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‘Saying we can’t go independent is weakness’ – Radio show caller’

- said the people of the VI should stop rejecting the idea of independence
An officer of the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force (RVIPF) raises the Union Jack (Union Flag) during the 2016 Queen's Birthday Parade. Photo: VINO/File
After being removed from his post as President of the H. Lavity Stoutt Community College (HLSCC) just over a year ago, indigenous Virgin Islander Dawson was recently selected to the prestige position of President of the Anguilla Community College (ACC) and will be taking up the post. Photo: VINO/File
After being removed from his post as President of the H. Lavity Stoutt Community College (HLSCC) just over a year ago, indigenous Virgin Islander Dawson was recently selected to the prestige position of President of the Anguilla Community College (ACC) and will be taking up the post. Photo: VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI – On the heels of a senior pastor in the Virgin Islands describing the VI as a grown child that wouldn’t leave his mother’s home, a caller to a recent local radio show said the notion that the territory can’t go independent is a sign of “weakness.”

The trending topic was commented on a number of callers to the Speak Out BVI show aired Tuesday August 15, 2017 on ZBVI 780 AM.

A dissatisfied resident voiced his frustration to Mr Doug Wheatley, the host of the show, about persons rejecting the idea of independence for the Virgin Islands, adding that they should stop showing appreciation to America and Britain because as far as he thinks, they do not do anything for the territory.

“I don’t know why we have to thank America and England for what they do for we because they ain’t thank we for slavery and they ain’t pay us yet. What are we thanking them for? We need to stop that kind of talk. Stop saying we don’t have anything in this country. When you make that kind of statement, speak for yourself,” explained a frustrated caller.

He continued, “What we need to do is stop being segregated among ourselves. Let’s start embracing ourselves. We need to come together as one people and see what we have and stop rejecting your own people. We can go independent. The wise man build his house upon the rock and the foolish man build his house upon the sand. Stop saying we can’t go independent, that’s weakness.”

‘A chain is only as strong as its weakest link’

Guest of the show and President of the Opposition Virgin Islands Party (VIP), Dr Natalio D. Wheatley aka Sowande Uhuru, commented that the Virgin Islands has already been told by the United Kingdom that it can go independent if it wishes but he added that the people must get together and decide what they really want to do.

Dr Wheatley further stated that “a chain is only as strong as its weakest link and if we don’t start supporting each other more in the BVI and recognising each other’s talents and strength, we won’t survive whether we go independent or not independent.”

The VIP President pointed out too that the territory needs to recognise its resources and not just the natural resources but the human resources. Using Dr Karl Dawson as an example, Dr Wheatley stated that Dr Dawson is a man of “immense talents”, noting that he is very happy to see that his talents are being accepted elsewhere but sad that it’s not being “completely embraced” in the Virgin Islands.

After being removed from his post as President of the H. Lavity Stoutt Community College (HLSCC) just over a year ago, indigenous Virgin Islander Dawson was recently selected to the prestige position of President of the Anguilla Community College (ACC) and will be taking up the post.

Ownership is the best way for the VI

Another caller emphasised that the Virgin Islands should not seek independence, however, they should seek proprietorship. He explained that proprietorship means ownership and that is the best way for the territory to move forward. “Why you guys keep following this British colonialisation.”

Meanwhile, Chairman of the Virgin Islands Heritage Committee, Reverend Dr Melvin A. Turnbull, during the Emancipation Service at the Sunday Morning Well on August 6, 2017, told those in attendance that he has been calling for the Virgin Islands to start charting its own course towards independence.

The Senior Pastor of the Cane Garden Bay Baptist Church also compared the growth of the Virgin Islands to that of a child that refuses to leave his mother’s house.

He said, “If you have a child that is a grown man and won’t leave your house, you will find some way to get him out. I would rather walk out than to be pushed out because if I walk out, I walk out intentionally… However, if I am pushed out that would be premature.”

21 Responses to “‘Saying we can’t go independent is weakness’ – Radio show caller’”

  • VIlander (16/08/2017, 17:20) Like (56) Dislike (0) Reply
    I think some of us miss the point. It's not that we won't strive to be capable of independence in the future but right now it should be totally out of the question. We can't get politics right, nepotism, economics, heck we can't even organize sports. We can't hire qualified locals, can't agree on our culture or our unified direction. We scorn those with college degrees phds or scholars. We have no legislative protections for consumers and we rely on US dollar. It's easy to say out of pride and frustration let's be independent but then would the police have gotten the funds necessary to fight crime? Would food prices be regulated? Would the citizens end up being taxed even more? Our premier said he had the british eating out of his hands and that was an unintentional lie. Who would be capable of handling our international relations? So we are far away from that goal and have things to fix first. You don't go promoting an event when you have a venue but nothing else and that's what we have
    • @VIlander (16/08/2017, 17:37) Like (34) Dislike (0) Reply
      *Round of Applause* *Standing Ovation* for this post. WELL SAID. Should we seek independence at this juncture, we would be independently INEPT.
    • Amen (16/08/2017, 20:24) Like (21) Dislike (1) Reply
      To add to that a lot of VIslanders are entitled, selfish and based on all the complaining for last week, they have no pride and no fortitude.

