Everyone talks about how rude Virgin Islanders are when they visit on vacation. I do not condone rude and disrespectful behavior from anyone towards another person. As locals, we should be mindful of our attitudes towards people that are contributing to a major part of the livelihood of our community. Virgin Islanders are not raised in this way. We are more mannerly than any other group of people I have ever been around, they even say so themselves, when we say good morning and good night. A broad assumption should not be made in a few snap shot visits, or from a few people.
On the other hand, I have lived here in the United States for 23 years. I have lived in South Carolina, and now Louisiana, and traveled and visited all states up and down the Eastern Seaboard. Frankly, there are no more rude people than those that I have seen and lived around in this time. I work and have worked with people for years that walk by me close enough to knock me over and don't respond to my greeting or look me in the eye, not just when I'm vacationing but every workday. Furthermore, in response to the trash on the streets, the highways and interstates of this country are littered with trash wherever you go, all you have to do is look, it may be spread over a greater distance, but it is there.
People only notice things like trash and behavior when away. Some people have this notion that the Virgin Islands (paradise) are immune to the same issues that are present anywhere else in the world. There is a false assumption that all the local people do is wait to serve their every need when they are on vacation, well there are other things going on in paradise besides taking care of tourists. People are trying to live, work and survive just like anywhere else, and the same issues affect us too, like family members fighting in war that they don't want, especially when they can't vote for the president.
Many of these same people would not even speak a word to a local if they saw them in their home town, and would probably run the other way if they saw us, but they expect to be treated like royalty by everyone when they are on vacation.
Again, my family taught me manners, just like most every other child raised in the islands, and I don't condone rude and disrespectful behavior, but I also know that everyone is not going to be friendly everywhere I go, because I live it everyday not just for two weeks or so. Therefore, I would say, to the rude ones, you should be ashamed of your behavior, and to the tourists, paradise does not mean country club, it is still a living and breathing community. Finally, my daddy used to say "people that live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones".
Baton Rouge, La.
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