Black on black violence killing Bermuda, bishop warns

Retired Bishop Ewen Ratteray laments Bermuda’s desensitization to violence

Black on black violence is killing Bermuda, the former bishop of the island, the Rt. Rev. Ewen Ratteray said last week. In an interview marking the 50th anniversary of his ordination, Bishop Ratteray told the Royal Gazette the black community had become desensitized to violence and crime. While the island had become more politically aware over the past two decades, this awareness had not extended to the problem of crime. Twenty six black Bermudians had been murdered since 2009, “but you get no marches and protests when a young man is shot down in cold blood. We are becoming immune to it. It affects us, but only for a short time. We have been desensitised in many ways,” the bishop said. “If a white man was killed by a white man, we might see another reaction. I don’t understand what’s driven black men to this: it bothers me no end. A life is a life is a life.It’s frustrating. I’m frustrated, as I don’t know what to do,” said Ratteray, Bermuda’s first black bishop.” The bishop said sociological arguments that held the collapse of black families had led young black man to seek belonging through joining gangs was only a partial explanation. “Dysfunctional families perhaps are to blame for young men seeking an alternative family,” he said. “But no matter how good a family is, there are no guarantees.” The moral regeneration of society was needed, “It’s not about leaders spouting off and doing this or that,” Bishop Ratteray said. “It’s the man or woman in the street who are the church, who can do more, reaching out to those who are vulnerable.”


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