The Commission of Inquiry is a shock to a number of “highly entitled” Virgin Islanders. One reason for some of the anger by a tiny number of people against the COI is the simple reality that the commission has revealed that their perceptions of power and privilege are indeed flawed.
Because the COI shows the “high and mighty” to be as vulnerable as any other suspect under investigation, one official even had the absurdity to assert, “How dare they?”
Another of these “untouchables” stated that this writer was out of place for making assertions on the “arrogance of power,” and stated that the COI should return to the United Kingdom and fix matters that require fixing in the UK.
One key observation made by this writer — which may well be flawed, since no commentary can be validated by hard numbers and statistics — is the simple fact that the public response to the COI is based upon social divisions.
For clear and obvious reasons, Virgin Islands natives who are the beneficiaries of government largesse are not keen on bashing conflict of interest and impunity. And this writer ignores completely the wails of VI natives on the other side of the political wall: He is almost certain that if they were in power, they would do much the same as the incumbents.
Migrants, who may be the majority in the population — as well as many “outsiders,” who have observed first-hand the unfairness and injustices in this “entitled community” — are fully enjoying the revelation that the high and mighty are fallible, and certainly not above the law.
The preceding social group, this writer is certain, are in full support of the COI.
There is one other group. These are Virgin Islanders who are not members of the ruling class and VI migrants who have lived in the territory from early childhood. The majority of these have also been first-hand witnesses of the “second-class” social status they hold, owing to the fact they are not part of specific families or powerful political native subsets. These natives are also very grateful for the clear, incisive, and thorough manner the COI is bringing justice to their homeland.
The present investigation is finally revealing just how divided this community actually is. It is a community made up of various social sets that live side by side but that hardly interact with each other.
That has been a fact of this society no one wants to comment on: that this is a society made up of separate communities that hardly respect or love each other.
The preceding is the key reason all the pontificating on racism and colonialism rings hollow. There is as much of the preceding evil inherent in the way one group treats the other, especially against so-called “down islanders.”
One hopes that after the COI report — and the political, constitutional, and legal outcomes of this volatile period of VI history — reality will set in, and residents will at last recognise that all people are equal, and that they need to treat one another with true respect and dignity instead of simply pretending there is “BVI Love.”
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