Letter to the Editor – The Anguillian Newspaper

anguillian
By anguillian July 24, 2017 12:08

 

 

 

Dear Editor – The Anguillian Newspaper

Congratulations’ to Anguilla on its 50th Anniversary of the separation from the former colony of St. Kitts, Nevis and Anguilla. You may have noticed I did not use the term “revolution”. Here’s why’ The new social order seems to exclude the gatekeepers of Anguilla, and we are being treated like second class citizens.
On several occasions, when I am visiting Anguilla, and have taken the ferry from Marigot, to Blowing Point, I have noticed that there is a passenger search policy, whereby black passengers are searched and white passengers are just waved on with a smile. For instance, as recent as May of this year when I visited Anguilla, my handbag was searched thoroughly. I have no objection whatsoever to being searched, if there is an equal search policy in place. However, why was a young white man behind me with a large backpack just waved on with a smile? Why were other white passengers not searched? Of course, I reacted to that and had a ceremonial protest, to demonstrate how stupid and foolish it is to search one and not search all. Not only is it discriminatory, in the world we live in today, the life you save may be your own. I have always believed, that a major British rock star would not have been shot and killed when entering his residence in New York (my hometown) some years ago; if concerns were raised that the young white man who called him by his name when he returned home then shot him, was allegedly seen hanging around outside the residence for a few days. Apparently, no one seemed to care. I wonder if a young black man hanging around the upscale residence of the rock star would have raised concerns? You bet.

I am not calling out the young men and women who work for the Customs in Anguilla, they are simply doing what they have been instructed to do. What I am calling out is a search policy that not only singles out and profiles black passengers, it supports white supremacy. This is so wrong. It is shameful, and it must cease and desist for the respect and dignity of the gatekeepers of Anguilla, as well as the future generations. Although, I have challenged this policy, and had to have a ceremonial protest on-site on more than one occasion; it is those residents of Anguilla, Anguillans with home grown pride (year round residents), who have to challenge it.

Just a reminder, Anguilla may not have been able to boast a so called “upscale tourism industry”, if a member of my family did not envision and lay the foundation by building the first hotel “Lloyd’s Bed and Breakfast” in Crocus Hill. Also, Anguillans may not have had a secondary school on the island, if it were not for the same family member’s vision (who was the then legislator for the former colony), to secure the funds and supervise the building of a secondary school on the island of Anguilla. Anguilla may not have had bragging rights for having the most home grown pilots (over fifty) within the Caribbean region, had it not been for a member of my family who was the island’s first aviation pioneer. To give credit where credit is due, during the former governmental administration, they kept their promise and named Anguilla’s airport (Clayton J. Lloyd International Airport) in his honor. Quite frankly, where would Anguilla be today, if yours truly had not written a letter detailing the destruction of Anguilla, if some dreamer had been allowed to launch satellites from Sombrero. Once my letter was published by our very own Mr. Nat Hodge (thank you), the dreamer closed up shop the next week and left. Upon information and belief, allegedly after he got land in Guyana, he decided he no longer wanted to launch satellites.
A recent editorial in your paper made reference to the failure to support and glorify the achievements of homegrown talent. I would say, much of that is done on who likes who, or whatever other biases are thrown in the mix. Some are heralded, others are left out. Case in point, my late dad Capt. Lionel Theodore Lloyd of Roaches Hill and North Valley Heights, was among the foremost traditional seafaring captains (May Lloyd and Lady Lloyd his family’s schooners) of yesteryear. Dad was able to take the skills that he honed as a traditional seafaring captain on the island of Anguilla; and join the ranks of enlisted men and women as a professional civilian employee of the U.S Naval Service for over twenty years in the U.S, until he returned to Anguilla after his retirement.
Yet, although this writer has made a special appeal to the Anguilla Stamp Committee to give him (as well any others who were overlooked); the honor of being remembered with an honoring ceremony, a postage stamp, as well as their photos being displayed in the Valley Post Office, it has not happened yet. Not only was Capt. Lloyd, a direhearted traditional seafaring captain, even though his father was an immigrant to Anguilla, dad being the second generation of an Anguillan mother and an immigrant father; he wore his Anguillan heritage with a badge of homegrown pride. With all due respect, I have spoken to three members of the Committee, and they have been very gracious in terms of their listening and understanding how important is it to do the right thing. However, “if” is not a satisfactory answer. Seafaring was a focal part of Anguilla’s history, therefore the honor given to the traditional seafaring captains of yesteryear, should be bestowed upon all those who have made contributions with fairness and inclusion.
Clearly, it is a step backward for black passengers to be singled out and profiled for searches when entering Blowing Point or any other port of call on the island of Anguilla; whereas white passengers are waved on with a smile. How does one celebrate a revolution where black men and women born Anguillans risked their lives to make Anguilla what it is today; and nowadays when black folk enter Anguilla born Anguillans or their descendants, there is a discriminatory search policy in place. I fought as a teenager against discrimination in the African American Civil Rights Movement. I wore out some serious shoes marching and protesting for equal rights. Now, I have to experience the same nonsense upon entering Anguilla? Something is wrong with that…and I do hope an equal search policy is implemented…you search one, you search all.
God bless Anguilla and her children at home and abroad…may the Creator and the ancestors continue to find her in their favor.

[Name withheld at writer’s request. The opinions expressed herein do not reflect the opinions of the The Anguillian newspaper].

(Published without editing by The Anguillian newspaper.)

anguillian
By anguillian July 24, 2017 12:08
  • anonymous

    Well written article..does anyone know this individual?

    • Anonymous

      Yes, ask Mr. Nat Hodge.

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