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Our children’s path must lead from here to there

- Truth for the Youth-BVP… Sat - 6pm – 7pm on CBN 90.9 FM
Alred C. Frett. Photo: VINO/File
Alred C. Frett

Acknowledging the Past & Present:

Donald J. Trump has set the standard for New Governments blaming Old Governments but New Governments can become old quickly by failing to address the needs of a people and neglecting that which requires rectification… As we enter the final month of the year crucial questions are still unanswered and many of our dearly departed who entered the year erect have left it horizontal.

Indeed, we have buried our 1st Premier - RTO - and even as we mourn, the rigors of life continues… On the next day, UK will be determining our fate through their general elections and the impeachment trial of the US President will be in full force… Whatever the outcome, it is necessary that we assess the situations and prepare today to be ready for tomorrow.

Sadness may be all around us but we must still acknowledge that good things happened during the year - We have not experienced a major natural disaster and that is good so we should say thanks to our families, friends, workers, well-wishers and even those who chose to do us wrong because their attacks bring lessons for survival that may better prepare us for future adversities.

Good and bad follow each other so even as we rejoice in freedom delivered by acts of our ancestors, we may notice that nations across the world remind us that the trappings of slavery have never really left us… It is sadly amusing to hear the UK’s insults and accusations of EU being “white slave masters” - “institutionally racist” and only letting in black people as cleaners of their toilets.

This is like the Kettle calling the pot’s bottom black since the UK is chin-deep in Brexit which is knowingly based on overt racism… No wonder Trump is complaining of having to flush toilets ten times and when he brags about doing favours for 2 Blacks he is really creating bad laws and practices that deprive our children and drive millions of innocent Blacks into populating prisons and graveyards.

Even if they hear our cries can we really expect them to answer and help when history shows that they have always benefitted from discrimination and racism… Besides, it is our suppression that formed the foundations on which their economic prosperity depends… Meanwhile, rather than reclaiming our human rights, we condition ourselves to accept being society’s floor mats without a whine or whimper.

Recognising the Issues & correcting the Problems:

You may hate to hear these inconvenient truths as much as I hate to say them but facts are stubborn and we live in a trickle-down society where failure to learn from the past, guarantees hardships for the future… We have been silent too long without solutions so, my message is not for those who think they are already at the top, but for the youth facing diminished opportunities and futures of dwindling values.

Perhaps, they would do better if they knew better and it all begins by realising that as descendants of slaves, original BV-Islanders have now moved from majority to minority… Furthermore, this coincides with our fall from being major land owners to non-land owners and like US Indians and Mexicans learnt, ‘loss of lands brings loss of dignity’ and once gone it’s hell and high water to get them back.

Unfortunately, some of our locals learnt well from foreign masters, whom, as soon as they purchase lands from locals erected ‘No Trespassing’ signs and installed chains across existing passages - Overnight, this once proud VI Landowner has to walk a mile to reach a yard… Locals now follow this corrupt practice by blocking estate roads and placing buckets and pans to block public streets.

I deeply appreciated Noel Lloyd because he realised, who owns the plantation owns the slaves and who sells the lands also sells the people… Sadly, for years we have honoured leaders who thrived on making our children landless… This is dangerous and that is why I often refer to flags of slavery flying over Wickham’s Cay, the absence of Noel’s Statue in his park and local loss of Palmgrove Centre.

So far, Noel’s statue was finally sneaked back into the park without a word of recognition but the defunct Palmgrove Shopping Centre has become a ‘Seasons Greeting’ Billboard, and the flags of slavery defiantly fly full mast over Wickham’s Cay while our local flag is demoted to flying at a small Round-a-bout… Like the US’s Confederacy Flag, such acts inherently devalue our children. 

As we approach year’s end - moving from a Common Year to a Leap Year - looming UK Elections and US President Impeachment could mean that things are likely to get worse before getting better… However, rather than bury our heads in the sand we should recognise the urgent need to correct wrongs and redouble efforts to prepare for the unforeseen for, if we fail this; we fail ourselves.

PS: I will continue addressing some of your Questions & Comments on Live BVP Radio Programmes.

5 Responses to “Our children’s path must lead from here to there”

  • watcher (13/12/2019, 08:04) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    I agree with mr Frett
    • Billfargo (13/12/2019, 16:50) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      TRUTH! Truth is a continuous examination, but facts supersedes beliefs............
  • All talk (13/12/2019, 16:22) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply

    A man could talk a good talk about upliftment on here then go straight exploit his workers. Can't dismantle the master's house with the master's tools.

  • E. Leonard (14/12/2019, 05:03) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    ” I deeply appreciated Noel Lloyd because he realised, who owns the plantation owns the slaves and who sells the lands also sells the people… Sadly, for years we have honoured leaders who thrived on making our children landless… This is dangerous and that is why I often refer to flags of slavery flying over Wickham’s Cay, the absence of Noel’s Statue in his park and local loss of Palmgrove Centre.” Real talk. Emancipation, coupled with drop in sugar prices, local agitation, national disasters (gales/hurricanes)....etc, resulted in the VI being viewed as a poverty stricken place that was only good as a proverbial ’bird sanctuary.’ The plantation owners/slave owners left and slave descendants were left to fend for themselves, struggling to survive and eek out a living using their land. Some land was seen as having little value and not in demand, ie., outlying islands. In time, outsiders saw the land supposedly of little value as valuable and purchased prime real estate for pennies. My own family give away prime real estate for pennies.

    Though Virgin Islanders may not be able to undo the bad decisions of the past, we can indeed learn from the past. We must learn from the past. At the current pace, all many will be able to do is to walk by, drive by, sail by or fly over and lament and cry that their grandparents, greatgrand parents, great-great-grandparents....etc toil to own this piece of real estate but now it is gone---sold for peanuts.

    Moreover, land is a scarce, valuable and a non-renewable resource and Virgin Islanders should keep what is left in local hands info perpetuity. If circumstances demand, lease, not sell. A well-structured land use plan is urgently needed. Action is needed now to keep Virgin Islanders from going from land owners to being landless. A land bank can be established. Clearly, there will be different views on land ownership, land sale, leasing....etc. Debate, design and decide on this critical and important land issue.
    • External Investor (14/12/2019, 15:12) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      @E. Leonard, hear what you and Alred Frett are saying. However, this is a two sides to the coin issue. If no land was sold, the BVI would still be a bird sanctuary. There must be a balance trade off between land sale and economic development. This is a tough decision that will force government to earn itskeep.

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