top
   
home archives archives gallery project contact  


Stepping Stones
Edition 7
Stepping Stones
Edition 8
Stepping Stones
Edition 9
Stepping Stones
Edition 10
Stepping Stones
Edition 11
Stepping Stones
Edition 12
Stepping Stones
Edition 13
Stepping Stones
Edition 14
Stepping Stones
Edition 15
Stepping Stones
Edition 16
Stepping Stones
Edition 17
     

In these tough times it is obvious that we as Turks & Caicos Islanders are going through a lot. We are faced with the burdens of high food cost, declining tourism (our bread and butter), and now a new Value Added Tax (VAT) that will soon be implemented.

When I look around on the islands and see what is happening it keeps bringing me back to a famous letter that I once read by William (Willie) Lynch, a British slave owner in the West Indies, who came to United States to advise American slave owners on how to keep their slaves restrained. Lynching referred to the hanging of the black man is actually attributed to him. The William Lynch Speech or letter is said to be addressed to an audience on the bank of the James River in Virginia in 1712 regarding the control of slaves in the colony. William Lynch was the speaker summoned to Virginia, due to a few slave revolts in the area prior to his visit, and his dubious reputation of being an authoritative and strict slave owner.

Here is an extract from what he wrote: “These methods have worked on my modest plantation in the West Indies and it will work throughout the South. Take this simple little list of differences and think about them. On top of my list is “AGE,” but it’s there only because it starts with an “a.” The second is “COLOR” or shade. There is INTELLIGENCE, SIZE, SEX, SIZES OF PLANTATIONS, STATUS on plantations, ATTITUDE of owners, whether the slaves live in the valley, on a hill, East, West, North, South, have fine hair, course hair, or is tall or short. Now that you have a list of differences, I shall give you an outline of action, but before that, I shall assure you that DISTRUST IS STRONGER THAN TRUST AND ENVY STRONGER THAN ADULATION, RESPECT OR ADMIRATION. The Black slaves after receiving this indoctrination shall carry on and will become self-refueling and self-generating for HUNDREDS of years, maybe THOUSANDS. Don’t forget, you must pitch the OLD black male vs. the YOUNG black male, and the YOUNG black male against the OLD black male. You must use the DARK skin slaves vs. the LIGHT skin slaves, and the LIGHT skin slaves vs. the DARK skin slaves. You must use the FEMALE vs. the MALE, and the MALE vs. the FEMALE. You must also have white servants and overseers [who] distrust all Blacks. But it is NECESSARY THAT YOUR SLAVES TRUST AND DEPEND ON US. THEY MUST LOVE, RESPECT AND TRUST ONLY US.”

Allow me to break down why I think this is exactly what is happening here in the Turks and Caicos Islands. Right now we have two main parties and one of the biggest differences between the two is age. They dangled the call  of elections before of us as if it isn’t  already our God given right to some kind of democracy and instead of us banding together, we are already at each other’s throats just as THEY want us to be and its almost patronizing.

In this country we have such a difference in values and attitudes between one generation and another and no one is taking the time to help bridge the gap. Age difference isn’t the only issue, but the reference to putting the people against each other based on where they live is another issue that we have here on the islands. We still suffer from the whole Caicos-Turks issue as if we aren’t all one people. The point I am making is TCI is only so big with a population that is only increasing in expats and not Belongers we should at least be sticking together.

There are forces here in this country that are trying to keep us from sticking together, but Turks and Caicos Islanders must understand that we are in a war that cannot be won if we keep fighting each other and not the real enemy.

Most other Caribbean countries are moving ahead but we are still stuck with below average schools, very low income homes and even more degrading situations that I’m sure we all can list. Let’s be honest with ourselves and say that before this Interim Administration took over, we were on a progressive path in the Turks and Caicos Islands. We had children going off to school, a blossoming sports program, major developments and a large sum of our people doing very well. We have people who have sold us out and only hold the other at high regard with no respect for the ones that they should call brother and sister. We are divided as a people, and  people who are divided are bound to fall.

If poverty or crime strikes bigger countries they don’t feel it as hard as we the people of a smaller nation would, it could be our sister or brother on either side. We have to start looking out and not bad mouthing one another. Our eyes are simply not on the prize. We are not supporting each other and in desperate times like these simply put “ we are all we have.” As Willie lynch says they must wipe away our original historical base. This means, take away all, original historical knowledge of our past, without leaving a trace of who we are, and replace it with other false histories.

Our celebrations have been watered down, our education is lacking and they are trying to take God out of the schools, they make a mockery out of our culture that we use to hold so dear to our hearts. Ask yourself if this is mere coincidence, or is it a rerun that we have all seen before.

Turks and Caicos Islanders let’s put away our petty differences, let’s not concern our self with things that can’t help us as a people to move in the direction that we desperately need to go. Let’s use our time, energy, and great minds to build a bigger and brighter Turks and Caicos. Let’s bridge the gap between our generations, let’s work together now so that we can have a next generation, Turks Islanders let use this as a stepping stone to be what we have the ability to be. Great!!!!

“I have one life and one chance to make it count for something . . . I'm free to choose what that something is, and the something I've chosen is my faith. Now, my faith goes beyond theology and religion and requires considerable work and effort. My faith demands -- this is not optional -- my faith demands that I do whatever I can, wherever I am, whenever I can, for as long as I can with whatever I have to try to make a difference.” – Jimmy Carter