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HomeNewsArchivesReader Responds to A'but Chenzi Ra Kahina's 'Diatribe'

Reader Responds to A'but Chenzi Ra Kahina's 'Diatribe'

Dear Source:
I must respond to the Source forum letter by A'but Chenzi Ra Kahina headlined: "Sexual Violence and Racism in St. John" dated October 16th, 2005.
The writer continues the tired diatribe about rampant racism on St. John when in fact it was the so called "we the people, etc." organization who vastly increased the racism level present here. The group was told at the onset that St. John can and will face the challenge of finding out the facts and punishing any or all guilty persons connected with the reported rape of a local resident, subsequent arsons, and attempted arsons which resulted. The group had their own agenda and insisted on coming to our island to start whatever trouble they could. My wife and I attended one meeting of the group this past week and were called: "the enemy" (for being white) by one and welcomed by others. This group is seriously confused. They say they seek to stamp out racism yet they hold votes to see if white people are even welcome to attend their meetings. They say they want the investigation to end so the results will be known but I doubt they will accept anything other than the single version of the story selected by them as true.
As a long time resident of St. John, I must say that although I can't know what the whole story is, I know it is far from the one expected by this rabidly racist group. The tales of an established KKK presence on St. John are ludicrous. The tales of cross burnings and such are absurd. I am willing to wait to hear what the FBI comes up with in this case and I hope it is a lot. I hope the investigation is not rushed because of the sit-ins and I don't really feel it will be. I, like all civilized people, simply want the truth to be known and the truth takes time to uncover.
The activities of "We the People, etc." have been unfortunate. Many St. Johnians are drawn to their misguided agenda because they want to do something, anything, to help bring this thing to a close. The sit-ins and the resulting disruptions of locally owned and operated businesses in recent weeks are despicable in spite of their stated good intentions. Many innocent people have been hurt economically. I have never and could never support a group, which acts in such a wrongful manner even if they espouse good intentions. My wife and her friends have begun a telephone and fax campaign to actively and effectively open a dialog with the federal authorities and bring this investigation to the forefront. The "We the People, etc" group now has had the gall to take credit for this effort. The fax campaign was certainly NOT done as a response to the sit-ins but rather to show the "protesters", by example, how to deal with this situation in a civilized manner without harming innocent people. We all want the investigation to conclude.
We the people of St. John will overcome this plague of outside disruptive effort and emerge stronger than before as soon as we come to grips with our individual identities and gather as one people of many colors working to bring people together without the racist hatred streaming from this group of outsiders. The first step is to bring our efforts under the leadership of St. Johnians rather than outsiders. A group so formed can be a prominent and permanent force in civil matters here and should remain active long after this incident is long forgotten.
Terry Conklin
Coral Bay, St. John

Editor's note: We welcome and encourage readers to keep the dialogue going by responding to Source commentary. Letters should be e-mailed with name and place of residence to source@viaccess.net.

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