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‘VI has done a bad job @ preserving its identity’– John I. Cline

- appears as guest of show, Honestly Speaking
Mr John I. Cline takes the view that the people of the Virgin Islands are unable to identify who they are as a people because they are still dependent on the United Kingdom. Photo: VINO/File
Bishop John I. Cline has said he does not believe the people of the Virgin Islands have done a good job at preserving their identity. Photo: Facebook
Bishop John I. Cline has said he does not believe the people of the Virgin Islands have done a good job at preserving their identity. Photo: Facebook
According to host of Honestly Speaking, Claude O. Skelton-Cline, the Virgin Islands Government spends a lot of money to train and send their people away but important positions are still being filled by British nationals. Photo: VINO/File
According to host of Honestly Speaking, Claude O. Skelton-Cline, the Virgin Islands Government spends a lot of money to train and send their people away but important positions are still being filled by British nationals. Photo: VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- “We were fortunate as this generation to have inherited a prosperous, peaceful, and safe nation and we now need to ensure that we don’t drop the ball,” said Bishop John I. Cline who was a guest on the television talk show, Honestly Speaking, on CBN Channel 51 on Tuesday July 11, 2017.

Preserving the VI’s identity

Responding to a question posed by the talk show host Mr Claude O. Skelton-Cline, the Bishop Cline stated that he does not believe the people of the VI have done a good job at preserving their identity.

“We have not told our story. We have not told it to our children and we certainly don’t tell it to the people who come to live among us as to who are we as a people and where we are going as a people. Consequently, because we don’t tell our story properly, then who we are becomes dissolved in this melting pot and then we are left for other people to define us.”

Mr Cline takes the view that the people of the territory are unable to identify who they are as a people because they are still dependent on the United Kingdom.

“…I think the time has come and has long passed where we are confident that we have a sense of identity where we can self-determine who we are going to be and anyone can come among us and identify what is the BVI,” stated John Cline.

The Bishop observed that Jamaicans strongly believe in national pride and they have preserved their sense of identity:

“It’s one of the things that I actually love about Jamaicans, because even though they have been marginalized by the world powers such as International Monetary Fund (IMF) or the World Bank, they have retained a sense of identity.”

Mr Cline explained that the territory will lose their sense of identity if they just focus on the things that are “economically viable,” adding that leadership must assist in recapturing the identity of the VI.

“We cannot just focus on financial services. We cannot just focus on tourism.”

‘Where is our state house?’

In response, the talk show host asked, “Where is our state house? Where is the Premier’s house? Where is that place were our people go gather and it’s ours? You know there is the Governor’s House and a whole bunch of stuff happens there but where is our house that makes it stately that has the relics, the artifacts, and the statues of our foreparents…”

Mr Skelton-Cline commented that there is nowhere on the islands that persons can go to know about their history.

Bishop Cline explained that the UK nationals do not go to the Premier if they want to address an issue, they go to Government House because it represents them.

“It (Government House) really and truly doesn’t represent us and we need that place that tells our story so that we can look at and know who fought for us and not wait until every February or Emancipation.

‘Black lives back in white hands’

According to the talk show host, the government spends a lot of money to train and send their people away but important positions are still being filled by British nationals. “The truth of the matter is, what we are doing is reverting to having black lives back in white hands.”

This drew a response from Bishop John Cline, “You cannot look to your oppressor to set you free, it is not in his best interest to have you free.”

He added that during the Premier’s ‘Mid Term Report’ on July 10, 2017, the VI’s history or identity was not mentioned.

“I hear about tourism. I hear about prosperity. I hear about millions of dollars spent but when it comes to the foundational things that made us who we are, it was absent from the dialogue and that I believe is sad. It’s one thing we failed at but something that we can correct,” stated Bishop John I. Cline.

19 Responses to “‘VI has done a bad job @ preserving its identity’– John I. Cline”

  • Spy (12/07/2017, 09:08) Like (10) Dislike (0) Reply
    I totally agree with you Bishop - the people spend more time arguing about who from here and who isn’t. I grew up here and I can tell you more about Columbus and other Caribbean and European history then I can say about the B.V.I. There's so much division, more so among the local family (FAMILY because they are all one) to the point where I just don't understand it.

