Racism in St Thomas  

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Barbara
Posts: 7
 Barbara
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It is a sad day for me to have to address this topic, however, this board was extremely helpful to me to put together my move, and I feel I must provide some feed back. The island of St Thomas is extremely racist. I am white and abhor racism of all kinds. I married a black man in 1971. I respect and admire black people.

Recently I visited one of the Subway's sandwich restaurant's, the black man in front of me ordered exactly the same thing I did. The black women waiting on him reached straight behind her and gave him his bread. When I asked for the same bread she bent down and took mine off a rack almost on the floor. Mine was stale and went in the garbage.

I recently went to one of the carnival events. I had been warned the event here is racist and to be careful. I went to the food fare and was glared at by most of the black vendors and unable to get waited on to get something to eat. I so wanted to go to carnival and party and enjoy the celebration. I sat home and skipped the rest of it.

I work for a property management company. A white women who owns a business here was moving into one of our commercial properties. A group of black men, hanging around called her a white bitch and, she was told she would be murdered if they ever saw her again. She refused to move to the property.

I am glared at, and treated rudely by a large % of the black people on the island.

I have lived here over 7 months now. I love it and will stay. Racism is a reality down here, so if you can live with it no matter what color your skin is come on down.

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jewel wrenn
Posts: 136
 jewel wrenn
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Joined: 15 years ago

Welcome to America- this happens to black people all the time on the mainland.

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darrelj1984
(@darrelj1984)
Joined: 4 weeks ago

New Member
Posts: 2

I DONT WANNA HEAR THAT BULLSHIT NO IT DOES NOT HAPPEN TO BLACK PEOPLE IN THE MAINLAND ALL THE TIME I WAS DENIED WATER TODAY IN DOWNTOWN CHARLOTTE AMARLIE ST.THOMAS AND I EVEN OFFERED TO PAY FOR IT AND SAME RACIST RESULTS THESE RACIST WHITE PEOPLE THINK THEY CAN COME TO THE USVI AND GET AWAY WITH THAT BULLSHIT AND HAVE IT THERE WAY BECAUSE I LIVED IN MANY SOUTHERN STATES BEFORE AND WAS NEVER DENIED WATER OR ANYTHING LIKE THAT EVEN BY PEOPLE THAT MAY LOOK LIKE REDNECKS BUT THEY ARE ACTUALLY COOL  And this was at a bar and restaurant in downtown Charlotte Amalie I can't believe this if it was the kkk they would have given me water what has the VIRGIN islands become its way more racist than the united states mainland 

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speee1dy
(@speee1dy)
Joined: 11 years ago

Expert
Posts: 8723

this happens to all people everywhere no matter the color 

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STT Resident
Posts: 114
 STT Resident
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Joined: 14 years ago

I was inclined to read this and ignore it in the hopes that it would just "go away" but decided to put down my thoughts and comments for the benefit of prospective newcomers.

First, I'm an almost 60 year old single white female. St. Thomas has been my home for over 20 years.

Barbara, you've related two incidents of rudeness/"racism" which you have personally encountered and one relating to someone else. I'd say two incidences of rudeness in seven months is less than average - even though you go on to say that, "I am glared at, and treated rudely by a large % of the black people on the island."

Rudeness borne of ignorance is common here but I look upon it as just that - rudeness rather than racism. I couldn't even begin to count the number of times I've been called a white MF b**** and worse - always by strangers and often by young children (!) but the terminology is easy for the ignorant to use because they simply don't have any eloquence of speech or knowledge of language to put it any other way. Despite my cheery attitude and formal greetings, I'm treated at least once or twice a day during my shopping routine with a surly attitude. Nonetheless, I continue to say "please" and "thankyou" even if ignored because to react would be futile and fall upon deaf ears.

Of course there is racism here as much as there is racism everywhere. And there is also outright rudeness here, as there is almost everywhere. And there are ignorant hoodlums here as there are everywhere. So, if you take it all personally and develop an edge of paranoia, then you'll definitely have a problem.

Fitting into a new neighborhood and a different environment is a difficult transition wherever one goes. Getting used to "foreign" mores takes a while but if you're going to get your knickers in a twist at every perceived slight or outright demonstration of rudeness, then your fitting in and being happy will be a problem.

However, I do take exception to your labelling the rudeness as racism and I'm truly sorry that you feel the way that you do, even though you finish up your post by saying that,"I have lived here over 7 months now. I love it and will stay."

For the benefit of prospective newcomers, these are islands replete with history and some incredible people from all walks of life, of different creeds and colours. The Virgin Islands are a melting pot of diversity and culture. The best thing for anybody coming here is to invest some time in the community by doing volunteer work, joining organisations and seeking opportunities to better the islands. It's just as easy to be a part of the background community here and meet wonderful people as it is to NOT contribute your spare time and effort and harp about the daily rudeness.

Cheers, Barbara, and I hope that whatever time you spend here will be half as enjoyable as mine has been and continues to be!

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Anonymous
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 Anonymous
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I am both confused and shocked by the following posts on racism.
I am moving in the fall to stt. i have spent months on st. john and st. maarten and have never encountered more then some guy sucking his teeth at me.
I am also from a tourist resort which a large population where jamacian workers. most where very nice after you got to know them.
When someone wrote "welcome to america this happens all the time"
this also shocked me i have never experienced people swearing at others for no apparent reason.
It does make me think twice, i can't imagine people swearing at me or threatning me because i am different.
do any other people from the islands experience this?? if so how do you feel safe and deal with this?

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Steve
Posts: 52
(@Steve)
Advanced Member
Joined: 14 years ago

With no small amount of trepidation, I'll put my 2 cents worth in on this subject.

Coming from Atlanta, I see racism all the time, and from both sides... from the camo-clad rednecks who I've had the displeasure of working with, talking like they just walked out of a clan meeting, to the psudo-gangsta kids who seem to idolize the MTV begotten images of violence, drugs, and money, to my own city government. Our last 4 Mayors have been black, and all have done awesome jobs (Andy Young brought us the 96 Olympics, and Jackson's name is now attached to our airport (the busiest in the world, thank you very much)), although we now have this affirmative action policy in place that smacks of racism and the Atlanta city government seems like a jobs program (thanks to Bill Campbell, the only shmuck in the bunch). But to be honest, the flair-ups are pretty rare, especially being the South, as it is.... the epicenter of the civil rights movement, so... I'll have to kindly disagree with Jewel Wren and the post above. Things like that DO NOT happen to black people all the time around here, and like I said... I live in Atlanta and not far from where King grew up. In the past.... I'm sure, but it's not like that now. I think we've come far enough along that things are actually changing for the better.

As to the situations down there? Hmmm... don't know, but I guess I'll find out, as I'm down on the 28th to STX. I tend to get along pretty well with most folks... black or white and love diversity, I don't intimidate easily, and I don't take a lot of shit, so.... I guess if I got a stale sandwich I'd send it back across the counter and tell them to make me another. If I wasn't happy with the second, I'd probably send it across the restaurant and they'd lose my business.... then I'd be making some complaints. You'd be amazed at the shit-storm you can create with a well worded letter to corporate about a franchise when it comes to something as touchy as racism, but then again... you're pushing a button.. playing the race card, and I hate THAT as much as I hate racism.

Anyway... just wanted to add my comment. Sorry for the language.

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