO the heart of the problem is that we have far too many 30-40 year old children running around…

    men who have not grown up.

  11. @ sparxx – I agree with you with respect to 30-40 year old children… Unfortunately there are a lot of older guys who are affiliated with these various groups who instead of being to initiate positive change and be a positive influence in the lives of the younger lot coming up behind them, are encouraging the madness that is going on. I think the key is to reach out to the older guys and get them to redirect the younger generation who look up to them.

  12. This is all the fault of the recession and be warned honestly the day has already come when people have been told to pay protection money or have their house burned down.

  13. The UBP built the garrison and the PLP left them to rot in poverty. In the Bronx they have police stations on the bottom floor of 40 apartments deep. Where is the vision to have a police station at perimeter lane apartments? Poverty leads to crime look at the Southside murder case before the courts . The base gates should have never been torn down. Garrison housing projects relocates. The problem is we have leaders that have never hanged or banged or even robbed an old cat. These stuck up punks like the Caines brothers are not real black men.

  14. Garrison are the role models now. They can smoke anybody. Politicans, college boys, white folk aint no way harder than a 42 gangster.
    What you gone do when garrison role on you?
    Like T.I. says, ” if he was strapped he would be alive today.”
    If Bermuda was a white majority guns would be legal.
    are black leaders are useless.

  15. no change in this system = no positive change in the people that live in the system.

    this system has created this under class, and the system needs to be changed inorder for the under class and the social backlash to go away.

    economics have destroyed the family and the lack of family has created these issues.

  16. seems like theres no real intention of adressing the real problem this system!!!!!!

  17. how much longer are we going to pass the buck black press? We have the data, we have the power, we have the urgency… let’s facilitate the change.

  18. whos passing what buck? wa de hell u talkin bout sparxx…. r u blind to the posts ive made on this thread?

    the plain n simple truth ….. these people are not interested in changing anything. and the youth know it!!

    they r not serious based on a study that cost 350K on gangs with reccomendations done in 06 07 thats been shelved and never made public

    how many people could have been saved from that point till now if they acted 3 yrs ago

    cutt the BS youths see right throught it.

    they aint going to listen to any do gooder who aint comming to the table with the included solution of changing this system…..

    they aint trying to hear more hot air bs…..real talk!


  19. Only the Finance minister can change the system. Stop dreaming she is responsible for all this war.

  20. Change needs to be made all around. The government system, the gang structure and on the individual level because those who stay silent are just as guilty.

    The thing is even if you presented a solution wrapped with a silver bow, who’s going to be the bigger person and step back? Who is willing to admit that what they are doing is wrong and commit to changing their ways? I’m not sure if anyone is there yet. And I definitely don’t see that happening without viable alternatives being presented.

    If the gang problem was strictly financial (and its not, a motivator for actions but in no way the only explaining factor) then job alternatives would be an answer. Government could provide that in multiple ways, but of course they would actually have to talk to these same gang members, which they seem so reluctant to do.

    There is the matter that not all gang members have a problem with their lifestyle. In a country like BErmuda where there are options out there if you choose to take them I am not convinced that all members are there becuase they have no other options. They choose to be there. They choose to kill and someone should ask them why. Red party made mention of the case before the courts. He said he was mad and he wanted to know what it was like. I think its sad that anger and curiosity killed more than a cat. The thing is a lot of young men are angry and don’t know how to channel that anger. At some point the deep seated causes of these behaviours need to be addressed. You can blame the gov’t, the finance minister whomever you please, but at some point we really have to stop and examine the person, their motives and behaviours.

    That won’t happen until people reach out. I see that Mirrors is being extended to those between the ages of 19 and 23. To which I say, it’s about damn time! More focus should have been given to this age group from jump and believe me I’ve been saying that for some time. We need to guide our young people, not run from them. Why wouldn’t they resent us if we only show them contempt? In a world where respect is crucial, how can we expect to gain at the very least the ear of those we are concerned with if we can’t even show them the bare minimum they ask for?

  21. we have political leaders who have been in politics for the entire life span of the history of this community ignoring the plight of the people who have suffered through the imbalance in the social economic conditions, while living under the poverty line.
    they are too highly paid to worry about the little peoples problems.
    and this 20 yr history of them ignoring the under class proves this.
    now that an active social backlash is emerging they all of a sudden care…but still do nothing to reform the system that has created the problems.
    no closure of the economic divide…no housing for the people makin under 70 k…no job protection for bermudians….no proper pay for bermudians to do more than exist…no proper education system
    all = development of an under class and crime
    the people need to get rid of these out of touch over paid politicians who do nothing but talk and pass worthless legislation that fixes none of the social economic issues
    If all these new community groups do no put political pressure on these out of touch politicians to produce the long promised reforms to this system……their efforts to save the youth from the social economic conditions created by out of control capitilism will means this countrys destruction, cause the environment that produced the existing underclass would not have changed thus setting the stage for the next generation of troubled youth…the by product of a troubled system of government.
    therefore the plp is just as bad as the ubp

  22. In some ways we are coming full circle on earlier comments, that with the PLP win in 1998, many expected significant change.

    It may well of course, that many of those who wanted change were unable to verbalise it – and it may also be that some of those were/are at the extremes when it comes to determining what change would mean.

    Here we are with an effectively neutered white population and 11 years of a black Govt, and we have significant issues with Burchall’s underclass as he calls it.

    It seems pretty obvious to me that the Government has walked away from a significant slice of the electorate that gave them the win in 98.

    Short of a major sea change, I don’t see that getting better either.

  23. What in the hell is mirrors?
    Honestly these youth have every right to be angry at the Government and older people these should be military targets but shortsightedness and bills dominate at present. Without self defence laws the youth will eventually overthrow the old people.
    Study the Garrison crack babies heroin babies all grown up in poverty. Laides of the night forced to pay bills with sex. BHC needs to drop their rents. payroll for low income earners dropped. recession checks for workers with less than $5000 in savings. make it easier and less expensive to raise children. family values economy put the children first.
    Too much wicked old people in politics and they must kicked out.

  24. Go ahead “Red”….kick em all out.

    Everything will be free and low this and low that. With no monies comming in via IB, Banking, Retail, Tourism et al you’ll be left with Gang Bangers and more turmoil.

    Thats what you want?

    Go for it.

    Back too cedar bark and palm leaves to wipe your butt. Ah!!!!! Heaven………………………

    Comment edited.

  25. Hah cum mighy post his nut posted….? Jingus……………Power begets……………….

  26. Because it went to the moderation queue for language Rummy. We’ll post all your comments, you can even create your own posts, all we ask is that you don’t curse. The system automatically holds them til one of us can get to it.

  27. Curse? It was not serious compared too “White people and 42nd street gansta’s”.

    Oh well. Have a great holiday and remember…only you can prevent foul language.

  28. Lolol.

    Happy holidays Rummy.

  29. Well…yah now ole Rummy………..I’m sure your well informed. Just depends on how you wear your “Uniform”.

    Same too you and don’t be afraid to speak your mind. Well …of course here on your site………..

    Censorship is a real problem. Ah…so what…black is white and red all over.

    Ooops. Don’t tell the Mid Ocean that………………

  30. The war is almost over. Robberies will spread islandwide.
    Xmas is about giving everything to the poor.
    failure means the arch angel Micheal is knocking on your door.
    Idolatry will be destroyed by poverty.
    Blame the government.

  31. Knock Knock……………………………

  32. By time these old fools wake up with armed security and gun permits for land and business owners many will die sitting ducks. Time to pack suitcases.

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