The "white man"
I was at Plaza West today, in the produce section. A couple of older women, I am assuming were Cruzan, were having a conversation. Comments made, as they were looking right at me, "it's the white man's fault this island is so expensive" and "it's the white man's fault we have to live on food stamps" and "it's the white man's fault this island will fail".
As I stepped around to reach for an onion, said "good afternoon, excuse me please" I got the teeth sucking and a cart was moved in front of the onions I was attempting to reach for.
I may be white, but, I am not part of the failure of the island. We all need to bond together and demand for changes and leave the color of the skin out of it.
And there you have it. No surprise there.
And it is not limited to "the White man"...I was the recipient of a rude tongue-lashing at Cost-U-Less last weekend simply because I offered a young woman (can't call her a young lady) a shopping cart. She was carrying a baby on her back, and I offered her my cart and also offered to lower the little red slats that the kid is supposed to sit on...just trying to be nice and helpful. I was called names because of this, and received the usual "chuups" along with the verbal abuse.
Remember, we live in a territiory where Black children who came from other Caribbean islands were not allowed into the Public Schools until 1968...even though their parents were paying taxes. They were rudely referred to as "aliens" and subjected to physical and verbal abuse. Crucians totally forgot that the slave ships dropped family members off at different islands. I went to Central High in 1968, when it was first allowed, and lemme tell ya...it was no picnic.
I have to say, even with all of his faults, Senator Ronald Russell was a decent sort of guy even back then...he once saved me from a beating at Central High by standing between me and the bullies who wanted to beat me for the crime of being from another island. I have never forgotten that.
Having read a few history books lately, I can see that there is some truth to the locals' belief that the it is the white man's fault that the island is so expensive, and that locals have to live on food stamps.
It IS true that most of the property in the islands has historically been owned by whites (first the Danes and then the Americans) and that the rise in tourism in the 50s and 60s led the rapid increase in the value of property. You can especially see this on St. John where few locals can afford property. However, many other complex factors contributed to this situation, not just the "white man" alone.
As for the food stamps, it is true that the Americans created the welfare society, not just here but also in the states. You don't see this welfare society in a lot of other Caribbean islands, especially the British ones. (which is part of the reason that the Crucians treated "down islanders" so badly, because they felt threatened by them!)
However, no one can argue that it is the "white man's fault that this island will fail" THAT failure should rest almost completely on the backs of the current (and past) legislature(s) and governor(s) - the vast majority of which have been locals (non whites). The endemic mismanagement and corruption that has existed in these islands from the very beginning (based on my readings in these history books) is what has caused, and continues to cause, "this island to fail".
Read some history books about the islands. It's fascinating to learn why things are they way they are.