The following is commentary by Dr. Charles H. Wheatley.
I ended Wheatake 71 showing how the term “born here” has been used as a convenient rationalization in three perceived instances. In this Wheatake I will show how two of these rationalizations have survived, is surviving, and plans to continue surviving.
In the case of the first rationalization it has been found both by official authorities as well as ordinary folk that some employers eliminate qualified deserving B. V. Islanders early in the selection process on the fabricated basis of insufficient qualifications only to employ a non-B. V. Islander with similar or less qualifications. These discrepancies are only discovered when critical examination of applications for work permits have taken place. In other cases, it is widely known that an employer may advertise the positions and stipulate entry qualifications which are not commensurate with the required competencies for successfully completing the job. This happens because there is not an official national job classification schedule which stipulates the basic competencies required to perform a job successfully. Reversed enlightenment. In yet another instance one finds B. V. Islanders rejected for employment on the grounds that they are over qualified. This has happened in many cases with young graduates who qualified at overseas institutions. It has also been discovered that in some firms there two entrance tests, one for B. Islanders and one for non-B. V. Islanders, the latter being less demanding on the candidate. It is important to note that all the firms referred to are foreign owned and the decision makers in these cases include both non-B. V. Islanders and B. V. Islanders.
In the case of the second rationalization, trainers, teachers, lecturers, and other persons who see campaigning for “non-B. V. Islander excellence”, vis- a -vis B. V. Islanders portrayed B. Islanders as people who rely on their birthplace as the only or prime qualification for seeking jobs and the main criteria for success. For over four decades I have observed and researched this strategy from different positions in the public Service-High School Principal (1972-1980), Chief Education Officer (1980-1987), Permanent Secretary (1987-1991), President H. Lavity Stoutt Community College (1991-2005) and Chairman. Board of Governors, H. Lavity Stout Community College (2007-2019 as well as community leader to whom people both B. V. Islanders and non-B. V. Islanders, report on perceived injustices which they experience in the community through affiliations with religious denominations, involvement with various national groups represented in the B. V. I demography. The frequent repetition of this concept gives it some credibility and then it becomes a perceived characteristic of B. V. Islanders. The reaction of B. V. Islanders is generally one of silent rejection of the message and the messenger rather than open counter arguments. There is a traditional belief among B. V. Islanders that “rumors are only eight-day talk” meaning that if you ignore the message and the messenger the message will disappear. This is not true in this case of the “born here” concept because it shows its head very often in diverse places during a variety of circumstances.
There are some strong headwinds ahead in demographic matters. One matter which will have to be ventilated without fear or favor is the perceived euphemistic underground clandestine move in land distribution. Say no more. Who to blame? Those who have ears and can hear, I implore you to listen carefully, attentively and act transparently. These are not the “massa days.” All the agouti’s horns will be ripped off. Remember when you make up your own bed you have to lie in it.