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Outrage over Eileene L. Parsons' ‘opinion’ on who is a Virgin Islander

- Cultural icon said Virgin Islanders must be able to trace parentage back three generations on both sides
Scores of persons born in the Virgins Islands (VI) or deemed to belong to the territory were left upset following statements by VI Icon, Mrs Eileene L. Parson, OBE during a Virgin Islands Day, July 4, 2022, Panel Discussion held at the H. Lavity Stoutt College in Paraquita Bay, Tortola. Photo: Facebook
Author and Co-writer of the VI territorial song Kareem-Nelson Hull in a social media post lambasted the former legislator for the statements. Photo: Linked-In
Author and Co-writer of the VI territorial song Kareem-Nelson Hull in a social media post lambasted the former legislator for the statements. Photo: Linked-In
Immediately following Mrs Parsons’ response at the H. Lavity Stoutt College, former Mrs BVI, Bria A. Smith said that for the majority of persons in her age group, they cannot trace their parentage on both sides, however, does that mean they are not Virgin islanders she lamented. Photo: Facebook
Immediately following Mrs Parsons’ response at the H. Lavity Stoutt College, former Mrs BVI, Bria A. Smith said that for the majority of persons in her age group, they cannot trace their parentage on both sides, however, does that mean they are not Virgin islanders she lamented. Photo: Facebook
PARAQUITA BAY, Tortola, VI – Scores of persons born in the Virgin Islands (VI) or deemed to belong to the territory were left upset following statements by local icon Ms Eileene L. Parsons, OBE during a Virgin Islands Day, July 4, 2022, Panel Discussion held at H. Lavity Stoutt Community College in Paraquita Bay, Tortola.

During the event entitled, “Virgin Islands Day: A Lasting Legacy Panel Discussion”, Ms Parsons was asked what does it mean to be a Virgin Islander, to which she replied, “These are my very personal opinion and I make absolutely no excuse for what I am going to say.”

Tracing parentage back three generations

“A Virgin Islander has to be able to trace his parentage back three generations of Virgin Islanders on both sides. The virtues or characteristics by which we were once known used to be good manners, friendliness, and kindness to each other and strangers within our gates. Children were mostly well behaved and the villages raised the children,” she added.

Ms Parsons response immediately angered several persons in the community who felt such a response had desecrated for many, their right at being called a Virgin Islander on a day created to celebrate the legacy of Virgin Islanders.

Personal views must remain personal - Kareem Nelson-Hull

Author and co-writer of the Territorial Song, Kareem Nelson-Hull in a social media post lambasted the former legislator for the statements.

“There has to come a point when your very personal views remain personal and private because the insolence of the statement will not rest well with me and people like me, regardless of how much I absolutely love whom you are.

‘Being a Virgin Islander starts with me and ends with me. I don’t need the validation, credentials nor birthright of my parents. Is I who born here and there’s nothing that anyone can do to undo that,” he said.

Nelson-Hull added that the sentiments of Ms Parsons are what cancel culture should cancel,“These sentiments are so outdated. Even Crandall’s change their building colour, it’s time for ayo to change ayo ways,” he added.

More users add to conversation 

Another user, Sachkia Barnes in a Facebook past added, “I will be honest and say that I get nervous every time I see Ms Parsons on any platform. I remain grateful, and my life has been enriched by her ardent support of and for Virgin Islands' culture and heritage. But as far back as I know myself in the Virgin Islands, she's been a figure that constantly reminds many of us that we don't belong.”

“While my teenage mind tried to make sense and understand her very divisive words at my high school graduation, after 20-plus years, should I and thousands of others accept the continuation of those ideas? Ideas that have no basis in reality and ideas that threaten the productivity of the Virgin Islands and successive generations,” she said.  

Definition of a Virgin Islander has changed - Bria A. Smith

Immediately following Ms Parsons’ response at the H. Lavity Stoutt College, former Miss BVI, Bria A. Smith said that for the majority of persons in her age group, they cannot trace their parentage on both sides, however, she questioned whether that means they are not Virgin Islanders.

“In this time that we are in, and I guess in this generation… we can rarely find persons who can trace themselves back to that group of persons, so to be able to say that [what Ms Parsons said] I can’t say that,” she added.

“The perspective of being a Virgin Islander has changed over the years, and I guess all of us now have to define or redefine what that looks like. Is it really the focus on tradition? Is it really now the focus on our values? Because if we focus too much on too many things, we have lost what it means to be a Virgin Islander,” Smith said.

She said like a soup, the VI must now clearly define what are the key ingredients to being Virgin Islanders, “we really have to understand what those things are and stamp it in, because as time goes on, some of the things are going to change and we are seeing that today,” Smith added.

