BVI News

News site’s ‘distasteful’ cartoon of governor sparks public outrage

A Virgin Islands News Online (VINO) cartoon of Governor Augustus Jaspert kneeling on the neck of talkshow host Claude Skelton Cline has been met with public outrage and calls for the website to remove the post.

Several residents and public figures have described the cartoon as insensitive and some have demanded a public apology from the management of the media company.

“For this news site to publish the Governor on the neck of a Mr Cline is inflammatory, insensitive and irresponsible. We don’t need to fuel race tensions here in our BVI, in such a callous and blatant manner,” local businessman Dr Michael Turnbull said in a Facebook post.

He continued: “If you’re a business that advertises with Virgin Islands News Online, a call needs to be made to have them remove this image or you remove your ads. Silence is stating you support. You have a corporate responsibility. Freedom of speech doesn’t mean that we have to fund this new site.”

Turnbull’s statement, which was posted around 11:30 am on Monday, June 15, has received more than 40 reactions, as well as multiple shares and comments expressing similar sentiments.

Advertisers told to boycott

Meanwhile, former NDP candidate in the 2019 General Elections, Aaron Parillon has also expressed his disgust on social media.

“Representatives of VINO, you and I have no sort of relations whatsoever but do right by your people and get your media house in order before we black Virgin Islanders have to. When I see people, I see people. I don’t care what party, race or colour you rock. It is disturbing to use George Floyd’s situation as a reference to prove a political point.” 

“I would be ashamed to have my face or family’s face featured on this site as any young professional,” he added.

Up to publication time, his post generated 60 reactions, more than 50 comments and at least seven shares. Parillon and some social media users who commented his post have even called for advertisers to boycott the Julian Willock-owned website.

A screenshot of one of two posts Aaron Parillon posted in response to VINO’s cartoon.

“People need to stop advertising their businesses as well,” former Miss BVI, Kadia Turnbull wrote.

Adding his voice to the conversation, local recording artiste McKenzie ‘B’More’ Baltimore, Jr wrote: “I am so disgusted right now! Pull the ads. Don’t comment the pics either on the site. I am sick to my stomach.”

“Very insensitive! This must be taken down immediately and apology given,” are other examples of comments that continue to pour in from social media users.

The cartoon and George Floyd’s killing

VINO’s cartoon was inspired by the controversial circumstances surrounding the May 25 death of 46-year-old African-American, George Floyd, who was killed on the streets of Minneapolis, USA when a caucasian police officer kneeled on his neck for just under 9 minutes.

The incident, which which was recorded on video, sparked worldwide protests and violence, calling for an end to racism against the black community.

Premier denounces racism

Even locally, Premier Andrew Fahie has publicly commented on the Floyd killing and denounced all acts of racism.  

VINO’s cartoon, in the meantime, follows June 9 statements from Skelton Cline that the United Kingdom and Governor Jaspert have their figurative knees on the necks of Virgin Islanders.

Skelton Cline further called for residents to join in the fight against the injustices being faced by people of colour.

A recording of part of Claude Skelton Cline’s June 9, 2020 statement.

Copyright 2020 BVI News, Media Expressions Limited. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or distributed.

64 Comments

Disclaimer: BVI News and its affiliated companies are not responsible for the content of comments posted or for anything arising out of use of the comments below or other interaction among the users.

  1. Laura says:

    Utterly unacceptable! Why would they even print that image given what’s going on in the world right now…We are the ones shooting our own selves in the foot. Hit them where it hurts and pull all money-making revenue from them pronto!!!

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    • Bullfrog in the white wig says:

      I am not surprised. I have seen many comments posted on that site which promote hate towards expats….I mean why would they even publish such hateful comments?

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      • Rubber Duck says:

        The so called justification they have published is one of the most racist statements I have ever read on a news site. It basically says that it is OK for them to do what they did because all whites are evil and should be punished. Anyone continuing to advertise with them is helping these racist rabble rousers.

      • I don’t advertise with BVI news says:

        … because it runs the weekly racist rant on a Saturday morning.

