Bermuda is ‘another world’. Hubert Smith, a great Bermudian songwriter, composed and sang a song that has this title. It’s also the logo on the personalized license plates that TCD issues.
The implication is that there’s something so special about life in our Bermuda that we are ‘another world’ where things don’t happen as they do in other countries.
If our Bermudian ‘another world’ assertion is true, then it’s possible that the connection between Under-educated and Under-skilled and Under-class doesn’t apply here in our Bermuda.
But read what Bob Herbert, writing in the New York Times of Thursday 6th February 2003, says as he looks at the people in a city in his America: “You see them in many parts of the city, hanging out on frigid street corners, skylarking at the malls or bowling alleys, hustling for money wherever they can, drifting in some cases into the devastating clutches of drug-selling, gang membership, prostitution and worse.
…This army of undereducated, jobless young people, disconnected in most instances from society’s mainstream, is restless and unhappy, and poses a severe long-term threat to the nation’s well-being on many fronts. …Education and career decisions made during the late teens and early 20’s are crucial to the lifetime employment and earnings prospects of an individual. Those who do not do well during this period seldom catch up to the rest of the population. …Our ability to generate family stability and safe communities is strongly influenced by this… …When you have 5 ½ million young people wandering around without diplomas, without jobs and without prospects, you might as well hand them T-shirts to wear that say “We’re Trouble”.
…Without help, they will not become a part of a skilled work force. And they will become a drain on the nation’s resources. One way or another, the rest of us will end up supporting them.”
IF – If – if Bermuda is ‘another world’, then the connection that Bob Herbert sees between Under-educated…Under-skilled…Under-class won’t apply here in our Bermuda.
However, it’s my view – and I suspect that you share my view – that the American Bob Herbert’s description is directly applicable to Bermuda. That everything that Bob says is happening in America happens in the same way and has the same effect here, in our Bermuda.
I do not believe that Bermuda is ‘another world’. I know – and so do you – that Bermuda is one of two hundred countries on this earth. I know – and so do you – that us 48,746 Bermudians are not genetically different from any of the other 5,999,951,254 people who also inhabit this globe. I know – and so do you – that what happens in other countries and communities tends to happen in Bermuda. And as proof of this, 193 other countries have – proportionately – fewer people in prison than we do.
That means that what that American has said about the people in his country is likely to be just as true for us Bermudians. And it is. I know it. You know it. We all know it.
Bermuda is just another country – one of two hundred countries on this galactic ball. Bermuda people suffer and react the same as people in all these other countries. Bermuda is not ‘another world’.
But Bermuda is our special world and we should all work harder, and more thoughtfully, to make it a better place for all of us to live in.
[The quote is from an article written by Bob Herbert, and published in the New York Times of Thursday 6th February 2003. Title of the article:- “Young, Jobless, Hopeless”. The city referred to is Chicago, Illinois, USA. Population of the USA is ~278m. What’s 5 ½ million unemployed ‘young people’ (people aged 16 – 24) compared to our Bermuda population? Pro-rated, it’s about 1,000. Now take a peek at the 2002 Census figures, and take a long look around you in the ‘other world’ of our real world Bermuda.]