I am looking at this site for the first time today. The only thing I can do is lament for the natives. My grandfather is a Crucian and he still lives in C'Sted. Although I haven't been able to afford to visit yet, I feel your pain. The island's heritage is my heritage. It's sad that the police force has not been influential in lowering the crime rate. The big picture is noteworthy, too. Despite the fact that "society" is ever changing, and change is inevitable, the rich history is in danger of being lost.
My mother has told me all of the wonderful stories of the simplicity of life prior to the United States having anything to do with the island. I'm deeply saddened when I speak to my grandfather and his intonation sounds like the island is so bad that he is actually waiting to die. I appreciate the wealth of fighting spirit that I've always associated with the islands. "We" were the ones who revolted. We were the ones that made life worth living. It's a sad shame to feel like the glory days are passing. The "jump up" carnivals, the Moko Jumbies, native foods and means of living are becoming outdated and restricted and outlawed. Carnival is oppressed and scheduled while casinos and poverty and social class differences run rampant. THAT IS THE OUTRAGE!!!
It's an effective method to allow crime when the overall intent is to dispossess the people from the land. It is also effective to allow outside forces to come in with their wealth and power and make a native culture feel as if they fall short — technologically, monetarily and socially — of those who are "visiting." I understand that we are all part of the United States and we live in a materialistic society, but if tourist attitudes don't demonstrate respect for the natives and the land, then they shouldn't be allowed there. The pattern is that in addition to tourists, other cultures are coming there and the natives are leaving. In the long run, the island will be overrun with outside cultures. Who will teach the next generation how to make native dishes? Other people with degrees, offering their "interpretation"? THAT IS AN OUTRAGE!
I intend to keep my "piece of the island" alive and well in my heart and to teach my children about who they are because of where we come from. Please do what is necessary to save our culture. Preserve the stories of St. Croix via the experiences of those who have lived it, not "studied" it. Someday soon, I shall visit my roots. I am proud to be an unbroken African of Ghanaian descent. I'm proud to be an Arawak or Carib Indian and whatever other ethnicity that I happen to be. Although I was born in New York, I am
Proud to be a Crucian!
"A Porter by Rite"
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