This Wheatake is an introduction to the next nine Wheatakes in which I propose to address a few of the issues which are inimical to building a progressive, transparent, just, caring, and altruistic homeland. We have done it in the past when we could only barter. Why can't we do it today with the millions of dollars which we spend annually?
Vìrgin Islanders have been reclaiming their homeland which they have been losing morally, demographically, administratively, politically, socially and spiritually, incrementally in various forms under various conditions for generations.
We have lost aspects of it through activities like buccaneering on Beef Island, pirateering on Drakes Channel and the legendary buried treasure on Norman Island añd elsewhere in the Virgin Islands; we have lost aspects through the lands the Crown confiscated from poor Virgin Islanders who could not earn the money to pay their taxes. This colonial control is still turning the wheels of the mill and at times grinding has deprived many Virgin Islanders of a place in their homeland. We have also been losing our homeland in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries through the actions and behaviour of unfaithful political stewards who "milked the Territory" and spilled the milk instead of"feeding the lambs" as Jesus instructed Peter.
Our increasing consciousness has led us to believe that we can reclaim, rejuvenate, reform, and restructure our homeland successfully. In order to do so many of us have to change our garments of self-aggrandizement to "altruistic territorial wear," caring and sharing instead of hoarding and pocketing. Our political leaders are challenged to lift our people from the "pit" to the "cock-pit" from rejection and dejection to promotion and exaltation, from hell-fire cries to heavenly praises. That is the heart-beat for striving to reset the course of the Territory at this time in our history.
In so doing we need to hear and understand the personas of the political athletes who are seeking leadership offices. We also want to see, hear, and examine the pathways in which they propose to run the races for which they are practising, why they are running those races, how they plan to run those races, for whom they are running those races, how they plan to use the resources from those races, what are the principles and purposes underscoring the proposed uses, and to where and how they plan to lead us and our homeland.
- Dr. Charles H. Wheatley