WEDNESDAY, MAR. 23: Right up to that dramatic moment when the Government caved in and withdrew, the whole SDO imbroglio was an extremely interesting and utterly fascinating exercise. It wasn’t the BEST-vs-Government confrontation; nor was it the combining of CURB and Tucker’s Town Historical Association; nor was it the Senator Shakir and Senator Burch and MP Dale Butler misgivings.

What I found so utterly fascinating and astounding was how this black PLP Government danced so well, so incredibly superbly well, to the tune called by a rich white man. I thought that the days when black men and women kow-towed to rich white men were long over. Long past. Long gone.

But no! In 2011 black men and black women were dancing again. As if time had not passed and progress had not come.

Ed Trippe’s ability to wind this Government around his little finger, his ability to frighten and scare them by using that old ‘white man tactic’ of conjuring up the boogie-man and raising the spectre of imminent failure if his advice was not taken; harked back more than 60 years.

It reminded of a time around 1950 when another group of white men, this time Bermudian, said that ‘tourists would not want to come to a Bermuda where blacks were guests in hotels and restaurants’.

Back in the day, that ol’ boogie-man tactic worked. Some even believed it. But black Bermudians began to doubt the ol’ boogie-man stories. Black Bermudians began to think for themselves. Black Bermudians began challenging those ol’ boogie-man stories.

From 1959 onwards, black Bermudians stopped dancing and began walking and standing tall and taller until they reached their full height in November 1998 and took control of all of their Bermudian destiny.

At least that’s what I and many others thought.

But lo, behold! In 2011 a black-run Bermudian Government was being pulled and yanked about in the same way that black Bermudians had been pulled and yanked about for the three hundred and forty-three years between 1616 and 1959.  As the SDO debate unrolled and became clearer, I became more and more confounded.

I heard and I saw black Bermudians go through the most astounding political and mental and intellectual convolutions and evolutions in order to justify their support for a process at Tucker’s Point that is headed for certain failure. I saw this. I heard this. With my own eyes and my own ears, I saw and I heard.

Thousands of other Bermudians saw and heard what I saw and heard.

Down through the decades, Dr. Eva Hodgson has written, so often, of how most black Bermudians are afflicted with a feeling of inferiority when it comes to confrontations with white people generally. I have not always agreed with Dr. Hodgson, and I have publicly said so. My individual life experience has been otherwise; and I think that the same applies to many other black Bermudians.

But over this SDO matter, I have seen a perfect example of what she has so often described. I cringe at the thought and reality that the people who now govern in my name have behaved as they have. I shudder to think what and how they have twisted and turned within their own minds — how they must have contorted even their souls — in order to justify their support for that SDO as pushed by Ed Trippe and his investors.

This is not a Government. This is a troupe of painted marionettes.