    As for government sending "their people away" - you're right; close family and friends. And most of them go away to study the same thing - Business, because everybody wants to be their own boss. Education department to this day has not created a priority list of what the country needs are. I can list several persons who were given scholarship and have changed their major as much as they change their underwear and has not finish but, will still to get another scholarship solely base on who they are and who they for.

    Until our “Ministers” stop treating the government like it’s a family business, things won’t change.
  • musa (12/07/2017, 09:20) Like (2) Dislike (3) Reply
    did the pastor do a good job in his church check how many members of his team live a loving life as family
    • @ musa (12/07/2017, 12:54) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
      set of haters talking piss
    • ,@ Musa Star (12/07/2017, 13:45) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
      Church is about members. Building membership at any cost. More membersean the offering plate get bigger..Pastor earn more...
  • Hmmmm (12/07/2017, 09:46) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    Sadly i do agree
  • facts man (12/07/2017, 10:01) Like (3) Dislike (3) Reply
    John, locals have no rights in the bvi so hush
  • VIPride (12/07/2017, 11:01) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Locals don't have no rights, facts man, because you do not know who you are. Is it too late to start pointing the people in the right direction? No. Do you see how prideful the people feel when they sing O Beautiful Virgin Islands, well we better start heading in that direction and restore national pride. John keep talking; you understand the times and seasons. Some don't like to hear the truth, but its the truth. Keep preaching. It's preachers who lead the way sometimes.
    • Great is our God (13/07/2017, 11:27) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply
      It's pastors who put God first that lead the way

      These men of the cloths are ever present in the public media promoting their worldly interest and only remembering God when their Sunday sessions come around.
      The only identity they should be talking about is the identity of what a christian society should be like and look like and what they are doing to bring that forward to the locals and immigrants alike. Not giving Christianity a bad name mixing God business in their worldly melee.
      • God is great! No one else. (13/07/2017, 17:37) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
        Did God tell you that! Work out your own salvation. Some of you will piss judgment morning, judging everybody because we have now created God in our own image.
  • Online Now (12/07/2017, 11:30) Like (8) Dislike (1) Reply
    Time to take that chip off your shoulder and realise that you absolutely control your destiny. Continual blame of the "white man" is ridiculous when all the power is in local hands. I guess it's useful having someone to blame for these self inflicted problems though.
  • VI Time (12/07/2017, 12:28) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Yes Sir Bishop! Right on the money! #VILivesMatter
  • Lord o (12/07/2017, 13:39) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Are we the Virgin Islands or the British virgin islands.? We don't know who we are. Stop blaming others. We blame others for everything we think is wrong.... Why?
    • vi (12/07/2017, 15:48) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      @Lord o - we were the first VI. Before Britain took over and before the USVI we were the VI. Always have been, always will be.
  • IRD1 (12/07/2017, 17:47) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Well Cline I know they don't like you now b/c whenever I had this same conversation with the powers that be they claim I hate the BVI. But it's juts basic honesty to say it and to be woke to see it. He are a self hating non socially black conscious society so we never maintained what we should and always take what others have b/c he hate our own. Oh we are skin colour aware but not socially black conscious and black history isn't talk here and we don't share the same cultural values anymore so as the j'cans say "What spoil in the morning can't ripe in the evening"
  • Amen (12/07/2017, 23:32) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Good job John Cline, right on spot.
  • brad boynes. (13/07/2017, 12:50) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    You cannot correct what you are not willing to confront.
  • watcher (13/07/2017, 23:02) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    We cant rely on parents anymore for the basics. Illiterate parents are failing the children and failing society.
  • 'bout identity (17/07/2017, 06:16) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    We cannot maintain our identity when half the legislature are foreign nationals and when we are constantly naturalizing more of them. Doesn't anyone see that we are creating a foreign identity?


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