We Must Unite for the Betterment of All of Us

Dear Source: Unity is defined by Webster Dictionary as “the state of being one; Singleness; A state of concord or agreement; Unified entry thus formed; and Continuity." I, on the other hand, have always referred to unity as a oneness — a state of being whole. Unfortunately, today, more and more we as a people lack unity. We are so divided that it’s shameful. We are far from being a whole and often there is no oneness among us. We have no sense of who we are, and as such, we tear each other down, for lack of brotherhood or love of a people. Currently, we the people of the U.S. Virgin Islands are torn between the ways things used to be in the days of old when we were in fact united. Some say those days are gone never to return again, but I say we can return to those days if only we would stop fighting among ourselves and come together as one. In doing so, we must hold each other accountable. We often put people in position of leadership with little or no accountability. Do we really vet the individuals we elect to office and those who sit on our Boards and Commissions? People, it is high time that friendship, who you know, takes a back seat to we the people. We must select individuals to positions who are truly deserving, and who has the vested interest of all the people at heart. Above all, we must adhere to individuals who have an innate love for "we" the people, knowing that their love for we the people will enable them to do the right thing at all times. As a people, where are our voices? Are we just prone to hug up the injustice and silently move on? My people, we as a people have survived lives ups and downs throughout the years, which include but are not limited to financial hardships and hurricanes. Why with all that is happening around us now we are weak when we should be strong? As a people we’ve suffered one injustice after another yet we are not united. When as Virgin Islanders are we going to say enough is enough, and mean it? On March 31, 2016, we celebrated 99 years of transfer from the Danish Government to America. On March 31, 2017, we will be celebrating 100 years of transfer, yet in more ways than one the more things change the more they stay the same. To date we do not have our own written Constitution. As a people, we still do not know who we are or where we are going. Imagine, 99 years and we are still governed by the 1954 Revised Organic Act. We as a people have failed time and time again in coming together to decide our own destiny. We have no clue of the injustice we are doing to ourselves and our children to come. People, we must unite for the betterment of all of us, in order for all of us to live with National Pride and immense dignity in being productive Virgin Islanders. We are often quick to voice our displeasures on the radio, at our work place, in church and on the street corners, but that is all we do. Our cost of living (food, rent, clothes and gas) is truly out of control yet we do not see the need to unite as one. Where are our unions, where are we the people, and where are our elected officials? Long gone are leaders such as Ruby Rouss, who faught hard for we the people, as Virgin Islanders. Time and time again we eat up the injustices that are constantly being fed to us, as if we are eating “Armstrong Ice Cream,” and enjoying it. When are we going to come together and unite as one and put an end to this madness? When are we going to reclaim our power in unity and organize ourselves peacefully in order to have our voices heard — when my people, I ask. When are we going to stop being afraid and join forces for the betterment of all of us? Entrepreneurship and agriculture must become our building blocks. We must begin this process in rebuilding from inside out. Our children are killing themselves daily, and to add insult to injury more and more each day Virgin Islanders are moving off island, for they cannot survive the hardship they are forced to endure. Today, our beautiful island is falling apart from the inside out daily. Small businesses, which are the corner stone of any society, are failing due to the high cost of staying in business, and yet we as a people are not united. We shop off island and in catalogs and do not realize that if the money doesn’t stay here it cannot circulate here to strengthen and build our economy. People of the Virgin Islands, there is indeed strength in unity, and it is high time we come together as one, in one accord. My people, let us begin this process and address our various issues at town meetings, at public forums, and at the Legislature, in full force as one with one voice. I boldly invite each of us to become the people united. Please, let this change start with all of us, for in unity we shall make a difference. Shirley M. Sadler, St. Thomas

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