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    • Wow says:

      Something is categorically wrong with that caroon. Many on this blog have argued that the Pastor was the one who insinuated the issue. However, there is a need for the media to be responsible. Additionally, VINO is supposedly link to the Speak of the House and for this reason the slander should have been left well alone given its racist connotations and the sensitivity of the issue with George Floyd globally.

      I am of the opinion that the Speaker of the House should be immediately be removed from his office if he is indeed linked to VINO and an immediate investigation into this matter be launched.

      The same devise tactics were use to win last election and both were richly rewarded. Enough is enough as this is not who we are as Virgin Islanders.

  2. Dem Fake! says:

    VINO has been known for this, yet they all continue to visit the site as a source for news, melee and when they want to throw their cowardly words. When Claude said what he said where was the outcry then?! Now it’s been placed as an image only now you caught on? Set ah a fake slow woke islanders. Release another “Young Professional” or another slanderous article to shut um up.

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    • Hmmm says:

      It has been well over one year since i have visited that website. I don’t even know why people advertise on that medium.

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    • Yellow Journalism says:

      VINO’s theme colour, yellow, is very much emblematic of their brand of journalism.
      Yellow journalism is “the use of lurid features and sensationalized news in newspaper publishing to attract readers and increase circulation.”
      Wow! That’s VINO in a nutshell!

  3. abc says:

    ha ha much to do about knowing we still love vino

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    • Horse Man says:

      Nah, nobody loves —-, them just man—-e story and comment, if you advertise there you just w—-ng your cash…

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  4. OutCry says:

    should of have fahie or fraser on the neck

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  5. See says:

    Not cool Vino … not ever .

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  6. Vino = ra---m says:

    V— is known to actively promote r—-m. It’s a horrible website that claims it has no place for racism or prejudice but articles and reactions (that they moderate) are full of it!

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    • Block says:

      I am ashamed that I advertise on their site. I have cancelled that advertisement and removed the bookmark to their site. Shameful v–, feel sick to of been associated

  7. Watching keenly says:

    This is not becoming of someone/ business owner who is speaker of the house of assembly. If he is not removed then it would say a lot of this government.

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  8. despicable says:

    if it was anyone else who did such a horrible thing in the name of free speech, Premier and all of them would have been condemning it. But nahh, they all quiet because their esteemed speeka run things. Be careful what you wish for in that cartoon.

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  9. America, Detroit says:

    The pot is slowly simmering. Agree or disagree, The Pastor set this in motion. He set it off. He was the one that said the UK has it’s knee on the BVI’s neck. Why wasn’t he called out for what he said. I see it as this man is trying to turn the Blacks against the Whites in the BVI.

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  10. Watchman says:

    VINO’s cartoon is a direct comment from the Pastor who said this about a week ago. Where was the outrage?

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    • Correction says:

      Guess that means a pic of the governor putting his knee on Clawd neck is the picture that tells the story

  11. AC Frett says:

    Is putting fuel on the fires of racism..dispicable

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  12. Whistle Blower says:

    @Watchman, 100% correct. The cartoon is taken from the comment the Pastor said. Don’t get enraged about the cartoon, the Government Consultant open up that can of worms last week.

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  13. Snoppy says:

    inciting racism

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  14. Whites says:

    Vino we got you them racist looking attention

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  15. Rubber Duck says:

    Free speech is one thing, incitement to racism is another. All this kind of behavior does is to harden the attitude of racists on all sides. W—–k should be ashamed.
    And Mr Floyd’s death is not a joking matter.

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  16. LOL says:

    So the little attention w—-s got their names in the media so I am sure they are patting themselves on the back.

  17. upset says:

    Mr. Claude Cline is the on radio promoting ra—m. Claude has know r—- for leadership and it is quite time he gets off the radio because he is not representing the people if the BVI. Frankly speaking we don’t need his kind of representation.
    Pastors bring people together not separate? Hello

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    • Bob the Barrister says:

      upset you are 100% correct. Interestingly libel is defined as defamation by written or printed words, pictures, or in any form other than by spoken words or gestures…

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  18. Double Standard says:

    We live in a society where based on your affiliations, you could dig out someone eye Live on Social Media and those who should correct the culprit would act like they never saw it hoping it would be forgotten.

