9-Year-Old Boy Dies After Being Shot in Head in Croixville Housing Community; Police Detain 15-Year-Old

Concerned Residents Clean Christiansted Town Using Their Own Tools, Money, and Some Help from the VI Fire Service

Territory May See Veterans Cemetery Through DeGazon-Sponsored Bill

Credit and Debit Cards of WAPA Customers Were Compromised Since August 30th, WAPA Says, Authority to Finally Start Issuing Notification Via Mail and Email

Sports Tourism in VI Gains Momentum as DC United Team is set to Play Exhibition Soccer Game on St. Croix

Carnival Breeze Brings 3,700 Tourists to St. Croix During Maiden Call; Senators, Tourism Officials Want to See More

Limetree Bay Willing To Provide $10 Million To Help Add Life to a Dying G.E.R.S.

American Airlines to Serve St. Croix With New Flights Next Summer

The Sudden Death of Influential Roots Reggae Visionary, Vaughn Benjamin of Midnite Band and Akae Beka, Has Rocked the Virgin Islands and Reggae Community Around the World

Arthur A. Richards K-8 School Hosts Anti-Bullying Campaign

Come Out. Hang Out. Have Fun at The Meat Up, One of St. Thomas’ Latest Hot-Spot for Good Food with Friends and Family.

UVI Board of Trustees Approves $47.1 Million Fiscal Year 2020 Budget; Sets $3 Million Fundraising Goal

Man Dies During Early Morning Car Accident on St. Croix; Driver of Car Arrested (Updated)

'You Did Everything You Could to Prevent this from Happening': An Emotional Goodbye to Young Aaron Benjamin

Back in Business: Cost U Less on St. Thomas Opened its Doors Friday to Thousands of Customers 2 Years after Irma and Maria

Bill Aimed at Regulating Credit Use by Gov't Departments and Agencies Among Others Held in Committee

Juan Luis Hospital Announces Completion and Availability of Mobile Dialysis Facilities

Tractor Trailer With Tank Carrying Thousands Of Gallons of Liquified Gas Flips Near Cool Out Bar; Driver Injured But Alive

Credit and Debit Card Hack Through WAPA Appears to be Widespread in Virgin Islands; WAPA Says Support Services Will be Made Available to Affected Customers

Facing Life in Prison Without Parole, Mother and Boyfriend Plead Not Guilty in Murder of 4-Year-Old Boy

A Letter to Our Leaders

Opinion / February 16, 2017

Dear Delegate to Congress, Governor, Lt. Governor and Senators,

I’m writing to gain a better understanding of your perspective on the Transfer Day Centennial Commemoration. The Centennial Commission’s position as mentioned by Executive Director Kevin Jackson is that the purpose of these events is to focus on the achievements during the last 100 years as a people. Though it is important to acknowledge great Virgin Islanders and their accomplishments, there has been an aspect of the relationship between the Virgin Islands and the United States of America that has been largely disregarded. 

As a citizen I am curious about our elected political leaders’ position on the matter of our classification as people of African descent at the time of transfer as well as the position of the United Nations in regards to colonization and fundamental human rights. 

At the time of the Transfer from Denmark to the United States, the international law (referred to as the “Law of Nations”), that the United States  accepted as valid and legal, referred to Indigenous Peoples as well as people of African descent as “Uncivilized Heathens”. My first question to the leaders of this territory is:

Do you think that the Centennial Commemorative events should explore the effect that the United States’ agreement to the belief that people of African descent were “Uncivilized Heathens” may have had on the relationship between United States and the Virgin Islands?

Lastly, in November of 2016 the United States of America issued a pledge outlining their commitment to human rights around the world. One of these pledges include a commitment to “advancing the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms throughout the UN system, including the UN General Assembly and its Third Committee.” On December 14, 1960 the General Assembly, the body in which the United States made the commitment to, adopted the “Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and People”. The first three declarations are as follows:

1. The subjection of peoples to alien subjugation, domination and exploitation constitutes a denial of fundamental human rights, is contrary to the Charter of the United Nations and is an impediment to the promotion of world peace and cooperation. 

2. All peoples have the right to self-determination, by virtue of that right; they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development. 

3. Inadequacy of political, economic, social or educational preparedness should never serve as a pretext for delaying independence. 

Along with these declarations, the United Nations “proclaims the necessity of bringing to a speedy and unconditional end, colonialism in all its forms and manifestations.” Currently the Virgin Islands is a colony of the United States. The Transfer Day Centennial events commemorates our relationship with the United States with little acknowledgement of the United States’ commitment to the United Nations’ and their objections to the continuation of colonialism. My final question is this:

As our elected officials, do you think that it is in the best interest of the people of the Virgin Islands to commemorate an event so closely tied to colonialism when the United Nations have proclaimed its disapproval to continued acts of colonialism?


Submitted on Thursday by: Tarik McMillan

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