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Trump, Brexit, Culture wars & the Virgin Islands Context

May 25th, 2019 | Tags: Dickson C. Igwe Brexit Virgin Islands culture
Dickson C. Igwe. Photo: VINO/File
By Dickson C. Igwe

Cultural engagement and cultural integration between ethnic and racial groups is no longer an option for these Virgin Islands.

And looking afar, global social change determines that populism and nationalism are no longer sustainable. Societies that refuse to harmonize various cultures within their walls and borders, will never have peace.

Make no mistake, A look into recent history shows how countries in the west failed to understand the vast changes to their societies that unmitigated migration would bring.

Had countries factored in culture into their migration policies there would not be the level of hostility on the streets of the USA, the UK, and Europe, towards migrants, being experienced this early 2019.

This simple truth is migrants change the social and community dynamic and fabric; most times for the better.
However, it is crucial to understand the impact migrants and large scale migration has on communities in the countries migrants migrate to.

Migration and citizenship will always be the most contentious matter to residents of a country. That is why it is no surprise the recent citizenship amnesty proposal was greeted by an outcry from a subsection of the Virgin Islands Community.

In the UK of the late 1970s, after the large scale migration from Jamaica and the Caribbean of the 1950s, 60s, and 70s, a second large scale migration began from Pakistan and the Middle East.

The previous migration from the Caribbean unleashed a backlash against these black migrants that was led by Enoch Powell a powerful intellectual and politician, much the same way Nigel Farage views Brexit as a reaction against Eastern European and African migration into the UK.

However, black migrants from the UK adopted the UK culture and enriched the local culture through music, cuisine, and a Caribbean way of life that was friendly to the white UK culture. Eventually, black West Indians became very much part of the UK social and cultural fabric.

On the other hand, the Asian and Islamist culture was separatist. This was a culture that preferred to remain within its shell and religion. Eventually, it changed the demography and culture of vast areas of large UK cities.

And when the Islamist terror threat manifested in the late 1990s, many of the young adherents to Sharia and Jihad were born in London and had no hesitation planting bombs on the underground and on buses or blowing themselves up in public areas, destroying the lives of scores of Britons.

The simple fact is that cultural integration and engagement across racial divides and ethnicities is not an option in a highly interconnected world that is growing smaller as globalization removes borders and trading barriers.

In racially homogeneous societies such as the Scandinavian States where the local culture is overwhelmingly dominant, there is no real issue with cultural integration and the dominant social type is unassailable.

However, when there is large scale migration such as in the Virgin Islands, cultural integration becomes necessary to promote peace and harmony.

Cultural and racial separation will simply not work and is unsustainable in these Virgin Islands. Those who believe they can get away with social separation are ultimately deceived.

The answer to community harmony rests in social engagement and cultural integration, between various races and ethnic groups.

Where there is a refusal to culturally integrate, relations between the various social groups simply deteriorate into unpleasantness.

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2 Responses to “Trump, Brexit, Culture wars & the Virgin Islands Context”

  • Sunshine (25/05/2019, 08:58) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    VERY well written!
  • Integrator (25/05/2019, 23:59) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Sort of. Presumably you meant not “is not an option”, but rather is the only option for Territories who wish to succeed. While the division narrative being used by certain interests in the U.K. is not without some success, generally, people just get on. It doesn’t matter what you look like. Singapore is another not unrealistically faultless but highly successful cultural melting to where education and opportunity mean that the goodness of human nature shine through. Most of the population is not manupulable to feel disadvantaged and that they must blame people by race.
    The opportunity is here to equally be a well managed progressive and integrated micro-society but those who play on suspension of “others” for their own political gain have hindered progress until now.
    On integration, don’t suck teeth at outsiders or make every single interaction so unnecessarily difficult (which starts off on arrival at labour, immigration, DMV, banks etc), invite them in to eat with you and educate them on the island and it’s people and all the good and interesting and even uncomfortable things they should know to greater appreciate where we all are. Understand more about who they are and their backgrounds. Some of the nonsense peddled about people, particularly white people for some reason, coming here and not wishing to be part of the community is absolute guff. There’s a bad egg or two in every community but generally you’d only be here if you wanted to be in the Caribbean specifically and with Caribbean people and culture. Otherwise, there are tourism and finance jobs all over the world in places much easier to live, more lucrative and if the theory was they somehow don’t like black people, it’s far easier not to be among them in those other places. It’s precisely because the place is thought of to be potentially interesting and vibrant, usually a romanticism from people of Caribbean decent who are friends back “home”, from cultural and media imagery or from experience as a guest somewhere like Barbados. They would dearly love to know more about the BVI and support true heritage and culture. As they become part of the community they’d love nothing more than fantastic opportunities for young BVI kids, great literacy and wide education and vocational training for them, infrastructure, education, condition of cultural and recreation spaces and celebrations, airlift, medical, banking, hospitality etc etc for the BVI. Ironically, it’s only with the greater engagement which includes affording people reasonable rights of tenure after about a decade, that all of the good stuff could realistically flow to the people of the B
    VI


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