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More Caucasians should support Emancipation celebrations – Cromwell Smith

- said their participation can benefit the image of 'Whites'
Emancipation Festival activities in Carrot Bay, Tortola, in 2013. Speaking on the Thursday, July 4, 2019, edition of his ZBVI ‘Umoja’ show, Cromwell Smith, aka 'Edju En Ka', implored that while ‘White People’ collaborate with people of African ancestry in other areas, when it comes to emancipation celebrations there is a notable absence from the descendants of African enslavers. Photo: VINO/File
With the 2019 VI Emancipation Festival on the Horizon, controversial and outspoken ZBVI radio Host Cromwell Smith aka 'Edju En Ka' has called on all ‘whites’ residing in the Virgin Islands (VI) to come out and support the African emancipation celebrations in the Territory. Photo: Facebook
With the 2019 VI Emancipation Festival on the Horizon, controversial and outspoken ZBVI radio Host Cromwell Smith aka 'Edju En Ka' has called on all ‘whites’ residing in the Virgin Islands (VI) to come out and support the African emancipation celebrations in the Territory. Photo: Facebook
Tortola Dance Project, consisting mostly of Caucasians, showing the crowd their moves at the August Monday Parade in August 2016. Photo: VINO
Tortola Dance Project, consisting mostly of Caucasians, showing the crowd their moves at the August Monday Parade in August 2016. Photo: VINO
BAUGHERS BAY, Tortola, VI – With the 2019 Virgin Islands Emancipation Festival on the horizon, controversial and outspoken ZBVI radio host, Mr Cromwell Smith aka 'Edju En Ka' has called on all ‘Whites’ residing in the Virgin Islands (VI) to come out and support the African emancipation celebrations in the territory.

Speaking on the Thursday, July 4, 2019, edition of his ZBVI ‘Umoja’ show, Smith implored that while ‘White People’ collaborate with people of African ancestry in other areas, when it comes to emancipation celebrations there is a notable absence from the descendants of African enslavers.

Celebrate with Us – Mr Smith

“I would like to see some White people come, to me when White people participate in our celebration, our emancipation celebration it shows that they understand or they empathise with what we went through and it shows some sorrow for what their ancestors put us through,” he told guest, Reverend Melvin A. Turnbull.

Mr Smith, who had previously suggested that since no African was indigenous to the Virgin Islands (VI) and they should stop engaging in harsh discussions toward immigrants, is imploring all people of European ancestry to support the African celebrations.

“And recognising that by showing more support for our celebration it brings a positive impact on them,” he said, adding that their participation can benefit the image of ‘Whites’.

Mr Smith further charged, “Because to stay away to me says… you still do feel no responsibility for what your ancestors have done.” 

More Support

Reverend Turnbull, in agreeing with the sentiments, implored that there have always been ‘White people’ who were against slavery and the marginalisation of the African people, such as those who fought alongside and supported the cause of Martin Luther King Jr.

According to Mr Smith, “I see a lot of white people with the clubs, white people and black people working together with Rotatory, Lions and many other clubs, but I don’t see that same sharing, working together during our emancipation celebrations."

28 Responses to “More Caucasians should support Emancipation celebrations – Cromwell Smith”

  • black (09/07/2019, 16:21) Like (12) Dislike (1) Reply
    Cromwell musta been inna da States when dem chase the White Woman Mocko Jumbie from St John right out the Parade. Can he guarantee a positive response from the public? Festival is supposed to be for everybody.
    • anegada (09/07/2019, 20:32) Like (14) Dislike (0) Reply
      For everyone but not Anegada as by the time the parade starts the ferry is leaving.......
  • Please... (09/07/2019, 17:16) Like (42) Dislike (2) Reply

    Leave the people them, let them be. Let sleeping dogs lie. If they do not want to participate what is that to you? Furthermore, is it the culture for white people to be spread eagled with this rear in the air their hands on the ground with a man behind them?
  • ?? (09/07/2019, 17:16) Like (37) Dislike (1) Reply
    This is the longest period off work from the year. I think a lot of people that aren’t from here, that weren’t born here, that don’t have status here, that do not “belong” here use this period as a time to leave the island and see their friends and families at their places of origin while their workplaces are closed.
    • Truth (09/07/2019, 20:31) Like (17) Dislike (0) Reply
      Exactly this is when most service industries shut down for the holidays, restaurants close everyone wants to go on holiday, we work all year.
  • plop (09/07/2019, 17:22) Like (14) Dislike (4) Reply
    This is just getting outta hand and shameful, not the BVI I grew up loving. Hateful people with loud voices preaching their dark views. This populist Trump era has turned many away from the light to darkness.
  • Alternative Approach (09/07/2019, 18:10) Like (20) Dislike (0) Reply
    Mr. Cromwell,
    Encouragement to attend the Emancipation Festivities is one thing. "Welcome" is a radical form of acceptance. Chastisement isn't welcoming.