Many other persons also shared their disagreement with Ms Parsons on social media.

77 Responses to “Outrage over Eileene L. Parsons' ‘opinion’ on who is a Virgin Islander”

  • HeHe (05/07/2022, 10:49) Like (21) Dislike (21) Reply
    Ms Barnyard, go back to your own Barn yard from whence you came. This is the VI Barn yard. Stop trespassing. Hahaoooie
    • Trolls (05/07/2022, 13:19) Like (30) Dislike (15) Reply
      Your comment is an example of what inbreeding has done to this place.
    • akon (05/07/2022, 19:14) Like (13) Dislike (2) Reply
      All black people is from Africa,stop yall nonsense now.
    • no no no (05/07/2022, 19:40) Like (2) Dislike (3) Reply
      I haven't heard this woman for a long time, I really taught she had passed.
      So the media is still having none entities on the news... This is the 22nd century, why?
    • This (10/07/2022, 11:15) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      This is just HER opinion, that doesn't make it so.
  • respect (05/07/2022, 10:57) Like (55) Dislike (12) Reply
    Mrs parson we respect you ,we respect your contribution to the development of our culture but what i would like you to understand that your definition of Virgin Islander is wrong. We are on the 21st century ,the world has changed tremendously and The BVI has also changed. You shouldn't define Virgin Islander as you used to do it in the 19th century. You cannot expect us to use the same shoes when we were 10 and now we are 30. You need to accept that things has changed
  • hello (05/07/2022, 11:02) Like (58) Dislike (23) Reply
    I have to agree with Mrs parsons myself. By her definition, I myself am not a vislander but I do see a difference in behavior and culture with those who fit her definition. It's more than just about bein "born here".
  • home boy (05/07/2022, 11:07) Like (55) Dislike (57) Reply
    This old lady needs to sit down, my mother people was hear from slavery, my father people was from the Usvi so you trying to say I am not from the VI ,Lady it is time for you to sit your back side down.
  • Rubber Duck (05/07/2022, 11:07) Like (62) Dislike (7) Reply
    Based on her definition of what is required for nationality, I assume she will be handing back her UK passport.
  • streets (05/07/2022, 11:13) Like (29) Dislike (13) Reply

    Eileen please go find your l**s which was missing 3 generations back. Thanks.

  • Hmm (05/07/2022, 11:13) Like (47) Dislike (18) Reply
    People have her back, while she shoots others in the back with her racist views.
    • @hmm (05/07/2022, 14:31) Like (39) Dislike (13) Reply
      Do you know the definition of a racist? Look it up. She is a nationalist.
      • Eileen Hitler (06/07/2022, 09:20) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
        No, she is talking about genetics and breeding. Hitler was also obsessed with these topics. This has nothing to do with nationalism. It’s racism and at the very least ethnocentrism.
  • Jane (05/07/2022, 11:25) Like (44) Dislike (3) Reply
    So that means if your great-grandad on your dad's side was from St Croix, but all the other generations are born and raised BVIslanders, you are NOT a BVIslander? Would love to know how many hundreds (dozens?) of people actually qualify, can't be that many. If people did continue with Ms Parson's approach everyone would be in-bred, that gene pool isn't big enough.
    • and (05/07/2022, 11:34) Like (33) Dislike (1) Reply
      And if we go independent we would be the only country in the world that is also a family.
  • Watch now (05/07/2022, 11:32) Like (51) Dislike (2) Reply
    So now we see a whole set of people who thought they was BVIslanders being put in the same insecurity as all of us who only one generation VIslanders, or whose grandmother was born in Anguilla, or St. Thomas, or Spanish or white.
    Now do you understand how it feels to watch people in your own community point fingers at you and tell you you don't belong?
    Tola Radio EVERY DAY telling us we don't count because we dis and we not dat and now look. I don't know if any of ayo Braff show team legal under the Eileen Rule!
    • Secret Bear (05/07/2022, 13:04) Like (12) Dislike (3) Reply
      "First they came for the down islanders, but I said nothing because I was not a down islander..."
  • DON Q (05/07/2022, 11:43) Like (13) Dislike (38) Reply
    I agree with ms p
  • ummmmm (05/07/2022, 12:01) Like (29) Dislike (6) Reply
    By your definition, how can there be VIslanders that aren't marrying their cousins?
    • @ummmmm (05/07/2022, 14:38) Like (7) Dislike (22) Reply
      Many of you marry your own cousin as well. The Caribbean islands are all small. Many of you are related to your cousins. Additionally, many of you who came from larger regions live in small towns and communities and are also interbreed with family members.
  • c (05/07/2022, 12:26) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    I remember a few years back when st thomas senator Bryant was running for gov and tried to say you needed to be three generations to vote ect.
    • HAHA (05/07/2022, 12:40) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      I was going to post something along this line. Bert Bryant, I think, said that you had to go back to transfer day (1917?) on both sides. this was when they were writing the new USVI constitution, and legally, they could not violate the US constitution, which only requires being born in the USA to be a citizen. Bert (and others) said they had to have this in the constitution, even though this meant the US congress would not even consider the USVI's new construction. he attempted to make the USVI constitution have classes of citizens
  • Two Cent (05/07/2022, 12:29) Like (41) Dislike (5) Reply
    Now how do we expect persons who have made the Virgin Islands their home to assimilate with this type of divisive statement?
  • Maybe not a real VIslander (05/07/2022, 12:35) Like (33) Dislike (3) Reply
    I'd love to know the chance of someone being able to trace both sides of their family back three generations of Virgin Islanders without coming across any incest? My guess would be not many?
    • A dying breed (05/07/2022, 13:16) Like (14) Dislike (4) Reply
      And what of the ones who keep running to the US to have their children and children's children? Will they be Virgin Islanders or will "Real Virgin Islanders" soon become extinct?

