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Charlotte Amalie
Friday, August 12, 2022
HomeNewsArchivesKEEP COMING BACK, SINBAD

KEEP COMING BACK, SINBAD

As parents watch in the courtroom as their child is sentenced by the judge, they ask themselves, where did we go wrong? So too, as I listen to a few people on "talk radio" negatively portray the Sinbad Soul Music Festival, I ask, where did we go wrong? What is wrong with us and our negative approach to success?
I tried to find social implications or an historical perspective that could help me to understand the spate of whiners and complainers about the festival and put their comments into perspective. Some that I have considered, but discarded, include:
1. The Virgin Islands has historically been ripped off by big-name people or groups in the past. Witness our fund-raising fiasco with Dionne Warwick a few years ago.
Because of this we find it hard to trust people from the "outside" who promise us prosperity, in an otherwise traditionally bare revenue month, I might add. Maybe, given this history, people find it necessary to say narrow-minded things about Sinbad's festival. Is it like, do it to them before "they" do it to us week?
2. Virgin Islands people as a group many times react with emotion and on a personal level, trademarks sometimes of lack of formal education, which, in some instances, breeds contempt for book learning. Witness, we even have a popular former senator who publicly states, and generally receives a warm crowd response, that he has a "Ph.D. in common sense." Not that there is anything wrong with common sense, but then neither is there anything wrong with having an education or an advanced degree. Consequently, can we assume that these negative public comments can be attributed to a failure to understand economics and the nature of investing to get a return?
3. On another track, can we subscribe to the theory that we, as black people, do not trust our own? Could it be that if this was a non-black event, we would have given it a stamp of approval without a thought? Has the recent spate of special interest proposals given us a belief that our elected leaders would sell us down the river?
I have thought of these reasons, but I cannot attribute all of the dissenting views to these issues. I more wonder if we have a perpetual "crab in basket" mentality.
In the long run, all I can say to the people filled with gloom at the thought of the Sinbad Soul Music Festival is, where did we go wrong with you? You have got some problems and you need to deal with them, but please stay off the airwaves. Next time, perhaps we can cancel all "talk radio" so our visitors cannot listen to a tiny minority of people who do not understand how you treat visitors and who don't understand our old tradition that you don't air your dirty laundry in public.
I for one think that all comedians should be like Sinbad: make me laugh until my eyes tear without using profanity or sexuality. Make it possible for my entire family to watch him on TV without fear that he will taint my child.
Sinbad is a positive role model for entertainers, black or white, and I for one am certainly glad he made a choice to use our islands for his festival. Come back and keep coming back and I promise I will see if I can get our Legislature to ban "talk radio" when you come next time. Yes, Sinbad, we do pass unusual laws!
Editor's note: Catherine Lockhart-Mills of St. Thomas, a former Human Services commissioner, holds a master's degree in social work. You can send comments to her on the articles she writes or topics you would like to see addressed at source@viaccess.net.

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As parents watch in the courtroom as their child is sentenced by the judge, they ask themselves, where did we go wrong? So too, as I listen to a few people on "talk radio" negatively portray the Sinbad Soul Music Festival, I ask, where did we go wrong? What is wrong with us and our negative approach to success?
I tried to find social implications or an historical perspective that could help me to understand the spate of whiners and complainers about the festival and put their comments into perspective. Some that I have considered, but discarded, include:
1. The Virgin Islands has historically been ripped off by big-name people or groups in the past. Witness our fund-raising fiasco with Dionne Warwick a few years ago.
Because of this we find it hard to trust people from the "outside" who promise us prosperity, in an otherwise traditionally bare revenue month, I might add. Maybe, given this history, people find it necessary to say narrow-minded things about Sinbad's festival. Is it like, do it to them before "they" do it to us week?
2. Virgin Islands people as a group many times react with emotion and on a personal level, trademarks sometimes of lack of formal education, which, in some instances, breeds contempt for book learning. Witness, we even have a popular former senator who publicly states, and generally receives a warm crowd response, that he has a "Ph.D. in common sense." Not that there is anything wrong with common sense, but then neither is there anything wrong with having an education or an advanced degree. Consequently, can we assume that these negative public comments can be attributed to a failure to understand economics and the nature of investing to get a return?
3. On another track, can we subscribe to the theory that we, as black people, do not trust our own? Could it be that if this was a non-black event, we would have given it a stamp of approval without a thought? Has the recent spate of special interest proposals given us a belief that our elected leaders would sell us down the river?
I have thought of these reasons, but I cannot attribute all of the dissenting views to these issues. I more wonder if we have a perpetual "crab in basket" mentality.
In the long run, all I can say to the people filled with gloom at the thought of the Sinbad Soul Music Festival is, where did we go wrong with you? You have got some problems and you need to deal with them, but please stay off the airwaves. Next time, perhaps we can cancel all "talk radio" so our visitors cannot listen to a tiny minority of people who do not understand how you treat visitors and who don't understand our old tradition that you don't air your dirty laundry in public.
I for one think that all comedians should be like Sinbad: make me laugh until my eyes tear without using profanity or sexuality. Make it possible for my entire family to watch him on TV without fear that he will taint my child.
Sinbad is a positive role model for entertainers, black or white, and I for one am certainly glad he made a choice to use our islands for his festival. Come back and keep coming back and I promise I will see if I can get our Legislature to ban "talk radio" when you come next time. Yes, Sinbad, we do pass unusual laws!
Editor's note: Catherine Lockhart-Mills of St. Thomas, a former Human Services commissioner, holds a master's degree in social work. You can send comments to her on the articles she writes or topics you would like to see addressed at source@viaccess.net.