FRIDAY, NOV. 30: Last Monday I appeared on BBC’s Let’s Talk programme, along with my political opponent, and I was grateful for the chance to speak about several issues.

The issue that caught people’s attention was that of race and its effects in 2012 Bermuda, and so I thought I would write this column to provide further insight into my background and views about race.

My comments on television about race were mostly reflective of my generation’s perspective, as race has not impeded us the way it has our forefathers. Race does not stop my generation from buying our dream house because of who lives next door; it has not impeded who we worked with or who we worked for; and we date and marry who we want without caring about race. In short, my generation does not allow race to interfere with the prize whether it is our house, our job, or our spouse.

I accept that some viewers may have thought I did not give enough attention to Bermuda’s historical racially divisive practices and its effects today. The truth is that race was used to divide people in the last election and I vowed to myself that I would do what I could to not help that happen again. I am not afraid to discuss race, but if we are not speaking about solutions and only about what racism is or how it used to affect life in Bermuda then it is not a valuable use of time.

A proud Bermudian

In 2012, I am a product of my parents’ investment in spirituality, education, and community, and I am a proud Bermudian. I can probably never repay my parents for the opportunities that they provided me, and I am thankful that I, like many Bermudians was fortunate enough to travel, expand my mind, and make new experiences learning and living in a foreign country.

When I was growing up, my father spoke with me about his life and the massive challenges he faced to achieve what he did in a very different and difficult Bermuda; a Bermuda that was not always governed for everybody or, as many said, a Bermuda that was not always governed for “people who look like me.”

But I am aware enough to realise that the Bermuda of my father’s era has long gone and we can either continue to be blind to the progress that he and others made, and never see the victory; or we can see progress, look back to where we were, and be proud of him and them.

If we never see progress, then how will we know when we have won? If we do not embrace the fact that we have successful black people and struggling white people; if we do not embrace that we have produced a miracle for over 400 years by working together; and if we do not embrace the diversity that is the hallmark of our success than yes, race will continue to be an obstacle to our future and much, much more than a distraction.

A better Bermuda

But for me, I believe in a better future; and just as my father invested in a child who could grow up in a better Bermuda, I am running for the OBA to make an even better Bermuda for the generations who come after me.

Race is relevant but it is not an obstacle. We can either be driven by the data that shows where true inequality exists and fight it, or we can use spin and hatred to further distract from the real fight: the struggle for equality.

 I have joined the OBA, am running for Parliament, and trying to have a spot at the frontline of Bermuda’s future... my mind is made up and I am not turning back.

Vote for the OBA and let’s build the best Bermuda yet.

• Alexis Swan is One Bermuda Alliance candidate in Constituency 24, Warwick South East.