Regarding Dwayne Henry's response ["Discrimination isn't the be-all for blame"] to my earlier letter to the Source, I would offer the following:
1. My "pontifications" were hardly made from some lofty perch or "high horse" as Mr. Henry alleges. Mr. Henry does not know me, nor does he seem to be able to grasp the simple concepts which I offered the readers of the Source in my letter. In Mr. Henry's first paragraph, he seems to be telling us all that the Virgin Islands is in the trouble it finds itself in because of some learned behavior.
Whether this behavior was learned from the United States or Egypt, my only question was: When will this type of activity cease? When will elected officials in the Virgin Islands stop paying timely lip service to the cancerous problems of the territory and get off of their collective rear ends to finally get it together for the good of the people they claim to represent?
2. If Mr. Henry had read the words I wrote, instead of reading into what I wrote, he would realize that I did not say that people of the Virgin Islands "vote their self-interests." I wrote: "The only way to stop this behavior is to end the electing of people who have only their own future and self-interests in mind."
If I am to be admonished for a statement that I made, at least have the courtesy to admonish me for what I said, and not for what you read into what I said. After all, there is a big difference. I stand by these comments, and invite Mr. Henry or anyone else to challenge me on this point. Saying that this activity happens everywhere is simply a cop-out.
3. I take issue with Mr. Henry's statement that the Virgin Islands should undertake local initiatives such as sales taxes and increased service fees. Raising taxes never stimulates an economy. It instead has the opposite effect, and this has been proven over and over again. "Service fees" is just another name for higher taxes, and most people these days realize this.
4. "I agree with much of what Mr. Roeske is saying. However, I strongly disagree with his reasons for such." Mr. Henry, you can disagree with everything I said; that is not my concern. Admittedly, racism is only one of the symptoms of a much larger problem. When one states "problems from political corruption to racism," it has always meant to me that there are other problems not indicated, but understood, in between the ones that are stated. Racism in the Virgin Islands is a problem, and not being able to admit it is also a problem.
My letter was not about racism but about the Virgin Islands finally moving away from the attitudes that prevail and infect the community and taking a giant step forward: To see that tourism is what the economy is based on, almost exclusively. Not to bite the hand that feeds it and then act surprised that the only press the Virgin Islands is getting is bad press. To teach the children of the community the proper lessons needed to succeed in life.
Eric K. Roeske
READING BETWEEN LINES, ONE CAN MISS THE POINT
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