    It’s only until something directly affects someone in that inner circle then you see an uproar.

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  19. Charnele says:

    The cartoon is not inviting racism, racism does exist take your heads out the sand people.

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    • Down island says:

      Tell me about it. I from down islands.

      • @Down island says:

        And because of that ‘down island’ mentality, you are always looking for attention and inciting foolishness. Truth be told you are here for a better life and once that is the case and you are not experiencing your aim, well… And also truth is the majority who enter our shores do experience a better quality of life. So can I read about something else on these blogs or try somewhere else? Many BVIslanders go to America for a better life and education and are not afraid to come home again. If you are on the blogs daily complaining, well… So tired of reading this nonsense.

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    • Meaning Of Word says:

      The Word is incite, not invite!
      Incite definition…. “to move to action : stir up : spur on : urge on”.

  20. Stop acting surprise says:

    VINO BEEN THE TMZ OF BVI COME ON!!

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  21. What it is? says:

    That site is not a news site. They are a hor—e bunch of h—ful people who want to cause a d—ide.

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  22. Solution says:

    This is what we have come to?…using someone’s death as a catalist for political gain and also spewing out hatred is totally distasteful, disrespectful and utterly unwarranted. I am so embarrassed of this type of behaviour. What makes us any better than a racist when we show the same level of hatred or even more to each other? I saw the cartoon and got cold chills at all the malicious intended that is depicted in that cartoon and the heightened level of anger and hatred that is being publicly shown in the media forums. Let’s do some introspection and do better we are much better than this.

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  23. USVI says:

    Honestly, the cartoon is enacting based on the comments that the Pastor was talking about last week. The pastor threw out the first punch and he was praised for his actions by a bunch of silly non thinking people. This man is setting a division among the White and Blacks in Tortola, I agree, the pot is simmering.

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  24. true says:

    there was a law passed to address this tyope of thing in the online media and it should be acted upon but won’t be as VINO=VIP

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  25. GTFOH says:

    Vino as they usually do only illustrated what was said in the broadcast. If this was their original idea out of the blue with no context then It would have been somewhat despicable. The comments made by Claude didn’t seem to draw much uproar when Vino posted an article about it two days ago. Most people only spoke about going independence and saying that CSC has something against the governor. There was little outrage about the actual comments. Nobody was saying that it was such a terrible thing to say so why the uproar now that a cartoon was made playing on the words spoken by CSC the same words were the headline of an article on Vino before the cartoon.

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  26. Cancel him NOW! says:

    Cancel him …. simple. If he was in America right now they would make it extremely hard for him to make a living right now. This post was utterly distasteful and disrespectful to the entire Floyd situation.

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  27. Nonesense says:

    There is deliberate and intentional division and segregation among Black and White in this territory, but it is observed and never mentioned in political, social or personal discourses.

    Ray Charles can see that. Why can’t you?

    Are you living in another BVI?

    The world knows, that there natural segregative tendencies, their very strong tribal instincts, influenced by their skin color and other idiotic, but ingrained centuries old beliefs systems, keep them living by them selves away from Black people.

    The world also knows they are viciously anti Black people, thus another reason the live segregated away from them.

    Therefore, one cartoon cannot abruptly create a race war between Black and white people in the BVI. Some people just pretend to be ultra sensitive when their lives and comfort zones are sometimes confronted with uncomfortable truths.

  28. Is Cl--d says:

    Ranting and Raving his big mouth. Spewing words of discontent towards the United Kingdom and sowing seeds of discord. He has become the voice of the VIP, endorsed by the Administration. Not one of them ever denounces the words filled with disdain towards the UK. He certainly doesn’t speak for me and shouldn’t speak for the people of the Virgin Islands.

  29. MY O MY says:

    What a horrible cartoon. How can they depict Jesus like that. BVI mentality has to reach up to touch bottom…bunch of TURKEYS.

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  30. Rain Dance says:

    This is what needed in these Day’s , more HUMAR and less STRESS People.

  31. Hotel and commerce says:

    Oh the white man is the god now? Vino we support you and will always advertise with you

  32. Watchers says:

    The person responsible of making such comparison clearly shows y how immature and disrespectful they are to themselves, his own people and the country.

