On the heels of the George P. Floyd Jr killing, which sparked widespread civil unrest in the United States and around the world, Honestly Speaking moderator and social commentator, BVI’s Claude O. Skelton-Cline said the remnants of institutional racism and colonial powers against people of colour are still present in the Virgin Islands, starting with the Governor's Office.
"The fact that we have a Governor that is appointed here, that office is the symbol of the ever-present residue of colonialism, and racism, institutional. Ask yourself why we never had a black governor here," Skelton-Cline told his listening audience on the Thursday, June 9, 2020, edition of the show on ZBVI 780 AM.
Governor should come from British OTs - Premier Fahie
Skelton-Cline's comments echo similar comments made by Premier and Minister of Finance, Hon Andrew A. Fahie (R1), who recently said the time has come for the United Kingdom to allow persons from the Overseas Territories to be governors.
“Choose about two or three or five persons from the OT’s and put them in the UK and train them how to become governors and let them become governors in different OT’s but not the one they are from."
This he said is not the Territory of the VI taking a stance against the UK but rather the VI looking at things in a mature manner, “And that is not being disrespectful,” he said.
Crown still watching BVI
Skelton-Cline; however, charged that the Office of the Governor and the appointment of the crown is a symbol of institutional racism by itself. "Ask yourself how it is, that over 200 years away from emancipation that we are still being watched over by a Crown."
He also called the public holiday in recognition of the Sovereign’s Birthday a residue of colonial power in the face of dire economic times in the VI and an ill-opportune time to close businesses looking to bounce back from COVID-19.
African American George P. Floyd Jr, 46, was killed on May 25, 2020, as a white Minneapolis officer pressed a knee on Floyd’s neck, sparking racial injustice movements around the world.