Dear Sir,

Johnny Woolridge produced, with the help from many of Bermuda’s singing talent, the song “Proud to be Bermudian” and every time it’s played I get chills up and down my spine.   It is such an uplifting piece and its ‘hook’ so harmonic that it makes me wear my Bermuda smile more proudly whenever I hear it.…

It is with great sadness however that recent events on the Island make me wonder whether a new song ought to be written and entitled, “Sad to be Bermudian”.    I am referring to the photo placed on the front page of the daily and covered by the TV media showing a Bermudian male pointing his finger and “in the face” of our Premier, the Hon. Craig Cannonier.   There is no doubt that most of Bermuda saw this “news” and whilst I am a strong supporter of one’s right to protest and get their point of view across, I also believe that one must be civil and respectful when expressing their position.   Nothing is gained by being rude or offensive and certainly this is not the Bermudian trait we as a community have learned or been taught by those who came before us and sacrificed so much.   It disrespect’s their legacy.   Unfortunately, Mr. Editor, while everyone in Bermuda either read the RG story or saw the TV report above, most will not have witnessed two other episodes which are just as embarrassing to us Bermudians.

On the # 11 bus yesterday that departed Hamilton at 7:00 pm for St. Georges, two young Filipina ladies disembarked just past the Flatts area and whilst walking out of the bus a Bermudian male decided to make his point loud enough for all to hear that ‘Foreigners should leave the Island and stop taking our jobs and get off his bus’, or words to that effect.    This verbal tirade and intimidation is not Bermudian.   Did this man think for one moment that perhaps these two young ladies were married to Bermudians or for that matter Mothers to young Bermudian children?   No, of course he didn’t think, and that is the crux of the issue at hand when people decide to “mouth off”, or as my Dad used to tell me, engage their tongue before their brain is in gear…      The end result is never pretty and most of the time it is very distasteful and rude.   Most of all, this behavior is unBermudian.

Lastly, Mr. Editor, a good friend explained to me that whilst attending Church this past Sunday in the Shelly Bay area part of the Pastor’s sermon took issue with the Government’s decision to abolish term limits.   As such, the Pastor was being critical of the Government and casting stones towards foreigners on the Island.   It appears that neither did he think a great deal about what he was saying, because his words made both the foreigners and a number of “level headed” Bermudians in the congregation most uncomfortable.    Now I don’t want to get into the debate of the separation of Church and State in this letter, but surely the Church can do better than this!!    I can only hope that some brave members of that congregation call aside this Pastor and remind him that Jesus preached to all – Jews and Gentiles alike – and as we are all equal in God’s eyes, so too should we be equal here on terra firma.

Mr. Editor, it is time to stop this foreigner bashing and hateful rhetoric and to those who will persist I ask you to think of the following before you rant:   Remember first of all that all of us were foreigners to Bermuda at one time throughout the Island’s history, so don’t be too quick to criticize foreigners!!   But most of all, I would like you to remember, that if Bermuda had adopted many years ago the same view you now preach, the Island would not have had such a rich cultural history nor been the benefactor of the efforts made by persons like Dr. Gordon, Lois Brown Evans, Dr. Barbara Ball, Dr. Stanley Ratteray and Dr. John Stubbs… etc etc. etc…   The list is as long as the 60,000 people who now grace our shores, so let’s please stop the hate and stand up to those who preach it.

Allan D. Marshall JP

St. Georges

March 6, 2013