I shook my head in sadness and frustration at the melee reported on The Source at our Constitutional Convention hearing on St. John. It was reported that the controversial "native definition" was once again overshadowing all of the critical changes needed to get the VI's working better for the good of us all.
Adelbert Bryant in his usual abrupt, rude and divisive manner questioned Paul Devine as to "who gave him the right to write for us?" Apparently Mr. Bryant took offense to this good citizen's community involvement and participation.
Paul Devine should be heralded for his interest and involvement in our St. John Community. He has single-handedly started successful flag football sports because our kids had so little sport activities- he jumped in and made something happen for these kids. He is involved in many volunteer groups to make our St. John Community a better place–too numerous to mention.
He worked hard as a participant with research and input for our Constitutional Convention years before a group was elected. He worked tirelessly helping native Teens put together a DVD to express their frustrated feelings and needs for change on St. John with the St. John Youth Committee.
Paul has promoted community participation and done nothing but encourage citizens to get involved in every one of these Constitutional Meetings. This Constitutional Convention group had a dedicated and knowledgeable citizen ready and willing to participate, encouraging others to get involved. Wasn't this why there was advertising monies available–to get involvement and participation from the community? Paul probably worked the hardest on this Island to get people to those meetings. He has provided regular testimony and this dedication is challenged by a "who gave him the right to write for us?". Mr. Bryant, you are out of line, once again. It seems like your constant agenda is to "we and dem" everything you are are involved in.
Have you any idea of the price that this community pays for this kind of ongoing negative, divisive behavior and attitude? I am guessing not. This divisiveness is what keeps us all going nowhere… constantly spinning our wheels-never really getting anything accomplished…and the problems just continue to escalate.
I have lived here long enough to have watched in shock as Mr. Bryant pulled out electrical chords at our Legislature Hearings so that others could not speak- among other numerous inappropriate behaviors. Why is his constant inappropriate "bullying" behavior tolerated? I, for one, was praying that this Constitutional Convention could move us forward especially in regards to creating localized Government for each Island–so that we could address and solve some of the ongoing very serious issues that we never seem to find solutions to–in the form that our Government presently operates in.
The manner in which Paul Devine was treated has diminished this hope. I also hope that we hear something back from those in charge of the Constitutional Committee.
One thing that I know for sure–is that if bullies are not challenged–they continue to bully and create divisiveness. How long will we tolerate this kind of behavior in these important Government bodies doing important work for the people?
More importantly our children are watching…this is not the kind of behavior that we should be modeling.
When will we change the "we and dem" into "Together We Can"?
I am presently compiling a list of skills and commitments that I am looking for in the next Legislative Body of Senators to be elected in November. At the top of my list will be looking for Senators who are respectful in how they treat all of the people of the VI's–and most importantly–are focused on working together as a Team focused on the serious issues that confront us in the Territories. I say we should leave behind any Senators who in the past two years have spent their time creating divisiveness between people in our Communities.
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