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Immigrants, it's time to 'get the hell out!'

Kenneth G. Gladstone. Photo: Provided
Kenneth G. Gladstone

Not too long ago, a local Virgin Islands businessman was heard in a meeting of like-minds, which was broadcast live across social media, uttering blistering remarks about immigrants. The meeting was live without their knowing and the video went viral among immigrants. As you can imagine, his business declined dramatically as a result. He later offered his apology but to no avail.

It should also be noted that Arab businessmen within the territory are lamenting the fact that thousands of immigrants who were ardent supporters of their businesses have left the territory, which has partially crippled sales not only in their businesses, but in many other businesses across the territory.

Many locals and belongers are still incapable of appreciating the serious implications of these facts. It cannot be overlooked that the profound social, medical, educational, psychological, spiritual and economic value of immigrants cannot be taken for granted! Yet, rather than learning from past mistakes, the brazen disregard for immigrants continues. Some immigrants are either feeling confused or helpless, and in many cases, abused as a result of the increasing level of polarisation that exists within the VI. 

Immigrants in the VI have no representation, and their suffering often go unnoticed as a result.

It should also be noted that the current happenings within the territory affect the immigrant community even more given the destabilising effect of such developments, especially among those who have invested a lifetime to make the territory their home. Currently, the greater part of two-thirds of the VI population being immigrants, is living in uncertainty. Yet, they stand to protect not only their own interests, but that of their local brothers and sisters as well. Sadly, this goes unnoticed.

Documented evidence shows that VI governments and like-minded locals continue to oppress immigrants with unfair taxes and remittance charges, astronomical rent hikes and service charges, and very soon immigrants will be required to pay twenty-five times more for business licenses as stated by the new Premier, to name a few. Many immigrants are currently grinning as they struggle to hold up under the pressure, and the only thing left to break the camel's back is a straw! Yet, governments and supporting parties continue to exploit immigrants via policies and biased actions, and immigrants are seemingly too afraid to stand in their own defense. It is very clear that strategies to disempower and displace immigrants kept showing up on the books, while the immigrants' pockets continue to reel in pain. 

It is just a matter of time before these callous actions render the VI a very unattractive place for immigrants and visitors alike, which will not only destroy the local economy, but the social, medical, educational, infrastructural and psychological balance of the territory. Immigrants have no recourse in the VI which is fuelling the escalation of discrimination, bias and division. The painful thing is, locals and belongers see nothing wrong with this! To add insult to injury, locals complain that immigrants are not standing with them in the current fight. The question is, are locals aware of this situation they have created to divide the community while they continue to make the immigrants' life a living hell?

This insensitive approach has become a matter of serious concern among immigrants and their relatives worldwide, compounded by the embarrassing sentiments emerging out of local circles which are echoed across the territory and the world. This has caused many to step back in serious bewilderment as to whether locals are acting out of ignorance, or is it that they are simply a wicked people. Many are now contemplating whether the greatest enemy of the VI is its own people! Have locals purposed in their own minds to destroy their own territory?

True and lasting development can only happen where there is equity and just action. Not where immigrants and their children are treated like second-class citizens, and denied the right to function normally like any other man or woman within the territory. This is not only biased, it is exploitation!

In light of these facts, why would immigrants continue to toil endlessly only to be insulted because their value is never appreciated? And, why would immigrants give their all for very little knowing that their contribution to the VI will never be respected? The time has come for serious assessment.

Immigrants, locals have been telling you to "get the hell out" for a long time, yet you keep ignoring the insults. Do you need greater devastation than hurricane Irma to get you out? This time, your demise will be fatal, and entirely your fault! Listen to the locals! Protect yourself and your family! Pack your bags and "GET THE HELL OUT!" The worst is yet to come! Belonger status is of little value given that whatever you do, "YOU ARE NOT FROM HERE!!! Get the hell out, find a place to replant yourself to save yourselves!

35 Responses to “Immigrants, it's time to 'get the hell out!'”

  • WEW (05/07/2022, 11:33) Like (20) Dislike (12) Reply
    The long time true feelings of are surfacing. Either you're a belonger or trash
  • down2earth (05/07/2022, 11:57) Like (9) Dislike (12) Reply
    There is more than one side to a story.

