Speaking on Bermuda’s racial history, Mr Comeau said, “Because Bermuda’s present gang wars are being fought almost exclusively between black men, any policy or legislative initiative to reduce gang violence will, in practise, almost exclusively pertain to black men.
Gang violence poses a much greater threat to Bermuda than it does to many other countries because they don’t risk losing a large chunk of their economy like we do, Kevin Comeau said yesterday [Feb.7] in a speech to the Hamilton Rotary Club.
Mr Comeau, a Canadian lawyer, has resided in Bermuda since 1989 and for the last seven years has worked towards the development of social policy proposals.
According to Mr Comeau there are specific issues which make Bermuda different than many other countries, particularly large countries. Citing our small size and tendency for people to know each other, he said this makes jury convictions more difficult to obtain and also said it makes it harder to get witnesses to come forward.
“The problem is not that law-abiding black Bermudians do not want those responsible for the violence to be dealt with as severely as necessary to end the violence as quickly as possible.
“The problem is that they are all too aware of Bermuda’s discriminatory racial past, the social dysfunction that today still lingers from that past, and the at-risk children and young black men who see few or no lifestyle alternatives to the gang culture, to a large degree because of that past.”