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Charlotte Amalie
Sunday, August 7, 2022
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Constitutional Convention: An Exercise in Futility

Dear Source:
It's a crying shame, literally.
Imagine, we are on our fourth attempt to write a constitution and it has begun to boil down into an apparent effort in futility.
Have you read the media accounts of the recent meeting of delegates? The word "only" prompted discourse reserved for elementary school playgrounds. The members took a vote on amending the rules for the conduct of members. These are grown people – some lifelong "leaders" in our community. And we wonder why the young people does get on so!
I'm not holding out any hope for this body to actually come up with anything meaningful. So far, all we have heard is the focus on defining "native" Virgin Islander. When will we grow up and get past this. It's a non-issue. Being a native does not put food on your table or lessen the impact of the cost of living. When we should've addressed nativity over 40 years ago, we did not. Instead, we were to busy living large and spending like sailors on shore leave. I can still hear the phrase – "A Hess man is de best man!" That's why we are where we are today. Our community is now made up of people from all over and many have a major stake in the future of the Virgin Islands. Native or not, let's face it, they paid their dues and they have a say. Deal with it!
Are you going to tell my brothers and me, all of us born on St. Thomas to parents of Eastern Caribbean heritage, that we are not "native" because we can't trace our roots back to 1917 or 1927? I don't think so! We seem to forget that a number of the freedom fighters in VI history have come from places other than the Virgin Islands. Do your research and see. Take 'Budhoe' Gottlieb for example.
But what are we focused on? Trivial pursuits.
Now, we are arguing about decorum and the proper English context and syntactical usage of the word "only". Cheese and bread meson!
Only in the US Virgin Islands. It's a crying shame and who's to blame – Us!

Terence A. Thomas
St. Thomas

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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Dear Source:
It's a crying shame, literally.
Imagine, we are on our fourth attempt to write a constitution and it has begun to boil down into an apparent effort in futility.
Have you read the media accounts of the recent meeting of delegates? The word "only" prompted discourse reserved for elementary school playgrounds. The members took a vote on amending the rules for the conduct of members. These are grown people – some lifelong "leaders" in our community. And we wonder why the young people does get on so!
I'm not holding out any hope for this body to actually come up with anything meaningful. So far, all we have heard is the focus on defining "native" Virgin Islander. When will we grow up and get past this. It's a non-issue. Being a native does not put food on your table or lessen the impact of the cost of living. When we should've addressed nativity over 40 years ago, we did not. Instead, we were to busy living large and spending like sailors on shore leave. I can still hear the phrase – "A Hess man is de best man!" That's why we are where we are today. Our community is now made up of people from all over and many have a major stake in the future of the Virgin Islands. Native or not, let's face it, they paid their dues and they have a say. Deal with it!
Are you going to tell my brothers and me, all of us born on St. Thomas to parents of Eastern Caribbean heritage, that we are not "native" because we can't trace our roots back to 1917 or 1927? I don't think so! We seem to forget that a number of the freedom fighters in VI history have come from places other than the Virgin Islands. Do your research and see. Take 'Budhoe' Gottlieb for example.
But what are we focused on? Trivial pursuits.
Now, we are arguing about decorum and the proper English context and syntactical usage of the word "only". Cheese and bread meson!
Only in the US Virgin Islands. It's a crying shame and who's to blame – Us!

Terence A. Thomas
St. Thomas

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.