    A Virgin Islander to the Nth generation
  • thank you (05/07/2022, 13:19) Like (10) Dislike (5) Reply
    I am local but the content of the piece you write is moral.
    And since I am human and I care about other humans, I thank you for laying out this story.
    I hope local people will look at it and try to see things from an other point of view.
  • PT09 (05/07/2022, 13:22) Like (23) Dislike (15) Reply
    Some Immigrants is a big part of the problem they think that they have a right to call down people from the BVI and get away with it, some of them do need to get to hell out of the BVI, they have no love or respect for the BVI people. This story is one sided.
    • Hey PT09 (06/07/2022, 08:39) Like (7) Dislike (3) Reply
      Many BVIslanders (3rd generation or not) also don’t belong here.
    • Really! (06/07/2022, 20:20) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      Everyone has the right to judge others on the way that they act! Perhaps BV Islanders should cease with the judging of others when they are themselves do not have clean hands!!!
    • Oh Yeahhhh (08/07/2022, 10:21) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      I was born here, grew up my whole 40 yrs of life. I've been told that we are inbreeds, dumb, lazy, etc. People come from all over the world here to work and thinks because the country is so small, WE KNOWS NOTHING.
      • 5 Essex Court (09/07/2022, 01:45) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply
        Your grammar speaks volumes about what you DO know. It is better to remain silent and be thought a know what...nvm
  • stupps (05/07/2022, 13:40) Like (7) Dislike (3) Reply
    For God’s sake stop judging all because of the views of some. Unfortunately in every country there are some who behave this way and it’s not only on the BVI. People like you just like jumping on band wagons to stay relevant. I trust that you are still enjoying your relationship with that BVI lady in the Bay who I am sure has not told you to leave after all these years.
  • Slim Jim (05/07/2022, 14:04) Like (22) Dislike (7) Reply
    As a Virgin Islander with roots going back 3 generations on both sides, I hear you and agree with your reaction to the ridiculous statements voiced by some of my narrow minded compatriots.
    Quite frankly, if I were in your shoes I would feel the same.
    I am constantly disheartened by these bigoted views that fail to take into account the contributions that "island people" ( a rather idivulous term and non-insult, if you ask me) have made and continue to make as they live, work, join us in intermarriage, build businesses and other valuable contributions (even of just pay rent and support the economy). They are the engine that drives the economy but are often abused and overlooked. And if I were in their shoes I would also be temp tempted to "get the hell out"

    I am married to a citizen of another Caribbean nation and we have a child together. By Ms Parsons definition, my son is NOT a Virgin Islander. That reminds me of the old ways that the slave masters defined one' s racial purity by defining just how much African blood one possesed. As we are aware, this rating system created "classes" of people which still persists today in our tendency to worship fair skin, straight "good" hair, and other external factors rather than prizing ones intrinsic beauty and value of good character first. We have now used the same slave masters weapons against each other to maintain a flawed status quo and make ourselves feel better, for doing absolutely nothing but being born. How silly!

    I just ask my Caribbean brothers and sisters to not judge all BVIslanders by the same measure as my more ignorant brethren still do. We are not all like that, although we are often too cowardly to stand and be counted for what is right. Irma and Maria should have taught us lessons too, but it appears that pride has an ugly habit of blinding us to the obvious... the emperor has no clothes.

    Together let's reject this ignorant mindset and move forward, or we damn ourselves to ruin by our own hands.
  • Monaco Model (05/07/2022, 14:40) Like (3) Dislike (5) Reply
    Immigrants l eating the BVI will be a Blessing. They are 2/3 the population andvthat cannot be good ...not with the majority being the current demographic. That its a recipe f disaster.
    The Monaco Model would be ideal for the VI. The " indigenous " are the minority,but v as a result of the immigration system...there is no poverty in Monaco and the minority is happy and so is everyone else.

  • YES,PLEASE (05/07/2022, 14:50) Like (14) Dislike (22) Reply
    If they are unhappy and exploited, they would leave.
    I was hoping Irma would have eased their presence but no such luck.
    I long for a BVI with as few of them as possible.

    • Amazing (05/07/2022, 21:24) Like (15) Dislike (3) Reply
      It amazes me how we like to pick on our brothers and sisters from other Caribbean islands and other countries but we don't dare target or bully other groups ( Europeans, Asians, etc ) are they not immigrants as well? There are no true indigenous people in the Caribbean, know Thyself brethrens and sistrens. STOP the MADNESS, Please, please!!!!
      • Because (06/07/2022, 00:14) Like (3) Dislike (1) Reply
        They are all around disruptive to quality of life and a threat to life .

      • Lucayo (06/07/2022, 10:08) Like (6) Dislike (1) Reply
        There are no true indigenous people in the Caribbean? I’ll let my friends on other islands who are descendants of Caribs and/or Taino in on the secret.
        • AAH (06/07/2022, 20:22) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
          Lucayo l am sure your your Carib and taino decendent friends from the other Caribbean islands are mixed with other groups, or mixed with each other, 100 percent l strongly doubt it.
          • Lucayo (08/07/2022, 11:04) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
            In the BVI, we go by paternal/paternity right? Well, yes, they look like just who they for and proud of it. There are several tribes in Dominica and the Bahamas. Now, according to you, they must all be 100% Okay, Eileen.
    • Really! (06/07/2022, 20:17) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply

      @YES, PLEASE. You are racist scum.

