"Before enlightenment chop wood and carry water, after enlightenment, chop wood and carry water." Zen Proverb
It's a tough thing. In expressing a point of view, one must be willing to accept that the point of view is one that might not be accepted on all levels. It's quite possible that the point of view is shared only by a certain few, and will be defended against by those unwilling to accept it.
When a white person talks about racism, more than likely you will get someone who will admit that it exists, someone who will admit that they aren't racist and don't support any system or agenda that does. A pretty comfortable perch from which to view the world. If we seek further enlightenment, things can get pretty uncomfortable quite quickly.
Such is life in Bermuda. A core society where whites are the minority and are supported by a British oligarchy, a social structure created and built by whites and that still exists, blacks are the majority and have the political power, and have finally emerged from years of being held down. The transition from then to now has been a difficult one. Whites are now seen as irrelevant, and are asked to accept that the only way forward is in acceptance of the past. That will not be easy.
Our way forward is clouded in denial from whites and an in your face attitude by those in power. If whites (most whites, not all) had it their way, the past would be written in the history books and left there. It is difficult to say what blacks want. There are some who are content with life and like whites want to leave the past in the past, while there are some who are not so sure. A vote for the UBP (the white party) is a vote for the past. Seeds of insecurity and mistrust still exist. Discomfort over the past and an unwillingness to simply leave it for the history books means that there is still work to be done, on both sides.
I spent a good part of my Saturday on another local blog Bermuda is another world attempting to share my point of view about racism, and how that some attitudes prevail from the past. It's undeniable. For the most part I was accused of being a condescending, contradictory irritant who's point of view was neither appreciated or wanted. The thing is, I knew the minute I posted on the blog that I didn't share the same vision as most of the posters there, and even though most of us are white, I knew that I was in a cage of like-minded people, and the chances of me actually walking away from that site with a "feel good" were virtually nill. A bee in a hornets nest... so to speak.
What is truly scary is that most of these people argued my main points, most went after certain phraseology that was only used for "window dressing". What makes this even more disturbing is that while I found myself being dragged down into this muck, I lost sight of what was truly important, a continuation of the conversation. I left there pissed off, not at the posters who had baited me, but at myself for allowing to be baited. The other important lesson I learned yesterday was that for the most part you can't add "phraseology" to anything and expect it to be bypassed. Note to self - People will always look to degrade your vision. Do not add feed to their fodder.
I guess one of the reasons I joined CURB was that there are like-minded people like me, my own bee-hive if you will. Black and white, working together to continue the fight against racism in Bermuda, to educate and enlighten, and yes to even argue the importance of it all. To those people at BIAW, you goaded me into an area I didn't need to go. For that I apologize. You showed the kind of mentality I knew walking in, and for that I will do my best not to bother you in the future.