  • Kingfish (09/07/2019, 19:29) Like (29) Dislike (3) Reply
    I am a Virgin Islander and will not attend, it is shameful and disgusting.
  • wize up (09/07/2019, 20:17) Like (9) Dislike (18) Reply
    non black comes to the British Virgin Islands to escape: form their exclusive bike riding clubs: private members exercise clubs: every now and then have a social gathering at the governor’s house: who vex vex because where most non blacks hails from they have nothing in their homeland and simply a statistic: the golden opportunity some of them enjoy in British Virgin Islands they dont have elsewhere: run talk that
  • True (09/07/2019, 20:28) Like (19) Dislike (2) Reply
    Listen uninformed bigot my ancestors never enslaved anyone and were enslaved 100's of years before Africans, you say your welcoming but your putting up boundaries by your generalisation of all whites were slave owners, get over yourself. signed
    White Boy!
    • wize up (09/07/2019, 21:19) Like (3) Dislike (10) Reply
      @ true: yea white boy let them know you run things and remind them you have your Commissioner; your DPP and your governor and if they want to start anything you will summon the Royal Navy.....I am just trying to be friendly because we are out numbered in our own country: where some of these folks are from they don’t have this much chat but trying to be a law unto themselves in someone else country...signed black boy!!!!
    • To True (10/07/2019, 15:11) Like (1) Dislike (2) Reply
      You must be Russian then. They were the only ones who did not participate in the Atrican enslavement.

      Anyhow, Cromwell let sleeping dogs lie. You only creating confusion. Let our people enjoy our custom and let the white people enjoy theirs. Plus it is the hurricane season any way. They are eager to be in their safe zone in their homeland.

      A win win for everyone.
      • honest john (11/07/2019, 15:11) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
        Cromwell, my ancestors were Irish. The Irish didn't enslave anyone, instead they were oppressed, and murdered in their thousands, by Oliver Cromwell in the mid 17th century. Oliver Cromwell sent 50,000 destitute Irish to the Caribbean as indentured servants who were forced to work, without rights, for the same landowners who subsequently enslaved hundreds of thousands of Africans. Oliver Cromwell, who was posthumously exhumed, beheaded and had his corpse mutilated for his part in the trial and execution of Charles 1 of England, is hated and despised by the Irish to the present time.
        As to joining in the emancipation celebration, I and my family do so every year. It's a pity when it runs late every time. Not for the waiting crowd but mainly for the dancers who have to wait for hours in the hot sun.
        Don't try to shame people into attending; each should do so willingly if they wish to.
        Enjoy the festival this year.
      • Sorry? (11/07/2019, 18:44) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
        Pretty stupid comment given that most white residents and Belongers were here during and after the storms and those abroad were fighting to keep BVI business functioning and not going elsewhere - doing so alongside Belongers and no Belongers of many different races (as if that was in any way important)
  • Quiet Rebel (09/07/2019, 20:52) Like (6) Dislike (6) Reply
    Undoubtedly, there were/are White people who advocated against slavery, racism, discrimination, apartheid......etc, ie, abolitionists in Great Britain. On the other hand, there are some who were conditioned to believe that they are superior to Blacks. Some are of the view that they were not around during slavery so they have no responsibility for the behaviour of their ancestors. True, they may not have been around but they benefited from slavery. For example, according to a study by the University College Of London, approx 3,000 slave owning families were compensated after Emancipation. The UK fenced £20M to compensate the families. Some prominent Britons families received compensation, ie, a former Prime Minister.

