How have Bermudians, particularly black Bermudians, reacted to the social changes caused by the massive economic shift of the 1990s? Initially, black Bermudians demanded a better racial balance.

The government, at that time the UBP, responded by creating CURE - the Commission for Unity and Racial Equality - in 1994.

It was an advisory group seeking to collect data and monitor matters of racial balance and employment. In 2010, CURE still exists.

Time passed. Bermuda's economy continued to expand and change. Then there was another critical change - black Bermudians acquired full political power.

Prior to 1998, they had to ask the government to listen to their special concerns and issues. After 1998, these issues and concerns came to the forefront. It showed in five clear actions.

In 2001 came the Work Permits Term Limits policy. This was designed to ensure no guest worker would ever again reside and work in Bermuda for so long that he or she could claim the rights of a resident.

Work stays were limited to six years. But the policy had enough flexibility that some might be able to stay past this.

In 2002 came the Permanent Resident Act, which stopped non-Bermudians acquiring the rights of a permanent resident simply by staying on the island for a long time.

Next up, in 2002, was the Marriage Amendment Act. This was to prevent a non-Bermudian coming to the island, arranging a marriage to a Bermudian almost completely within the arena of a non-public church and then laying lawful claim to a Spousal Rights Certificate.

In 2007 came a Land Purchase amendment. Here, Bermudians who were married to non-Bermudians were prevented from buying income-producing real estate - principally a house that had one or more attached apartments.

The last act in this chain was the Workplace Equity Act, put forward late in 2007, which sought to ensure preferential treatment for black Bermudians employed in the private sector.

Between 1990 and 2009, there were six clear push-backs by Bermudians. Two of these were specifically concerned with race - the Workplace Equity Act and the creation of CURE.

But four were concerned with nationality and driven by matters affecting the balance between Bermudian - both black and white - and non-Bermudian.

Up to 1990, Bermudians, especially black Bermudians, tended to have a perspective that made them see almost all workplace and social frictions as racial frictions.

After 1990, all Bermudians began to perceive matters of nationality.

They thought about their Bermudian-ness and their place in Bermuda as being of greater and/or at least equal importance.

From 1990 onwards, but certainly from 2000 on, nationality and race have glued together and have bonded into one real, possibly bigger, problem.

Race and nationality are not separate. They cannot be separated. Together, these emotional perspectives pose twice the threat as only one used to.

But with all the habitual race talk that goes on, how many of us recognise just how big an issue nationality has become?

It too is a hot issue, full of the same kind of angry emotion that fuels the race debate.

How many of us recognise that Bermudians have this new twin problem that is actually bigger and far more complex than the old single problem? Does Government recognise and understand this?