Bermuda's white community should examine its age old habits of voting for one party and one party only; that party being the UBP.

If we are to move past the era of racial polarization in politics, this must change. After all, you can not have 21st Century politics with one group still mired in the 1950s with respect to its voting behaviour.

White Bermudians should follow the example of Bermuda's black community and strive to be more diverse in their political choices; their Anglo led tribalism must end for the sake of our still young democracy.

Senator Mark Bean's story I believe is instructive on this score. During the recently concluded by-election, I warned him, that upon canvassing many of the white households in the constituency, that most would - in the fine tradition of white Bermudian hospitality, much like that in the southern U.S. - welcome him into their houses with all the attendant courtesies, but once inside, the following script would unfold: 'The Premier, Rolfe Commissiong and the PLP are racists and dividing our country along racial lines and so on...' But of course they would say it in a way that would appear to artfully exempt the poor, somewhat confounded PLP candidate in their midst.

Well, one day Senator Bean saw me before the aforementioned election and said 'Rolfe, just as you predicted the script unfolded as you said it would'. He added, 'however, in one household there was a distinct twist'.

In this particular household, after castigating and demonizing the PLP leadership and government, the head of household, a sixty something white male said, '...and Mark, what about that statue on the Cabinet grounds...she was a criminal!', in obvious reference to Sally Bassett who was burnt at the stake for allegedly attempting to facilitate the poisoning of her granddaughter's slave masters and a bondswoman.

The young Senator, upon hearing the above, simply maintained his composure, was diplomatic throughout the whole ordeal and got himself out of that household as fast as he could. And who could blame him. Frankly, he's a better man than me, in this regard.

But imagine, if you will, Shawn Crockwell running in that by-election. Is anyone under any doubt that he would have won by approximately the same margin as his colleague Charles Swan and would have enjoyed the support of the same white constituent(s), that some two hundred years after the fact, still calls 'Sally Bassett' a criminal? Don't get me wrong here, for this says more about that constituent and those who think like him, than it says about Shawn Crockwell.

You see, some people still just don't get it. They refuse to acknowledge the fact that black Bermudians have never practised racism, institutionally or otherwise, and certainly not against white Bermudians. Unless of course fighting to democratize Bermuda and fighting against racial injustice authored by white Bermudians, equates with being racist. Maybe that might hold true on Mars but not on this, God's green earth. And certainly, not in Bermuda.

A dishonest narrative

I am inclined to believe that a lot of white Bermudians have bought into the notion that racism and its affects ended when the UBP was formed. When white Bermudians, in their wisdom, condescended to allow a few good blacks to join their brand new club. It was a dishonest narrative then and remains so today.

But for those who continue to push this destructive narrative which I have been exploring over the last two weeks, I maintain that they are doing the country a gross disservice.

More importantly, what President Barack Obama and I have in common, beyond our so called mixed heritage, is the same desire to finally be able to place the destructive era of racism in our lives behind us. Not in the way that Sir John Swan or others would suggest, by simply not talking about it. We all know that that solves nothing.

But by dealing with the structural issues of racial equity, we can ensure that when the good times come again economically, that black Bermudians are sharing in it just as much as our white Bermudian cousins.

I understand and appreciate my European heritage, as briefly explored in part one of this column last week, but that does not mean that I will blindly ignore or endorse the things that have been done; nor ignore the hard work which remains to make us both, black and white, whole.

I too would like to see a country where the quest for racial and social equity is not viewed as a threat to the minority; but an opportunity for all.

This is the Bermuda I seek. This is the Bermuda that both myself and the Premier are working hard to achieve. This is not the U.S. of President Obama; frankly, many of us can quickly forget that we are not Americans but Bermudians. Our approaches and strategies of necessity may be different - after all black Bermudians are a majority here - but let no one doubt our sincerity or our integrity and the fact that, with respect to Bermuda, our goals are the same.