I used to be shy about pushing for independence in the U.S. Virgin Islands. I know that american citizenship is awfully seductive. However, I can’t shake this nagging question: is this really the kind of empire that we want to be a part of? This is a nation where Black people with full voting rights are still fighting against police brutality and pushing for recognition with #Blacklivesmatter. This is a nation where Indigenous Hawaiians are still dispossessed despite the fact that Hawaii is now a state. I’m not convinced that statehood or increased voting rights would allow us to decolonize effectively.It’s likely that we will still experience second class citizenship.
If we were to get a seat at the table, how would we reconcile our anti-colonial consciousness with america’s violent imperial regime? I know that the pursuit of independence won’t be easy but “sometimes deh bitters is ah healing” as Midnite sings in Ras for a Reason.