Businessman Rick Olson has drawn ire across the community over the last 24 hours after he made a disparaging post about the December 2 protestors—then told those offended to “lighten up” as he apologised.
December 2 saw political tensions at their highest in Bermuda’s recent history as hundreds of protesters surrounded the House of Assembly, preventing MPs from entering to debate the controversial Airport Redevelopment deal. The protest was non-violent until Police subsequently pepper sprayed a number of people including seniors and women.
Last month, the results of an independent review conducted by Assistant Chief Constable Christopher Shead who is attached to the National Police Coordination Centre (NPoCC) in London, found that the Police were not adequately trained to deal with the situation and their actions were inappropriate.
The post has deeply disturbed community activist, Linda Mienzer, who last night expressed her disgust with the post, and has called for the boycott of his businesses.
Her call has not fallen on deaf ears as a number of deejays and residents alike have echoed her sentiments. Her post has been shared over 80 times.
“Woke up and saw a pretty disgusting post by a business owner who business I patronise and use to promote a lot. Us Black Bermudians should be mindful of what these arrogant and cocky business owners whose businesses we often patronize think about our people who stand up publicly for themselves and fight for equality in Bermuda. 103 Front Street will never see me AGAIN. I'm pretty disgusted......Troy Ave was right....it is all about the [sic] money huh,” said one popular deejay.
While one young woman said: “As black people we don't even realise that majority of the establishments we spend our money in the owners don't give two [sic] about us. They don't care about us they just care about our money. Keep coming , keep spending. But when anything that has to do with equality, justice or liberation starts to form they show their true colours.
“I’ve been stopped patronising a lot of businesses due to basically how they feel about us. Every weekend I bet they make most of their money off of us. Yet we continue to go there oblivious to how the feel about us.”
Upon seeing Ms Mienzer’s comments about his post, Mr. Olson made the following comment, and as a result angering bloggers even further.
Like many, one woman would hear nothing of it.
Her response: “How I've seen this play out. White person posts something overtly racially insensitive that has a subliminal yet blatant message: in order to control and keep the masses (aka black people) subservient you must threaten them with being bond, tortured, burned and killed.
“Black people express faux outrage and disgust over the post for 1 day. Max 2 days. They even throw in the mix a rally cry to 'boycott the white person’s business'.
“White person makes forced shallow apology for the post once they realise they have offended their main money sources.
“Black people accept the forced shallow apology. One week later...another white person (in most cases the same person) makes another racially insensitive post.
“Wash, Rinse, Repeat cycle.”
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