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OPINION: HAS ANYTHING CHANGED IN 49 YEARS? Featured

  • Written by  Chris Famous
  • 1 comment
OPINION: HAS ANYTHING CHANGED IN 49 YEARS?

FORTY-NINE years ago a man stood on a balcony. A man who wanted nothing more than to make sure his children and the children of others had an equal footing in life. 

Four months ago men and women in Bermuda stood outside on the sidewalks. They too, wanted nothing more than to make sure that their children and the children of others had an equal footing in life. 

Forty-nine years ago someone in a building decided that the man who stood up for others standing on that balcony needed to be silenced. 
 
Four months ago a small group of individuals decided that those Bermudians who stood up for others standing on those sidewalks needed to be silenced.
 
Forty-nine years ago the white man in that building decided to himself that action had to be taken on that black man standing  on that balcony
 
Four months ago a few white men in their buildings decided that action had to be taken on those black Bermudians standing on those sidewalks.
 
Four months ago a white English man decided he would pull the trigger on Black Bermudians standing on that sidewalk. 
 
April 4, 1968,  that man was slaughtered for doing nothing more than standing up for his children and the children of others. 
 
April 5, 2017 in our own country those who stood up will be dragged to court for doing nothing more than standing up for their children and the children of others. 
 
Today we as born Bermudians must ask ourselves this simple question...
 
Has anything changed in 49 years? 

1 comment

  • Kathy Cervino
    Kathy Cervino Tuesday, 13 June 2017 10:59 Comment Link

    Sir, you are so correct! You couldn't be more correct! NOTHING has changed since Martin Luther King fought for his children to go to school with white children. Nothing has changed in the USA and nothing has changed in Bermuda. What can we do about this? Some people would say NOTHING.

    I think differently. There is a solution for Bermuda and it lies in the history on what Norway did with their education system. We don't need to reinvent the wheel, we need to mirror what they did and INVEST heavily in our education system.

    The people of Bermuda deserve so much more. The children of Bermuda deserve to start life on equal footing. We are a relatively affluent society when it comes to finances and GDP, however, we are a very poor society when it comes to societal problems. We have crime, we have drugs, we have weapons, we have drunk driving, we have children raising themselves and last but not least we have segregation. Our white children generally go to the expensive private schools and our black children generally go to the public schools (that generally, the white parents would NEVER send their children to). And we wonder why our adult society is so racially divided?

    What did the Norwegians do? They decided to create the comprehensive school, where all children of Norway, irrespective of their financial or societal background are educated together. It did not happen overnight. It took many years to bring the level of teaching up to one of the highest standards in the world. Now, they are on top of the world. Their children place number 1 in maths and science.

    You say, how could this happen in Bermuda. I am not going to send my white child to public school. The standards aren't high enough. And you say I could never afford to send my black child to private school, I am already working two jobs just to meet my needs.

    WHAT IF....the Government legislated that all public schools were going to be set up as comprehensive schools and the standards will be as high if not higher than that of the private schools of Bermuda....that the class size will be no more than 10, that the teachers will all be required (and trained at the cost of the Government) to obtain a Masters or Doctorate degree to be able to teach at any level in the school system...and it will be FREE to all children in Bemruda? Do you think some of those white parents who are struggling to send 1 or 2 children to private school now, might consider the switch? Do you think if we started with the next kindergarten class and worked our way up, we could provide our children with an equal if not, better, public education system than exists now?

    YES, it can be done. If Norway did it, so can we. We have to put our minds to it. FAST FORWARD 20 years...when our children are educated, many of our social problems will disappear as well!!!

    http://www.ibe.unesco.org/curriculum/Balticpdf/norway.pdf

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