In 2008 it's time to get over it
Friday, June 20, 2008 6:50 AM
"Blacks are in the majority and are in political control, even if it does not benefit them economically, and if the majority of whites were not so deeply racist they would, at least, condescend to make a real effort to at least try to understand our point of view, even if they continued to disagree, rather than to continue to rage at Dr. Brown and treat us with the contempt of assuming that they are so much more intellectually and morally superior to most of us.
Tim Wise is a white man so they can assume that he is their intellectual and moral equal. Go to hear him and then someone like Concerned Bermudian and Smith's will not find it necessary to charge me with saying something that I have not said."
EVA N. HODGSON [Letter to the editor RG - dated 08 Jun 08 - printed RG Wed 11 Jun 08]
From the life that I live and have lived, in the world that I live in, it is increasingly difficult to deal with Dr Eva Hodgson's perspectives on racial matters. Dr Hodgson publicly posits thoughts and ideas as though she is the spokesperson for all black Bermudians.
Though I am younger, we were both born into a racially segregated society. When we were younger, we were both held back by a formal government supported institutional racial discrimination. In our different ways, we have both worked to eliminate all that we can of the kind of discrimination that prevailed when we were both young.
In 2008, forty-nine years after Bermuda's 'Theatre Boycott', I do not share Dr Hodgson's perspective - certainly not as she articulates it in her letter to the Editor: "...if the majority of whites were not so deeply racist they would, at least, condescend to make a real effort to at least try to understand our point of view...".
It's the "condescending" that I don't fathom. Dr. Hodgson is using the standard meaning or variance of that meaning. I do not agree with her perspective. Her use of that word implies, and implies with certainty, that Dr Hodgson sees herself as a person who is junior to or inferior to the people she describes as 'whites'.
Whether or not a person has a good opinion of himself (or herself) is a deeply personal matter. Self-opinion colours a person's entire set of life values. In her letter, and in her use of language, I read that Dr. Hodgson also sees 'whites' as superior not only to herself, but to all 'blacks'.
I do not share that point of view. As a teenager, growing up in a segregated Bermuda, I certainly had difficulty in explaining - to myself - how it could be that all 'whites' seemed to hold positions superior to all 'blacks'. However, before I was twenty-three, I had resolved that matter. My world view of 'blacks' and 'whites' had become what it - more or less - is now. [See page 46 in "FINE AS WINE. From coloured boy to BERMUDIAN MAN."]
By the time I was twenty-three, I knew that across this globe, all men and all women possessed a range of equal or comparable intelligence and innate ability. I knew that some people had been, and still were, treated unfairly and badly. My recent viewing of the exhibits in South Africa's Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg reminded me of how grossly unfair and vicious some systems had been.
But fair or unfair, no system grants actual human superiority - racial or otherwise - to any one group. Some racial or national groups will certainly grab a semblance of superiority, hold on to it for a while, and then lose it. Through all of this, the human beings who are involved remain essentially equal.
There are 'black' fools. There are 'white' fools. There are 'black' geniuses, 'white' geniuses. Any person who believes that his skin colour imbues him (or her) with a fixed inferiority or a fixed superiority believes an untruth.
In my lifetime, Bermuda has changed. All of the reins of power once held wholly and solely in the hands of 'white' Bermudians have now been spread amongst all Bermudians. Today, in 2008, those 'black' Bermudians who stand with the reins of 'black' political power in their hands, and then cry about their powerlessness, are deluding and defrauding themselves into a state of continuing victim-hood.
All of the truck and travel with Tim Wise and his fellow American 'snake oil salesmen' has been - has resulted in - enabling some 'black' Bermudians to justify and maintain their individual - 'black' Bermudian - view of themselves as perennial victims. The 'snake oil salesmen' keep measuring 'black' Bermudians against their 'white' American standards and culture.
Get over it! Get out of the past! Get into today! Start looking at tomorrow.
Every person should know his or her own full value. No person should value himself or herself against someone else's or some other racial groups supposed value standards.
God won't. I don't.