Letter to The Editor

anguillian
By anguillian December 21, 2015 11:17 Updated

 

 

December 10, 2015

I call it as I see It

Not only, I am sure that most Anguillans are aware that its so called “upscale tourism” industry is the economic engine of Anguilla; they are doubly aware that it rests on the shoulders of a born Anguillan with home grown pride (David S. Lloyd) who built the first ever “hotel” Lloyd’s Bed and Breakfast” in Crocus Hill over 50 years ago as well as villas in Crocus Bay, and another born Anguillian Jeremiah Gumbs built the first ever seaside resort Rendevous Hotel in Rendezvous Bay.
It is on that note, I have a few talking points to raise the consciousness of all those concerned. I am not trying to be critical, just calling it as I see it, fessing up to my ceremonial row at Blowing Point to uphold equal search treatment for all visitors, sending kudos to our young people who have joined the labor force, and those who have taken the plunge into become self employed through entrepreneurial ventures, and an update on how the “Black Lives Matter” movement showed their economic power during the so called “Black Friday” the day after the so called “Thanksgiving”.

If we begin to teach and preach that we are valuable, worthy and can treat each other with respect, then that rubs off on us treating others with respect. However, the message I hear during “Tourism Week” seems like, Anguillans must refine and reserve their manners, etiquette, kindness, caring and even keep the island clean, as well as become aware of customer service so “you can give top quality to the world”. “Top quality” begins with each of us, treating each other with genuine respect as well as others. I would like to get the message across that our children and young people, need to hear a message that they can get along, treat each other with respect, genuine caring, begin to share the kinship of brotherhood and sisterhood to maintain a level of consciousness that their lives matter too. Charity in this case respect and caring and “genuine hospitality” begins at home.

How does one go about providing “genuine hospitality” for some travellers and visitors, when it is done based on preferential treatment? My case in point is, coming into Blowing Point one year,(I am a visitor too having not lived in Anguilla since I was an adolescent); I noticed that Caucasian visitors were waved by no search, whereas I was going to be subjected to a search. Seriuosly’ I made one big ceremonial row, was not subjected to a discrimatory search and kept it moving. There would have been no need for drama, if there was an equal search policy. Now, I absolutely have no problems with being searched, but if Customs at Blowing Point or any other port of call on the island of Anguilla, adopts a discriminatory policy with disparate treatment that gives Caucasian visitors a free pass without being searched, why are you subjecting me to a search? If you search one search all. Not only are folks laughing at such naivete’ Do you think any brownie points are earned? Moreover, in the world that we live in today, what country, nation, island would not subject all visitors to a search? I certainly hope for the security and safety of everyone, that the discriminatory search policy has been reviewed and revised. The life you save may be your own.

Last week I shared with you, how our African American brothers and sisters in Montgomery, Alabama, put the public bus system out of business. When the legendary late Ms. Rosa Parks was arrested for refusing to give up her seat to a white man; African Americans decided to walk and carpool for 381 days and they toppled the notion of a segregated system based on white supremacy. They also gained respect and understood the power of choosing how to spend their dollars with those who can respect them “or else”. During the so called “Black Friday” (November 27th) day after the so called “Thanksgiving Holiday” (this African Caribbean descendant has to give thanks every day in my adopted hometown….I do not necessarily celebrate other folks desingated holidays); the Black Lives Matter movement spearheaded a successful campaign across the United States, urging African Americans to “cease and desist” spending their money on the so called “Black Friday”. According to statistics, African American spending power is going towards a trillion dollars. The “Black Friday” boycott caused many establishments to take a dip in the sales to the tune of almost a billion dollars. I often wonder why descendants of African people all over the globe, will spend their hard earned dollars with folk who despise them because of their ethnicity. Or, they will let anyone come into their community, set up shop and think nothing of spending their hard earned dollars with these haters. Closer to the home front, some of these folk come to Anguilla and are working in some of your stores and other establishments, yet they are known direhearted haters of people of African descent. How opportunistic can one get?

On a different note, kudos to our young people who have been welcomed into the labor force. Keep your head held high, do an honest day’s work for a day’s pay, show up everyday, maintain a positive outlook and learn all you can. Having grown up within a legendary entrepreneurial family of seafarers, kudos to those young people who have taken the plunge into self employment through entrepreneurship. You are standing on the shoulders of the legacy of a generation of Anguillans who have always operated and managed their own businesses. You were smart enough to find a need and fill it. May your businesses prosper and grow beyond your expectation. You must also mentor and encourage other young Anguillans to take the plunge into entrepreneurship. A message to all Anguillans with home grown pride, their friends and supporters. Our home grown businesses need your dollars, make it a habit, make it your business to do business with our businesses, because you want us to keep our legacy and traditon of operating and owning our own businesses alive……….and because you are proud of being part of the Anguillan family at home and abroad.

Finally, my message is if Anguillans can treat each other with genuine respect, kindness, caring and become more “feeling hearted” that would rub off on the way we treat all travellers and visitors who are welcome to our shores time and time again. May God bless Anguilla and her children with the Diaspora and may the ancestors continue to find them in their favor.

Name withheld by request.

anguillian
By anguillian December 21, 2015 11:17 Updated

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