      (And yes, I'm a born and raised VIslander.)

      The reactions and words I've seen and heard this week... with the attitude we have now, the only place we could be going once independent is to hell. We really should be ashamed of ourselves. Our forefathers worked so we can have what we have and we honoured them by acting like spoiled children.

      Two quotes come to mind when I think about going independent:

      1) If you can't stand for something you will fall for anything. A lot of the wrong doing that happen in this country happens because we allow it. People know it's wrong but they say nothing because it's either their friends and family doing the wrong, they don't think it's their problem, they're benefiting from it or they expect someone else to handle it. Then by the time the elephant gets too big to ignore, it's already busted down all the walls and suffocated everyone in the room. Then everyone is left bawling. Freedom of speech and moral integrity can only survive if people are willing to use it and protect it.

      2) Where there is no vision the people perish. It's a quote our first Chief Minister was known for saying but it's actually a quote from the bible. The leaders here, regardless of the party from which they hail, like to announce plans and dislike criticism or doubt so they constantly disregard any opposition, and that's if we're lucky! If we're unlucky we get left in the dark. They act like only their words count and us peasants are too stupid to comprehend. They expect us to follow without question and won't even take the time to explain their vision, yet still we must trust them. That is if they even have a vision. They fail to realise that a good leader isn't one with an army of yes men but one who can take criticism and prove their competency. A good leader is compassionate and patient yet steadfast and wise. A good leader is a good listener and understands that only through his actions can he earn trust and respect. A good leader is willing to stand with the weakest and die with the strongest. These leaders here act like they're playing make believe. As though no one suffers because of the choices they make. They act like they don't understand how vunerable they can make us when they are too forceful and deceitful and they act like they don't care.

      Considering all this, I can't follow them into independence. I love the VI but sometimes I have no faith in my people or my leaders. To me the problem isn't that we have weaknesses but that we don't do anything to improve ourselves in a meaningful and long lasting way. We're allowing ourselves to fall asleep and that will be our ruination.

    • Yes, yes (16/08/2017, 20:25) Like (9) Dislike (0) Reply
      @VILander, Bravo to your comment. If I knew you, I would have planted a nice juicy kiss on your cheek.
      • Well (17/08/2017, 09:31) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
        @AMEN "To add to that a lot of VIslanders are entitled, selfish and based on all the complaining for last week, they have no pride and no fortitude. (And yes, I'm a born and raised Islander.)

        As a BVIslander I agree with a lot of what was said but the above quote no. A lot of the moaning I have heard have not come for VIslanders.

        My store got flooded and the community came out to help me clean my store and the ghut so that it would not happen again. I wish to remind a lot of you who always commenting on BVIslanders we are the minority in this place.

        Some of us still have ole time morals.

    • Ajic (17/08/2017, 09:16) Like (9) Dislike (1) Reply
      Every time I hear politician and other so-call leaders in our community trying to mislead the people about becoming independent my blood does boil. Any sensible person know that this country cannot go independent. Our economy is based on two shaky pillars tourism and financial services. We are one of the most corrupt country in the world and with independence it will get increasingly worst. Almost every independent Caribbean country is now catching hell and they have much more resources than the BVI. There is nothing substantial to be gain by going independent and we stand to lose everything if we do.
  • just want to know (16/08/2017, 18:32) Like (16) Dislike (0) Reply
    Do you think that we will be able to use the US dollar like we are doing right now
    In this one sided show that is going on here look at the ones that is promoting independence and do you really think that England would allow this did you understand what the governor said in relation to independence one of the first things that we will need is a military where is it what I know we have is a lot of corruption talk about that first and then we will deal with the rest after .
  • Citizen (16/08/2017, 20:29) Like (14) Dislike (0) Reply
    Why try to cover honest citizens eyes? We all know there is corruption right from the top. Our finances are mishandled so badly that straight answers cannot be given in the house of assembly. The locals are outnumbered because we continue to give our friends status. They come from independent countries why run to BVI? Virginislanders used to be a happy people now locals cannot get jobs in their own country. Look what is happening. People cannot even afford to fit their children out for school at the beginning of the school year. Full accountability before any independence talk.we must know who are involved in the schemes when our monies are given to foreigners by the millions. Contracts must be given fairly so that all the people benefits financially and good work. The money must circulate in the country and not sent out every week. Independence is not a joke. It comes with great responsibility.
  • kelo (16/08/2017, 20:50) Like (2) Dislike (5) Reply
    Not as long as the vip is in power
    • @ kelo (16/08/2017, 23:18) Like (4) Dislike (2) Reply
      we are on a dangerous path...if the NDP remain in power I am sure you mean
  • The Auditor (16/08/2017, 23:31) Like (10) Dislike (0) Reply
    Any one with any sense can see and know that NDP is the worst party to manage the BVI economy. No one can tell me any different.
  • Charley Rose (17/08/2017, 02:13) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    It is all well to aspire for political advancement, however, we are a divided territory and unless we can all unite for a purpose, we will remain in servitude. Our population can be considered as three dimensions. We have the N.D.P, the V.I.P and expatriates. Unless we can unite all these segments of the population, we will not be able to move forward. Talk is cheap and any one can make a statement, however, when the time comes for action only a few are there.