  33. Anonymous says:

    This cartoon is outrageous.

  34. The Nation says:

    The Governor needs to sue because it seems very likely to be defamatory. VINO has been unashamed in these past years attacking white reporters from the Beacon claiming they are racists and nothing seems to be done about it…it’s time somebody with deep pockets sue them for all this unbecoming conduct.

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  35. Journalism says:

    Shame on BVI News for showing a inflammatory social media post and calling it news!! That is not journalism and is only getting people mad and crazy when that is the last thing we need. REPORT! Check facts, do your job. Showing a screen shot is not news! I am from the USA and this is what has killed that country. PLEASE BVI be better!

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  36. Apple Pie says:

    love vino or hate vino I see nothing wrong wit the cartoon just a set of jealous haters

    Stand your grounds VINO we the real locals with you!

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  37. TORTOLA says:

    The Government of the VI need to revoke Vino trade license, The S—— of the H——- promoting Racism, tge Picture is rhis can dampen our Tourism, Create Racism, Fights, Hatetred it is reflection of the VI Peomote Racism, now this is somthing we should March for. The revoke of Vino trade license.

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  38. Muff says:

    This ain’t new, v– been promoting racial tension between locals and expats for the longest time. SICKENING!

  39. Oh says:

    Let us see if these outspoken persons keep the same energy when it comes to other pressing issues facing the Territory. So many unemployed persons, failing businesses but we hear nothing from them but now for a few mins in the spotlight they pretend to be most concerned. The photo may be disrespectful to some but you have a right to NOT visit the site and view the material. So much focus is placed on bulls*** and never on the real issues. Imagine if this level of interest was placed on assisting the most needy in the Territory and holding the govt accountable? The spineless always seek the lowest hanging fruit in an effort to pretend to be relevant!

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  40. Smh says:

    24hrs later and VINO has accomplished exactly what they set out to do, cause confusion and drive traffic to their site! The poor simpletons will never understand how their strings are being pulled.

  41. BuzzBvi says:

    Pretty sure a law was passed with huge fines to stop this kind of publication. This will be an interesting first case.

  42. Local says:

    Many time we hear CSC talking about the Gov.. saying what ever comes out of his mouth, we never hear the Gov. respond to him. But in this CARTOON we hear the Gov. talking back.!!

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  43. Sassy says:

    That’s just how island people feel.like u call them we a racist against our own. All we need is love

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  44. Fish says:

    V–O NEEDS TO BE SHUT DOWN FOR GOOD….SPOILING PEOPLE CHARACTER

  45. less gov says:

    BVI gov need to focus its energy on safely reopening its borders and putting peoples back to work versus sidetracking the public with new traffic patterns and racist cartoons, my 4 year old would know better than to draw a cartoon like this

  46. Klawde says:

    While everybody kicking up, ayo ain’t hear Klawde say a word. He got the biggest mouth, but he live through the knee, survive to tell the tale and he has no comment. If he quiet, I don’t got zip to say. All I say is take care the picture turn true from a different angle. Mark this post

  47. Fingers says:

    @ Klawde, wait until To Day’s broadcast @ 5:pm, when C S C will say what he got to say, be sure to pay a listing EAR. You know he’s going to come out SWINGING

  48. Easy k says:

    Because of white privilege. Yoooow lmaoooo. Name calling over 400 years ago. Da man got to be laughing all you. Hahaaa

  49. Ausar says:

    I will say only that while the cartoon is offensive, and parallels the brutal murder of George Floyd, this is exactly,in my view, how the Kingdom has had it’s control over the domestic affairs of the BVI!

    Premier Fahie also alluded to the fact, that our Constitution should reflect more control of the daily affairs of the BVI by BVIslanders, suggesting that there is a sort of a “grip hold” on the people of the BVI!

    Instead of getting up in arrears, we should introspect into these matters, to assess our true relations within the Kingdom, and work with our Premier to effect the changes neccessary, to bring about the correct solutions to such offenses!

  50. water boy says:

    The Speaker of the House and other ministers wanted to reprimand the governor well i think the House of Assembly should replace the Speaker of the House.

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