    After Emancipation, most Whites left the BVI, declaring it as an impoverished place and only good as a bird sanctuary. Now regentrification is on the uptick. It is clear that Whites like living in a tropical paradise and like the employment and investment opportunity(s) but dislike living among Blacks, the majority of the population. They isolate themselves, creating two separate societies. An example of the dislike living among locals is the current situation at Clairmont Community in St. Croix. At the Clairmont Community, Whites are going all out to chase out a Black property from the Community.
  • Welcome?! (09/07/2019, 22:04) Like (17) Dislike (0) Reply
    Our festival just is not like those in other islands and countries where all are genuinely welcomed. When you want more money to be spent you say non-Belongers should attend but when we do, we were “taking ove “ your celebration and culture. Please choose. The vast majority of non-Belongers would love to champion BVI culture and be a part of it, it’s just difficult when they are not made to feel welcome, there are so few cultural centres and attractions to learn from and so few BVI folk who know or will share the culture. The hope was that this would get better after the storm but the mood seems to be changing for the worse.
    On top of that, Belongers complain every year that festival has become a ratchet music festival full of foreign acts. Not the sales pitch to those residents or visitors looking for a real or family BVI cultural experience.
    And to echo the above, very very few families owned slaves and plantations and very very few families owned the large industrial companies in the UK, Netherlands, Spain and France. The rest of our ancestors worked in very poor and dangerous conditions for barely enough money to survive or time to enjoy it. Don’t confuse the people among you with the governments of their countries. As is still evident today, many are vehemently against the policies of their governments.
  • lodger (10/07/2019, 02:28) Like (9) Dislike (0) Reply
    To get back on track. Is Festival fit for purpose? I attended festival for the first time in 1972. Parade started 5 hours late. Tried again in 1982, nearly as bad. The activities are not to everyones taste and the majority of residents do not attend. Haven't been since, mainly because I am away at that time, as are many people, black and white. I often bewail the fact that so few locals attend certain functions, and also that so few whites attend the twice yearly High School music concerts. There is, perhaps unfortunately, a cultural divide, particularly in social activities. But I attend a church which is almost entirely local (black). We get at most 12 whites in the peak winter season, and everyone gets on fine. Cromwell is stirring a pot that is already cooked. He has a fine old English name and should drop that “African” pretend title, as should several other “pretenders”.
  • Diaspora (10/07/2019, 04:31) Like (3) Dislike (2) Reply The descendants of slave owners may want to put the exploitation of millions of slaves. However, this article paints a different picture. You can run but you can’t hide the facts.
  • OZYMANDIAS (10/07/2019, 07:26) Like (3) Dislike (3) Reply
    So let me get this straight, the OPPRESSORS with their GLOBAL PRIVILEGE must come out and celebrate the ORIGINAL people of the earth basically taking back what is rightfully thiers. From the same people WHO NEVER INVENTED ANYTHING BUT THE PATENT OFFICE to steal original man inventions? Cromwell you tooooo bright.
  • wize up (10/07/2019, 07:29) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    just a simple update: we are now in 2019 and we should be very mindful and do let our past come back to harm us: I personally wonder were is this racism some folks on here blogging about: the British Virgin Islands have over 100 different nationalities and I yet to hear or about any hate crimes:
  • biker (10/07/2019, 09:30) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Chastising one ethnic group is not the best way to increase BVI Festival attendance. The best way to increase attendance at the outdoor BVI Festival events for all the ethnic and ex-pat groups in the BVI is the following:

    1. Turn off the internet
    2. Stop live broadcasting. videoing, livestreaming, etc. of the the Festival events
    3. Stop it from raining from 3Pm to midnight.

    Follow these steps and everybody in the BVI will have to get out of their comfortable chairs in front of the TV or other screen and actually go down the hill into RT and participate.
  • White Girl (10/07/2019, 10:38) Like (4) Dislike (3) Reply
    You crazy man? My white husband and I have been coming to the BVI consistently for the past 18 years end of July/August to celebrate festival. We buy an airline tickets, spend money to stay, and participate fully. But not this year! All because of you! You make us feel so bad hearing all of this nonsense. You Mr. Loud Mouth are prejudice. We will spend our time elsewhere from now on. You disgust us. I'm done with you BVI fake people.
    • OZYMANDIAS (10/07/2019, 11:28) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
      If you want to pretend to be a white person at least right complete sentences. Give them the respectfor their priviledged educational upbringing. "We buy AN airline TICKETS" is the dead give away.
      • @Ozy (11/07/2019, 03:40) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
        It's "write". not "right"
        "respect [SPACE] for"
        • OZYMANDIAS (12/07/2019, 08:11) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
          I was excited writing the post when I saw it I couldn't correct it. I was waiting for the grammar police i already surrendered my travel documents.
  • Jordana (10/07/2019, 11:28) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    @ white girl.. I read your post and I empathize with what you’ve said.. however it’s not fair to generalize about all persons.. it’s like my saying all white people are bad or racist and that’s not true.. Racism shines its ugly head in both sides and though it may not have been you that enslaved our people the fact is our people were enslaved and even today we are hated and killed the mere color of our skin.. the other day in the US a young mixed boy was stabbed to death only because he was listening to rap music and a white man felt that he wasn’t threat - no provocation.. daily our people are killed by white police officers..yes we go through/Been through a lot as a black race and until u walk our path u would never truly understand.. Racism in any level is WRONG.. I believe that Racism against whites stems from our history and how we r still treated today as though some we are an inferior race and ur racism can be merely based on us having the wrong skin color in ur eyes so again u need to understand that u don’t walk our road and not all persons are racist .. tho all of the atrocities that was done to us and is still being done some of us forgive and love in spite of for we know that not all whites people are the same and yes some have fought for us even now..but there are still those that are bigoted pigs and only God can help us not to hate because of the past and present..
  • no way (10/07/2019, 17:49) Like (0) Dislike (4) Reply
    We don’t need them in anything. Why we all have to have a white presence in all we do?

    We good. We don’t need the colonizers over seeing our history

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