racism on the islan...
 

racism on the islands  


dingleb
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hi all,
so much great info on this site. my wife and i are thinking of moving to either st thomas or st croix in a year or so. i`ve read a few stories on line in the past few days about how bad the racism is on the islands. i`m just wondering if that is really a problem or people are just over blowing things? it was so bad for one lady she was moving from st thomas to the florida keys.. i`m hoping that this is just overblown. i`ve always herd the people in the usvi are very friendly. thanks for all the feed back.
dave

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OldTart
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There are many aspects of island living which are negatively exaggerated by a small minority which is a shame.

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Scubadoo
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I'd bet you'd find more racism in the keys than on STX.

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speee1dy
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there is not as much as a few posters claim.. sure there is some. there is everywhere but not to the extent that some claim

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vicanuck
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Racism is definitely not a problem here.

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watruw8ing4
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There is definitely racism here, as there is everywhere I've lived. But most of what I've encountered here is implicit racism. And it comes in all colors. I don't find it much different from what I experienced living stateside, though.

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JahRustyFerrari
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I am a Crucian currently, and very reluctantly, living in Florida. I can say with confidence that you will not experience racism in the VI at the level that is evident in Florida.

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dingleb
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Thanks all for the info. I thought that was the case. It's funny how people put things on line and you wonder how true it really is.

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IslandHops
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Racism?

“...The issue of collusion has nothing to do with the VI Government. I know when you say the word collusion or corruption, the first thing you think is, ‘well, it got to be the black people at the table,’ and I’m just going to say that whether people like the term or not. ...” Mr. Mapp said.

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Bombi
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The only time anyone tried to pull the R card on me in the last 40 years was when I tried to get an employee to actually do their job. Other than that if you are real and show respect, regardless of race or color all is good here unless .......?

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monogram
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hi all,
so much great info on this site. my wife and i are thinking of moving to either st thomas or st croix in a year or so. i`ve read a few stories on line in the past few days about how bad the racism is on the islands. i`m just wondering if that is really a problem or people are just over blowing things? it was so bad for one lady she was moving from st thomas to the florida keys.. i`m hoping that this is just overblown. i`ve always herd the people in the usvi are very friendly. thanks for all the feed back.
dave

Please share the links to those stories - they seem interesting.

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AandA2VI
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This is the MOST impossible question to answer lol. Along the lines of how much will my wapa be? That is easier to answer I think lol. This is completely based on an individual's personal experiences.

If you think it doesn't exist here you're insane. I've encountered way more on STX than I ever did on STT. Maybe I'm more attuned to it here - just seems so blatant. Even went back to STT last weekend for a visit and again noticed the lack of segregation there. But again that's MY OBSERVATON and PERSONAL experiences so please don't flame me for it.

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OldTart
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Just a thought but when you move anywhere new it's more usual than not that the residents will at minimum keep you at arm's length until they satisfy themselves that you're "OK". In a transient environment such as ours it's more obvious. There's little of the "Welcome Wagon" mentality here and one's negative reception can range anywhere from chilly to hostile. Assimilation and acceptance take time and, in this day and age of the expectation of instant gratification, time and patience lose their essence. I think here in particular this often is mistakenly viewed as "racism" ...

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Gumbo
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The above statement by Old Tart is absolutely correct based on my years of living in the VI. Things clear up a lot after a few years. What one might think is racism is many times just a bad attitude,and sometimes brought on ones self due too lack of patience. This is a warm community
with many kind people.

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Skullwithhair
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Dont mistake racism for just being accepted by the locals. It takes a bit to
fit in and find your nitch. Earning trust and treating people well gets you
a long ways. When I first moved, there were people that were pretty brutal
to me. I now have them as good friends

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OldTart
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I'll add something here. When I walk into any public place - the Post Office, bank, doctor's or dentist's waiting room office, any place whether it be a government, public, private or corporate entity, I throw out a general cheery "Good Morning/Day/Afternoon/Night". For the most part the surly facial expressions disappear, the greeting is returned in kind and sometimes you can even strike up a chat in line.

For some it's a hard lesson to learn. I vividly recall one visitor's comments a while back on either this or another forum, She asked why as a visitor, she should be "required" to preface every interaction with a local with a "good morning//day/evening/night" and waiting for a response in kind before posing a question. Why? When in Rome ...

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watruw8ing4
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The above statement by Old Tart is absolutely correct based on my years of living in the VI. Things clear up a lot after a few years. What one might think is racism is many times just a bad attitude,and sometimes brought on ones self due too lack of patience. This is a warm community
with many kind people.

Patience is a key word here. I mentioned stand-offishness I encountered with some locals on another thread. Given that I'm white, and most of the locals are black, I could make the assumption that it's racism that keeps many of them from opening up to me or being readily accepting. But correlation is not causation. I'm sure some of it is racism. But mostly, it seems that locals of color, at least on St Croix, are cautious. Many locals have never been off of the island. They have strong, loyal and tight-knit family and friend networks, and it goes way back. They know who they can trust.

