My goodness me! What a lot of vitriolic, biased, racist comments we see online these days. If the following is really how people feel, we are in trouble.

The latest subject of their (mostly) hate is the possible relocation of The William Thornton floating restaurant, better known the world over as the Willy T.

Now I know the Andersons and the parents, but I know nothing of their businesses, and have only visited the Willy T twice in its 35-year existence, apart from sailing around it in The Bight a few times to see what was going on. However, it appears to have operated successfully in its original location, right up until last year’s hurricanes, and to have become a great tourist attraction, bringing visitors and their money to the islands.


‘Us versus them’

In the course of the diatribes online, William Thornton has gone from a local hero who designed the capitol building in Washington to a hated slave owner, after whom the boat should never have been named. The black-versus-white, us-versus-them mentality continues in other comments.

Then they castigate the owners for their previous management of Peg Leg’s and the Jolly Roger, I know not why.

There follows bile at rich foreign property owners who apparently can dictate what can happen around their property, even to the surrounding seas below the high water mark, even though the boat’s owners have apparently up to now held legitimate licences and leases. Oil Nut Bay seems to be the main target in this regard.

Then we get right down to the bottom, literally, with what do they do with waste products from toilets and so on.


Other locations?

I wonder how many of these commenters have actually visited the establishment, and have any authority for their accusations, the majority of which are now saying, “We don’t want you here in the Virgin Islands anymore.”

Although admittedly some have made positive suggestions for other locations where they might go.

One wonders where are the government ministers and officials from trade and tourism? I suppose if they see nothing in it for them, even if it is a big attraction, they will go with the flow, kowtow to the wealthy complainers or local voters, and demand a move. But they have apparently not yet expressed an interest in whether it should still exist, or suggested possible other locations.

After all, government officials have the power, if they dare use it, to put their foot (anchor) down and override spurious objections. But will they? An election is coming soon. Stationery shops are stocking up on envelopes to sell to both sides! Belly shots, anyone?