Nothing Can Be Changed Until It Is Faced


The recall of Senators in St. Croix has been both an amazing and enlightening process to follow. I am sorry that both St. John and St. Thomas never quite gathered the momentum to understand and respond in passion to this issue like our sister island St. Croix. I am so proud of Cruzians for their leadership and courage in speaking up for all of us in the Virgin Islands!

This recall has shown the best in people's character to righten the wrongs in the way our Government does business. Whether the recall “wins” or not — there has been a huge impact on the psyche of the voting public. This movement seeded and empowered the average citizen to remember that government is there to serve its needs.

Every great historical figure of the past would be very proud of the empowerment demonstrated these past weeks. Citizens are organizing to form a Freedom of Information Coalition; the importance of the Constitutional Convention has been regenerated; the people have finally found their voice — and more importantly that voice is united and not separated by class, economy or race.

The VI Democratic party, which did not support the peoples right to recall, will also have to answer to the many voters who will most likely change their affiliation because of their stand. 

What is intriguing to me is the amount of work that these good citizens have had to do to undo the wrongs that voting for Bill #6905 has done. Let’s remember this when the new Constitution is being prepared. As things stand — it is easy to vote Senators in and too hard to get them out when they do not represent the will of the people.

Then there is the total and absolute silence from our Senators. Mum. Any one of them could have been a shining star — a hero — by simply standing up and supporting the many constituents who cried out in disagreement. None did. This clearly points to the “intergovernmental” relationships and “glue” that keeps the status quo from ever truly doing the work of the people.
One can only assume that the big salaries meant more than the feelings of the general public. That, sadly, speaks volumes.

How can we think otherwise when not one had the courage to speak out in support of the people's anger over this Bill?
Communication — listening and speaking — are at the base of good leadership and relationships with voters. We got neither from our elected officials.

There has been a very strong light shone upon our system of Government and what needs to be radically changed. This recall issue has been an incredible gift to the people of the Virgin Islands.

Do not, for one moment, think that St. John and St. Thomas are not angered by Bill #6905. They are. The manner in which we had to only recall one senator — in fact — one who is well respected and usually a good representative provided little motivation.
In fact — this issue only, once again, eroded the trust of the people on St. Thomas and St. John. I would guess that the general lack of attention to St. Croix issues from our past Governor and government for eight long years has created the “perfect storm.”

This “storm” seems to have washed away apathy; identified intelligent and conscientious new leaders who are ready to partner in making our system of government work better.

Whatever the recall results — congratulations to the people of St. Croix. I see a beautiful rainbow ahead for us all. You have made a great difference to the future of our Virgin Islands. A special acknowledgment needs to be made to  Roger W. Morgan who upheld the people's constitutional right to “Free Speech” when our law-making Senators attempted to silence us.

To our Senators — you have much deep reflection to do on what you have done or failed to do for the people that you were supposed to represent.

In fact, our entire government should recognize that this issue of recall has given us all the opportunity to re-evaluate our political system and help make it healthier and more functional. A quote from James Baldwin perhaps says what we all need to reflect on: “Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.”

Bonny Corbeil,
St. John