    Let us look at the police force. There are vacancies and the commissioner is inviting BVI Be-longer to join the force and they are refusing to join to protect the citizens. Look at all the other ministries and department, teaching, nursing and the list goes on, we need more locals to turn their attentions to these professions instead of sitting around and smoking cannabis. Look at our food security, there in no plan for our survival. Before we start to talk about independence, we must start to solve these problems then we can safely say that we are truly self-reliant.
  • wize up (17/08/2017, 05:43) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    leave the territory as is and make those in political office NDP/VIP or any other be more accountable to our people when they these big brain plans to spend our tax more money: we have more to loose as a small territory going independent: as an example look at the current conduct of some political leaders can you only imagine the free for all under an inpendent state: most of the current guidelines and rule books as a dependent territory are violated: God help us with these politicians under independent rule
  • Altar (17/08/2017, 07:15) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Ok the talk of going independance has been discussed many times. What i need to hear/see is a sustainable strategic plan as to how we will support ourselves..ok tourism...finiancial services, others may even venture to say agriculture. Pls someone put your words in action we have enough educated people in this territory.
  • SILLY TALK OF INDEPENDENCE (17/08/2017, 07:19) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    These folks pushing independence because they cannot get their way with the nonsense they want to do. If the Virgin Islands go independent at this current stage of affairs, you will always have coup attempts and killings of leaders because of their misguided thoughts of representation. So you want independence then have a total separation of powers in the Government System now. A Government Minister should be able to be challenged by a member of the house and not be over powered because the same minister is a representative and have a majority. There must be monetary policy. Do we get our own Central Bank? Do we produce our own currency like the Cayman Islands The we should do it now and not later. Military and Defense? Foreign Relations? Number of things need to be done. You cannpt get independence on meeting to build retaining walls or giving political cronies monies for roads.
  • AOC (17/08/2017, 09:49) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    Talk is cheap! you" Radio Caller" saying that to not speak of going independent is weakness - I say that your loose talk of independence is not only reckless but irresponsible. All your talk of boldness and independence - at a bare minimum, please articulate the benefits of independence so the people can see how it is that they would be better off with your thirst for independence V their current status. Fully explain your PLAN for economic growth and the ability of the tiny territory to be able to reinvent itself as a fully independent nation. Until you do this - please STOP knowingly creating unnecessary tension about independence.
  • Tortola (17/08/2017, 10:01) Like (6) Dislike (1) Reply
    • Stopsleep (17/08/2017, 11:24) Like (1) Dislike (7) Reply
      And we will suffer worst if it returned to the UK. So America took a chance and came from the UK. Did they suffer?
      Barbados, Jamaica, Bahamas, Columbia, Brazil, African states took independence, did they suffer or are they trying to build a great nation? We need to rid ourselves of this "wecantitis" mentality. Are we going to feel comfortable when we let Colonialism return to these islands and sit under the mantel of being fearful? How did the Virgin Islands get to this state after the Plantocracy left? How? It was men and women working hard and using collective efforts to propel us to where we are today. So, we were less educated when they left and we made it thus far. We are more educated and cannot make it? Oh, people, understand the history of these islands; understand where we started from. Let us join together and make the Virgin Islands a better place, rather than thinking we cannot take the VI forward unless we have "Britain" attached to us. Oh, the British; Oh, the British, you have not yet paid for the atrocities you did to our ancestors, and you will pay! Many of us now are aware of the history you hid from us. We cannot return to the former. It is the biggest insult and ungratefulness if we fail to honour the sacrifices of our forefathers. Had many known what slavery was, the stories behind that era, 82 years ago you would have run from anything called, looked and acted like the UK. Each is entitled to his or her opinion, but the Virgin Islands must start a conversation to where we are going. If we don't, we will repeat history in these islands again, and before you repeat the history, you will see the sadist of the UK popping its head here in these islands. A people that do not know their past is bound to repeat it again. We will not repeat that brutal past in these islands, so let us not be afraid. In that day, the true Virgin Islanders will stand up.
  • Wes (17/08/2017, 11:08) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    Radio Caller: Please sit your tired behind down
  • @Stopsleep (17/08/2017, 15:55) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    Were u awake when you wrote that jumble?
    • holdup (17/08/2017, 20:32) Like (0) Dislike (1) Reply
      Another moo-moo who do not know their history. Your own will always cut down those who have the knowledge. They called Noel Lloyd crazy; they called Jesus lazy; no doubt if Stopsleep is a man they will call him crazy too. But it appears he or whoever is stopsleep understand a thing, or maybe two.

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