      Lady, please go take a seat on a hot rock!
      • Forbidden Truth (05/07/2022, 22:08) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
        Expats run st. Thomas and elsewhere to get children also then ask immigration for them to reside here. Do you know the drama and trauma those children go through when they graduate or drop out of high school? Hmm.
    • hmmm (05/07/2022, 14:26) Like (0) Dislike (8) Reply
      You Non knowledgeable idiot must be fresh in off the shark back!
    • Norris Turnbull (05/07/2022, 22:03) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      @ Maybe not a real Virgin Islander. If you want to address the Incest pool. Just read your holy bible. Adam and eve + the rest of civilization. Talk that.
      • Maybe not a real VIslander (06/07/2022, 15:45) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
        My holy bible? I'm an atheist, idiot. SMH lol. I don't know who you spend your time with but the the vast majority of the "rest of civilisation" do not part-take in incest. You sound like you're from a family which does - good luck with that!
  • 8th district gyal (05/07/2022, 12:37) Like (9) Dislike (0) Reply
    It has been said, Afrikaans are the most disenfranchised this day, this saying remains true on so many levels.
    • @8th district gyal (05/07/2022, 13:04) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
      Can I just check you mean 'Africans'? And by 'Africans' you specifically mean black Afrians?
      Beacuse 'Afrikaans' is actually a language which belongs to a whole different group
    • @ Maybe not a VILander (05/07/2022, 14:16) Like (1) Dislike (7) Reply
      And if they came across incest would that exclude them from bring a VIslander ?
      Incest in parts of the Caribbean is a cultural habit.
      Arrests in the VI and USVI for incest has been overwhelmingly non US and BVIslanders.
      • Smh (05/07/2022, 18:28) Like (0) Dislike (2) Reply
        Deviant sexual behaviour ,incest , beastiality,prostitution are the norm in those places.
        A portion of of the tourism industry.
        The arrests for incest in the BVI to my recollection has always been a non BVIslander and from up some Island.
  • bvi (05/07/2022, 12:39) Like (13) Dislike (0) Reply
    That is what the fire starter siblings do when the can’t get what they want. Greedy confusion makers
  • fromafar (05/07/2022, 13:12) Like (6) Dislike (17) Reply
    The chickens coming home to roost, where else can you go in the world and claim to be a national of that country without establishing the boundaries or clearly defining the true definition of a national only here. If you are born in that country you are a national, if you were born else where you are from your birth country. If you become a citizen , you a citizen of the State the motherland ( UK ) . Why does VI nationals have to apply for a UK passport? Closer to home , Why does permanent residence holders in the USVI apply for citizenship after 5 or 10 years ? and what are they given ? ( US citizenship ) So stop claiming to be a Virgin Islander US or British when you are not . That was the intent of the late Governor Turnbull (rest his soul) when he refer to the Greater Virgin Islands we are one in many ways but you cannot claim to be a virgin islander if you are not from here. And yes there is such a thing as an indigenous Virgin Islander . and Caribs and Arawak So MS Parsons is right but we need to educate our selves on those boundaries or qualifications of a Virgin Islander.