  • Not surprised (05/07/2022, 15:01) Like (18) Dislike (3) Reply
    This man is never on the news for something positive and it's becoming more disgusting!
  • Optimist (05/07/2022, 15:17) Like (7) Dislike (1) Reply
  • Real Talk (05/07/2022, 16:33) Like (1) Dislike (2) Reply
    I am wondering who he hiding here in the bay we watching you
  • gh (05/07/2022, 17:06) Like (6) Dislike (2) Reply
    immigrants, stop supporting his business period. He is a narrow minded bastard .
  • pat (05/07/2022, 17:11) Like (6) Dislike (3) Reply
    I support ms p
  • @YES PLEASE (05/07/2022, 17:11) Like (6) Dislike (8) Reply
  • @ OPTIMIST (05/07/2022, 19:15) Like (5) Dislike (3) Reply
  • Stww (06/07/2022, 08:19) Like (4) Dislike (1) Reply
    Well you need to get out too and go back to Africa where your fore parents are from, cause that’s where your roots start from. The original Virgin Islanders where the Spaniards and Europeans. We black ppl came here as slaves ! Remember that
    • @Stww (07/07/2022, 00:08) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
      Who are you trying to fool? The first people on these shores were the Tainos. Then the Europeans came through and killed out theTaino population for the copper on VG and brought Africans to enslave. When the Africans had enough of the euro devils, they burned the place down causing the few remaining Europeans to leave. The Africans then bought the land (which should have been given as some form of retribution from enslavement) and then thanked Jesus for removing the evil euro enemies of mankind from their new home.
  • An observer (06/07/2022, 09:34) Like (4) Dislike (1) Reply
    So after all that confusion-making, is the writer living in BVI? If he harbors those divisive feelings he should be the leader of the mass exodus he is trying to foster.
    For all you know he may be doing the islands a huge favor if he practices what he is preaching. You never know.
  • ... (06/07/2022, 09:53) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
    Please do not accept the comments of the ignorant few. We all help each other here and while the opinions of some persons are very distasteful please know that the immigrants form an integral part of our economy here. Signed by a Virgin Islander with sense. We all just need to find a way to respect each other.
  • baffled (06/07/2022, 10:57) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    I'm what you would call a blue blood Virgin Islander, being able to trace many past generations; however, I have many friends that are immigrants.

    Can someone tell me why immigrants would feel we don't want them here? All my immigrant friends are loyal to their home country the same way we are to ours and are only here to make a living. I'm baffled.
    • Really! (06/07/2022, 21:37) Like (0) Dislike (1) Reply
      @Baffled - I like what you are saying but there are no “blue blood Virgin Islanders”! All of us here in BVI are not originally from here. BV Islanders are from Africa. We are all from where ever we are from!!!!!
  • fromafar (06/07/2022, 19:41) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    What is really your point? Mr. Gladstone You still do not know us as Virgin Islands people say some thing good about us we enjoy all that come to our shores just respect us as we respect you . Let us enjoy our country the same way you enjoy yours .
  • Listening (06/07/2022, 19:47) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    This man should have been here talking his trunk off in RT oneal's time.he would have known what the time was. We need to let him know that Eileene has her opinion which she is free to voice. And she has contributed to her home in many many humongous ways . And she has her full rights.
    He came here by chance and was given the privileges, but itneeds a bridle. Whatever is given could be taken.
    But as life goes when this Country fails, you have your home to run back to and carry on your life as if it had never affected you. Where can Virgin Islanders go to.
    Man just shut to he'll up and fit in while you are allowed and try to make the best of you program.
    How many of you came here go into a relationship with one of us while you bring in your back home lovers as sisters .know thyself people then talk.
  • belongers (07/07/2022, 09:06) Like (2) Dislike (5) Reply
    but belongers are trash, belonger status gives you no bonus rights or benefits you in any way. and those "belongers" have no money aside what they or there ancestors gained from drugs. nobody wants a job here anymore, the "non locals" need to stop buying and supporting local businesses and spend their money earned within their own community. once that cash flow stops, then we'll see who needs who. this place has nothing of its own to talk about, non locals are topping your schools every year, non local businesses are bringing in far more revenue and hiring more locals than the locals themselves do. Prices have been high because demand "WAS" high but look around at the bars and supermarkets, demand is slowing, business is slowing and your economy will slow. Drive away the people that put food in your mouths and you all will starve.

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