As newcomers, in general,are perceived by many, we come and we go, we have not always acted in the island's best interest, we often complain about the way of living, many of us are A-type, many of us are demanding, we tend to cluster in groups of other newcomers, and we have racists among us too. There's not much incentive to accept someone new until you know he/she isn't one of those. And that takes observation, over time.

I've never lived on St Thomas, so I can't explain the difference AandA is seeing. Maybe there's less interaction because St Croix population is more spread out, or fewer tourism jobs give less opportunity to interact? Maybe because there are more newbies in St Thomas than St Croix, and you're given the benefit of doubt faster? Maybe because St Croix folks have been harder hit economically and they perceive newcomers as a threat to their own livelihood more than on St Thomas? Just some suggestions, based on comments I've heard from locals. I really don't know.

But I do know that, over time, as I get to know more locals, and they get to know me, racism is not the major driving factor with them. Trust is. And you have to be patient and sincere here as you're earning it. And I have to admit that I needed some personal attitude adjustment to get on the right track. It is mostly a warm and welcoming island. And I've experienced kindness and graciousness more often than not.

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mtdoramike
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There is racism every where to a degree, some places worse than others. But the VI is one of those rare places that I can say that I have never seen it. I have observed racism in Florida way more than the Islands. But then again, I'm white. So if there were to be racism, I would suspect it would be reverse racism in the Islands. But I have never felt more welcomed any where than I have in the Islands.

mike

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keo
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There is racism every where to a degree, some places worse than others.... But then again, I'm white. So if there were to be racism, I would suspect it would be reverse racism in the Islands...

mike

There is a term in this post that always drives me crazy. What exactly is reverse racism? Isn't racism racism regardless of the tone of the skin of the guilty party? Just curious.

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monogram
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There is racism every where to a degree, some places worse than others.... But then again, I'm white. So if there were to be racism, I would suspect it would be reverse racism in the Islands...

mike

There is a term in this post that always drives me crazy. What exactly is reverse racism? Isn't racism racism regardless of the tone of the skin of the guilty party? Just curious.

Not exactly, at least from a sociological point of view.

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keo
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I get what you're saying Mono but the very definition of racism doesn't mention any one particular race being intolerant of any one particular race. It is just the general intolerance of any race that is different from your own. The stereotypical racist is a white guy hating a black guy but in reality, a racist is a racist across the entire spectrum of skin tones. Actually, reverse racism is EXACTLY what we should all strive to obtain. Reverse racism would be the opposite or undoing of racism.
Sorry, didn't mean to soapbox. That phrase just always gets me when I hear it.

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OldTart
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Well said, keo, and I completely agree with you. It's a misused term which has always irritated me no end.

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redeyesadie
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I agree with you too Keo, as does Merriam Webster Dictionary ( http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/racism). However, there are those who argue that racial minorities cannot be racist. What follows is a quote from one Bahar Mustafa, and a link to the article I pulled it from.

"I, an ethnic minority woman, cannot be racist or sexist towards white men, because racism and sexism describe structures of privilege based on race and gender.

"Therefore, women of colour and minority genders cannot be racist or sexist, since we do not stand to benefit from such a system.”

http://www.standard.co.uk/news/london/goldsmiths-university-diversity-officer-in-racism-row-i-cant-be-racist-because-im-an-ethnic-minority-10243202.html

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monogram
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The sociological argument isn't based on one's status as a racial minority per se, but rather on one's power in the society (namely, ownership of private wealth). I've always thought that whites complaining about racism were similar to the men who claim that society is sexist against men and that women, in seeking equality, are the true true sexists. A pitiful contention indeed.

The presumption is that men are smarter, more capable, more reliable, etc. than women. Especially in the learned professions. This is more prevalent in the states, but it exists virtually everywhere.

Likewise, in the VI, the means of production (and other private sector wealth) are, and have always been, owned primarily by whites. Virtually all valuable businesses in the territory are owned by whites, from restaurants to hotels to jewelry stores to Hovensa to Diageo to Plaza Extra to hardware stores to Kmart to Seaborne etc etc etc ad infinitum. The nicest boats are owned by whites. The most valuable properties are owned by whites. And yes, Arabs are considered white per the U.S. census. It's hard for a white person to cry racism here when we own nearly all wealth. West Indians may make insensitive comments from time to time, but West Indians can't really affect transplants' everyday lives in meaningful, institutional ways (although the less-wealthy recent transplants might be more subject to discrimination, particularly in the case of government employment).

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OldTart
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The history of the term "reverse racism" is easily researched and is well understood by many. The OP asked a relatively simple question related to moving here and - of course just in my opinion - a discourse on the history and relevance of the term belongs in the coconut forum.

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