  • dont mind them miss p (05/07/2022, 13:21) Like (6) Dislike (8) Reply
    Defend us to the bone
  • ethnic cleansing (05/07/2022, 13:23) Like (4) Dislike (8) Reply
    fullbreded bvislander to the bone...not a hybrid nor half breed
  • Don't worry. Be happy (05/07/2022, 13:38) Like (19) Dislike (2) Reply
    Look on the bright side. In the next ten years there every one defined by this fine lady will have died and the term will become extinct and we will all live happily ever after as human beings.
    • Beacon of insecurities. (05/07/2022, 15:40) Like (6) Dislike (3) Reply
      Educated fools... Britain needed to take over the damxn place... When she and others were away for Donkey years trying to make a better life. Is I and I from the Caribbean migrate here and tile in sun and rain to make this place beautiful...Lot of them think Eileen...Britain need to take control and rid them of their bad minds and insecurities...
    • fromafar (06/07/2022, 09:45) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      low and such disrespect
  • Me (05/07/2022, 13:45) Like (15) Dislike (2) Reply
    With all due respect, this is her view and her view alone. Why all the hoopla. It is not law and will never be law. I agree someone like her should never be invited to be a panel guest on such a topic as she will only stir up hatred and animosity as she did over 20 years ago. She lives in the past and we thank her for her contributions to culture etc but life goes on and diversity and inclusivity is now the future generations. Again this is only 1 person's opinion.
  • The Reaper (05/07/2022, 13:56) Like (4) Dislike (19) Reply
    She spoke the truth,Now they can take it….Cindy and Kishma was up and down parading ,you all remember.Mrs P was jus looking ???? and listening to their vibe….Now pay back is a bit&&h….You all need stop and listening to Facts and history…Go!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!.Mrs P
  • Right on Ms. P (05/07/2022, 14:43) Like (9) Dislike (27) Reply
    After the hurricanes, many wanna be Virgin Islanders showed their true loyalty and left us here to clean up the mess all by ourselves. Some have contributed greatly, but some are only here to suck the Territory dry and make absolutely no contribution.

    The contribution by those Virgin Islanders who migrated to the USVI is tremendous and can be seen to this day , "Tortola Town". Everyone built their own homes and no one looked for any handouts, although times were hard. They did not contribute to the social or economic problems of the USVI, they worked hard to be self sufficient.

    Look at the nasty state of our beloved territory. Trash everywhere, noise everywhere, people pissing anywhere, noise pollution.

    True Virgin Islanders are hospitable, hard working and respectful and clean. I totally agree with Ms. P, only we should go back more than 3 generations. And I am not apologizing for being able to trace my family as far back as 7, 8 or 9 generations. My ROOTS deep!
    • hmmm (05/07/2022, 15:15) Like (4) Dislike (1) Reply
      This is all very fine and much of it is true. BVIslanders are noble people in some ways.
      But you are not using logic or reason or fact. You are using words to tell us why you and your ancestors are great human beings while others who are not like you are bad human beings.
      Other examples of this are: KKK, Nazis, ISIS, Khmer Rouge, Maoists, Stalinists, Belgian, British, French, Portuguese, French, Dutch, Spanish and German white people, etc etc. They all told themselves the same story.
      Your fictional excellence is not historical fact. It is the fairy tale that people of most nations tell each other to make themselves feel secure and belonging. Problem is when it goes too far – it makes them into inhuman beasts who place their self esteem above their humanity.
      You may not like it, but most people who don't like Ms Parsons words don't like them because they see the road she is calling BVIslanders to walk down. That is not a good road.
      • Well (05/07/2022, 18:16) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
        The desparates desire to be what you are not speaks volumes about feelings of self worth and explains the volume of violent and the fatal crimes against each other in their home countries.
  • good thing (05/07/2022, 14:45) Like (8) Dislike (0) Reply
    This is what the organizers get. You all dont know when to move on from such persons. You sticking the younger generation, let her stick you all. Nonsense
  • WHAT!!! (05/07/2022, 14:53) Like (12) Dislike (0) Reply
    Her “very personal opinion” don’t mran sh** to me.
  • OMG! (05/07/2022, 14:54) Like (8) Dislike (0) Reply
    I was, am supposed to be, I think, heck I don't even know hut once upon a time, I was a naturalized BVIslander through marriage and a Vincentian supposed to be, by birth. Now according to Ms Parsons definition I am definitely not a Virgin Islander and I am not even a Vincy. My lineage only went back 2 generations!! My great grandfather on my father's side came from Madeira and my great grandfather on my mother side was Scottish!! Oh lard oh!! Where am I from? Crying tears HELP!!!!!
    • @OMG (06/07/2022, 08:30) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
      Bad news and it gets worse. You are either white or mixed, so you do not count anyway. You are not human and your life and soul has no value. Too much white makes you an animal, exactly the same as the slave owner 400 years ago. And if you complain they tell you you are racist for ignoring history, and that their cruelty is fair just because it gives them pleasure. Unlike many VIslanders now wondering about their identity, you are already de-humanized. Good luck finding a home.
  • @@hmm (05/07/2022, 15:38) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    Racist, adjective
    prejudiced against or antagonistic towards a person or people on the basis of their membership of a particular racial or ethnic group, typically one that is a minority or marginalized. What is nationalistic about her bigoted views.
  • 2022 (05/07/2022, 16:29) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    Where you born is where you from. What happen to persons who can trace both parents back to Tortola 1666 but were born in St. Thomas, Puerto Rico the US or other country. Are they a Virgin Islander over someone born of foreign parents in the Virgin Islands. Are we dealing with a cultural definition or a legal definition? I think this is the all important question. Perhaps the Constitution Review Committee can come to a legally accepted definition based on international principles. But I still believe even though it is quite painful for some of us especially with our foreign born children to accept where you born is where you from.
  • Ignorance (05/07/2022, 16:35) Like (12) Dislike (0) Reply


