With a Vincentian resident being accused of the harrowing murder of 46-year-old BVIslander Lenia Green, there is now a concern that the longstanding struggle between locals and Caribbean expats might worsen.
Cultural specialist Richard Georges described it as ‘very unfortunate’ that the murder occurred at the time when the territory is dealing with the regularization programme being implemented for select expatriates.
“I fear it is going to fuel the xenophobic, anti-Caribbean expatriates conversations when logically it is not really a reflection of the type of people who live here,” said Georges who is a cultural academic.
And while referring to residents’ reaction to the alleged Vincentian killer Rohan Williams, Georges explained that — besides the nature of the crime — “people tend to have fear and uncertainty, especially of people who are not like them”.
“In the US, its Mexicans, in the UK it is Asians and Africans, and in the BVI it is the other Caribbean islands. And, when you have those types of fears, you try to solidify those fears on people who you can blame. And so you have a higher rate of xenophobia, and you are more likely to do things that are not in your best interest,” Georges said in an invited interview with BVI News.
The bigger picture
He noted that these types of tragedies should be viewed in the bigger picture – violence against women.
“I think we need to examine ourselves not only as the BVI but as Caribbean people on how we deal with violence against women on a whole. It is not always murder. It is psychological abuse, statutory rape, incest, it is a whole lot of violence against women that we have to grapple with and distilling it down to Vincentians are violent people is an easy way of distracting from the picture,” he added.
The murder victim, in the meantime, was shot and left on the road at George’s North Side on Sunday, May 26. She was later transported to hospital where she succumbed to her injuries.
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