British Virgin Islands

Tuesday, May 18, 2021

'I stand by’ my statements on slavery & reparations – Gov Jaspert

'I stand by’ my statements on slavery & reparations – Gov Jaspert

Governor of the Virgin Islands Mr Augustus J.U. Jaspert has shunned inquiries about statements he made on slavery and reparations, telling the local press that his position on the controversial comments has not changed.

On Monday, September 7, 2020, the Governor sparked community outrage when he said that the United Kingdom's (UK) position on paying reparations to the Virgin Islands for acts of slavery and the slave trade was not something that was being considered, hinting that the VI should expect nothing.

Preserve VI’s slave relics – Governor Jaspert


He also called for relics of slavery still present in the territory to be preserved despite community calls for those relics to be renamed so that it can reflect the legacy of Virgin Islanders who shaped the territory.

And now, the Governor in his latest press conference held today, December 3, 2020, has dodged questions on his controversial position, telling the media that attention should be diverted to other issues.

“Today I'm talking about Government issues in the territory, so let's talk a little about that,” Mr Jaspert said.

“What I said previously on slavery is something that I stand by… I think it was disgusting and I think it was wrong and that is something that I'm not going to change, that is what I fundamentally believe on that and that's something that I said at the time,” the Governor told reporters.


On Monday September 7, 2020, the Governor sparked community outrage when he said that United Kingdom's (UK) position on paying reparations to the Virgin Islands for acts of slavery and the slave trade was not something that was being considered, hinting that the VI should expect nothing.

Governor ignored calls for apology


Meanwhile, several social commentators and community members including Claude O. Skelton-Cline, Kenneth G. Gladstone, Kishmet B. Daniel and Elroy A. Turnbull have all collectively described the Governor’s comments as insulting, insensitive and derogatory enough to suffice an apology to the people of the Virgin Islands.

Mr Gladstone in a September 11, 2020, interview with Virgin Islands News Online (VINO) said the Governor’s statements were as a result of a racist mentality that is being perpetuated, even as Mr Jaspert was spending VI’s money and enjoying the hospitality of local taxpayers, a majority being the descendants of slaves.

“We are paying for it…he needs to respect the fact that our sweat and blood should be honoured and he is a part of the racist mentality that is perpetrated around the world and the BVI needs to flush it out,” Mr Gladstone said while calling for an apology.

Gladstone in a September 11, 2020, interview with Virgin Islands News Online (VINO) said the Governor’s statements were as a result of a racist mentality that is being perpetuated, as Mr Jaspert was spending VI’s money and enjoying the hospitality of local taxpayers, a majority the descendants of slaves.

Newsletter

Quote of the Day

Hanging onto resentment is letting someone you despise live rent-free in your head.

Related Articles

British Virgin Islands
×