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Charlotte Amalie
Tuesday, August 9, 2022
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The Constitution and the People

Dear Source:
How many times will the same people halt the constitution of the Virgin Islands? In an odd twist they use the very power of equality and freedom of speech given them under the us constitution to keep the islands hostage.
On the issue of taxes, I am OK with native born virgin islanders being dropped from the tax roles as long as they are also willing to be dropped from the benefits of those taxes. I am a non native citizen of the Virgin Islands. I have worked in the USA for 40 years I have always paid my taxes and a part of those taxes have come to the Virgin Islands, my tax money has in part built your hospital, your air port, your shipping port, your roads and schools your power company and water company. This leads me to a question for those seeking a tax free status by constitutional law. Will you also be giving up using all the benefits provided to you and your island by non native born people?
On the issue of who is a virgin islander, I am a native born American my father was not, he worked his entire life and paid his taxes, he proudly served in the us army, and when he died he was buried in the US. My father came to the USA for the right to simply be equal. He would say America is the best place on earth because if you respect the people you are free to join in being American. I moved here because the people of the Virgin Islands left me with the impression that I would be free to join in being a virgin islander. I have offered respect to the people the systems and the culture, I am aware that just as any place on earth there will always be elements that seek to disrupt, divide and segregate. For you I would say I won’t go anyplace, I will earn my right to be here, I will continue to be polite even when you are not, we have something in common that perhaps you overlook, my interest isn't in making the virgin islands like back home, back home wasn't so good, my interests is in being free to live out my life with the allure of the West Indian dream. I don’t care what you legislate I am a virgin islander, my feet are in my soil, my heart is in our people and god protects us all.
These times will pass also, and quite like the world is changing so to America is changing, the Virgin Islands are changing, this is a good time to pull together and face the wind as a group and not as separate segments. I can’t ask you to make the constitution fair all I can ask for is the ability to make it work fairly. a suggestion may be in a new idea on taxes – simply do a flat tax on the money not the person this would ensure those spending or earning more pay more, but not more per dollar than anyone else
on citizenship if you were born here, own land on which you reside or have a hereditary right then you are endowed with all rights and benefits of citizenship in the virgin islands.
on the 800 lb gorilla in the un said closet- Respecting the black majority whose historical and ancestral interests are in preserving their majority, their culture and there history, I can’t say I know how you feel or live with the past abuses heaped upon your people, I am enthralled by the story of your past struggles and ongoing concerns, in this area I feel it best to sit back and watch the evolution you go thru, when I first got here I was struck by the smiling faces, this speaks for itself and says you must be doing it right, so right in fact I moved here to be a part of your solution I offer no advice and have no concerns I just trust the loving heart of the people I have met and I can’t say why. I would say I live for the day when this is no longer an issue and at least hope I live long enough to see it.
Paul Vrabcak
St. Croix

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 visource@gmail.com.

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Dear Source:
How many times will the same people halt the constitution of the Virgin Islands? In an odd twist they use the very power of equality and freedom of speech given them under the us constitution to keep the islands hostage.
On the issue of taxes, I am OK with native born virgin islanders being dropped from the tax roles as long as they are also willing to be dropped from the benefits of those taxes. I am a non native citizen of the Virgin Islands. I have worked in the USA for 40 years I have always paid my taxes and a part of those taxes have come to the Virgin Islands, my tax money has in part built your hospital, your air port, your shipping port, your roads and schools your power company and water company. This leads me to a question for those seeking a tax free status by constitutional law. Will you also be giving up using all the benefits provided to you and your island by non native born people?
On the issue of who is a virgin islander, I am a native born American my father was not, he worked his entire life and paid his taxes, he proudly served in the us army, and when he died he was buried in the US. My father came to the USA for the right to simply be equal. He would say America is the best place on earth because if you respect the people you are free to join in being American. I moved here because the people of the Virgin Islands left me with the impression that I would be free to join in being a virgin islander. I have offered respect to the people the systems and the culture, I am aware that just as any place on earth there will always be elements that seek to disrupt, divide and segregate. For you I would say I won’t go anyplace, I will earn my right to be here, I will continue to be polite even when you are not, we have something in common that perhaps you overlook, my interest isn't in making the virgin islands like back home, back home wasn't so good, my interests is in being free to live out my life with the allure of the West Indian dream. I don’t care what you legislate I am a virgin islander, my feet are in my soil, my heart is in our people and god protects us all.
These times will pass also, and quite like the world is changing so to America is changing, the Virgin Islands are changing, this is a good time to pull together and face the wind as a group and not as separate segments. I can’t ask you to make the constitution fair all I can ask for is the ability to make it work fairly. a suggestion may be in a new idea on taxes - simply do a flat tax on the money not the person this would ensure those spending or earning more pay more, but not more per dollar than anyone else
on citizenship if you were born here, own land on which you reside or have a hereditary right then you are endowed with all rights and benefits of citizenship in the virgin islands.
on the 800 lb gorilla in the un said closet- Respecting the black majority whose historical and ancestral interests are in preserving their majority, their culture and there history, I can’t say I know how you feel or live with the past abuses heaped upon your people, I am enthralled by the story of your past struggles and ongoing concerns, in this area I feel it best to sit back and watch the evolution you go thru, when I first got here I was struck by the smiling faces, this speaks for itself and says you must be doing it right, so right in fact I moved here to be a part of your solution I offer no advice and have no concerns I just trust the loving heart of the people I have met and I can’t say why. I would say I live for the day when this is no longer an issue and at least hope I live long enough to see it.
Paul Vrabcak
St. Croix

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 visource@gmail.com.