  • for the record (05/07/2022, 16:58) Like (2) Dislike (2) Reply
    I totally agree with Miss P. We share the same sentiments on this topic. Those of you who are offended by her statement, so be it.
  • Opiniin (05/07/2022, 17:22) Like (4) Dislike (1) Reply
    Eileen Parson is a Virgin Islander period! Her views have echoed in the halls of many homes in secret. She is brave enough to say what she did openly. Let's just see how many of you could call yourself "Virgin Islanders"
  • So U Know (05/07/2022, 18:08) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Most indigenous hates outsiders unless they are white the coloured folks are given all manner of labels however mr white is placed on a pettle stool
  • lol (05/07/2022, 18:22) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    coming from this woman I am not surprised, so they were taught.
  • josiah'sbay (05/07/2022, 18:59) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    What's the uproar? Although the Constitution doesn't say who is a Virgin Islander It clearly state who is a Belonger and the criteria that support their Belongership.
  • Optimist (05/07/2022, 19:08) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
  • Poor Ting (05/07/2022, 19:09) Like (5) Dislike (2) Reply

    Alc****c Parsons taking out of she a** again. Where on the international scene is this documented!!! Woman drink a lil jack daniel get drunk and talk she a** off? How did you get at 3 generations… where the research or data to support your made up twisted ideology.
    Think the governor need to recall your queen accolade for stirring up divisions on the VI. There is no please for this in 2022.

  • Bng (05/07/2022, 19:37) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Thing 2 talk
  • SK PRIDE (05/07/2022, 20:34) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
    I guess she's speaking to me born 110% bvi lander with st kitts and st Lucia parents funny enough bvi never claim me as one of them but st kitts do people like her still live in 1822
  • The British virgin islands (05/07/2022, 20:45) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    The BVI is now a part of a global world. In order for this place and every place to free themselves from all the bad deeds, we need to love one another to make this global world a better place. No love we will continue to have many more Ms. Parson on this earth. What about our men and women that went to Santo Domingo and had children by someone that's not a British virgin islander, how are those children class. I wonder how Ms. Parson was treated when she left the BVI and went to St. Thomas to live. I wonder if they told her to go back to where she came from. Let's just change our mindset and enjoy what's left of our BVI. To see the change in our society we must love each other. I strongly suggest that parents parent their children and not friend their children so we can have a productive BVI. No disrespect to my elders.
  • Watching from afar (05/07/2022, 21:52) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    Now that is the true definition of "keep it in the family"
    My peoples is hilarious.
  • balsam (06/07/2022, 06:20) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply
    racist mindset

    none of the indigenous Vislanders are indigenous. all the originals are a hodge podge of the melting pot of people from different places mixed with some abusive slave masters

    if your goal is the screwed up situation of the pitcairn islands go for it
  • indigenous (06/07/2022, 09:24) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Native can be defined as “belonging to a particular place by birth.” Indigenous can be defined as “produced, living, or existing NATURALLY in a particular region or environment.”

    You are native, you are not indigenous. Stop making up words and definitions to suit your agenda.
  • No, no, no (06/07/2022, 09:27) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
    They curse us, they hate us BUT they want to be US.....If you grow up with Jamaican values,(dog eat dog) you're not a Virgin Islander.
    • yes, yes, yes (07/07/2022, 09:10) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      you talk about Jamaican Values (do eat dog) whilst biting at others and think yourself better. ruff ruff i guess
  • belongers (07/07/2022, 09:09) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    lol, this woman is past her due date clearly. if all vislanders had to follow those rules the island would be even more full of inbred people than it is now

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