Anti-Filipino graffiti abound in Bermuda

by Robin G. Padilla

MANILA– Residents in the Caribbean island of Bermuda are under discriminative fire after crude and derogatory messages were found scrawled across public places earlier this month.

Hamilton Mayor Charles Gosling was “very disturbed” when he found out about the anti-Filipino graffiti throughout the country’s capital, a report by the Royal Gazette, Bermuda’s news agency, said.

“I really think it’s a national issue,” Gosling said. “Obviously as a citizen of the island, I am very disturbed.”

Some of the messages from the graffiti read: “Indies and Filipinos get out,” “No cheap labor,” and “Get out, cheap labor.”

The Gazette’s reporter Conor Doyle and photographer Glenn Tucker wrote stories and took photos of these graffiti.
It was found everywhere: at a bus stop near a grocery store, near a substation, and near the railway in an area called Paget, where a number of Filipinos reside.

Dale Bulter, a member of the Bermudan parliament who’s married to a Filipina, thinks these graffiti are uncalled for.
“My personal involvement with the Filipinos is that they bend over backwards to respect Bermuda’s laws, and when they are not sure they will ask. Their main interest is to provide the service they were hired for,” Butler said.

The former cabinet minister said he thought anti-Filipino feeling in Bermuda arose partly from their growing population and the perception that Filipinos were succeeding at the expense of Bermudans.
Lisa Lister of Bermuda’s Human Rights Commission was quoted by The Royal Gazette as saying that: “It is illegal to display, publish or post any discriminatory sign, symbol or notice against any person or persons based on the grounds as set out in Section 2(2) of the Human Rights Act, 1981, which includes a person’s race, place of origin, color, or ethnic or national origins”.

Filipino groups in the island, Association of Filipinos in Bermuda and The Club 2000, think the graffiti are likely the work of one culprit. (OFW Journalism Consortium)

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