Recently, TNN’s Trevor Lindsay spoke with 82-year-old author, historian, former police officer and former St. George’s Cup Match Captain Neville Darrell.
He believes that Bermuda is living in changing and challenging times due to several factors, not just the COVID-19 pandemic.
He believes that the serious issue of gun and gang violence on the island is being addressed inch by inch, very slowly. Part of what has contributed to that issue being what it is today, in his opinion, is that Bermudians have lost their sense of connectivity and community.
“ There was once a time where, if someone in your neighborhood had a problem, it was all hands on deck,” he said. “ We’ve become more self-centered since those days. I think it has to do with a lot of things . . . one of the biggest is [just like how it was back then], is that the privileged, specifically the white privileged in Bermuda, are still keeping the upper hand.”
Another thing that he believes has contributed to the increase of violence has been the breakdown of the traditional family structure; as a result, some people have lost their respect for other people.
“ We get caught up, as parents, trying to survive and provide for our families day-to-day and some have neglected our parental responsibilities,” he said. “ There has been a lot of talk about single parents, but there have always been single parents raising children.”
A third factor that Mr. Darrell believes has contributed to an increase in crime and violence is an increased use of drugs.
However, all is not lost. For Bermudians to get out of this situation, Mr. Darrell believes that it will take patience, reconnecting with the community and maintaining the faith.
“ We have 117 churches here. One of the reasons why this is the case is tied in with Slavery.
While we were being mistreated as slaves, we were very forgiving,” he said. “ What happens next depends on how we feel about and exert ourselves in this community.”
Personally, Mr. Darrell is disappointed that Bermuda is still a British colony and believes that, as long as Bermudians, black Bermudians in particular, have an attitude and feeling of being less than and inferior, Bermuda will always be in the situation that it now finds itself in.
Mr. Darrell is in the process of writing another book about where he thinks the island will be headed in the near future.
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