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Governor's statement on slavery reparations ‘derogatory’

Governor's statement on slavery reparations ‘derogatory’

Calling the Governor of the Virgin Islands, H.E. Augustus J.U. Jaspert, a pawn and messenger of policies of the United Kingdom Government, former educator Elroy A. Turnbull has labelled the Governor’s recent statements of slavery reparations for the Territory as derogatory.

On Monday, September 7, 2020, during an interview with 284 Media, Mr Jaspert said paying reparations to the VI for acts of slavery and the slave trade is not the position of the UK at the moment while calling for relics of slavery to be preserved in the Territory.

H.E. Jaspert pushing UK policies – Mr Turnbull


According to Mr Turnbull, speaking during the Thursday, September 17, 2020, edition of 'Honestly Speaking on ZBVI 780 AM, “We have to recognise that the Governor is a messenger of the Foreign and Commonwealth office, in addition to that he is a pawn, he doesn’t have any power of his own despite what people feel and think.”

Mr Turnbull,a former Chief Education Officer, continued, “In the context of being a messenger what happens is when Governor delivers messages they like to sweeten it up or stir it up, according to their own feelings. That has happened,” he said.

Many have said the Governor's take on the controversial issues showed a lack of sensitivity to the subject, particularly in a Territory of descendants of slaves.

The Governor's statement has since sparked condemnation in sections of the VI, with many calling for an apology to be issued by the Governor.

According to Mr Turnbull, Mr Jaspert said it is clear and obvious that the UK policy is that they are not going to be giving reparations to any of their Territories.


On Monday, September 7, 2020, during an interview with 284 Media H.E. Augustus J.U. Jaspert said paying reparations to the VI for acts of slavery and the slave trade is not the position of the UK at the moment while calling for relics of slavery to be preserved in the territory.

Reparations statements ‘derogatory’


“One of their high officials, I think, sometime earlier this year mentioned that [no reparations] in Jamaica, and the Governor [Augustus J.U. Jaspert] said it... in a real derogatory kind of way in my opinion,” he related.

Mr Turnbull said in the context of the VI, some Virgin Islanders running to the Governor’s defence is as a result of them not understanding the role of the Governor and the functions he serve on behalf of the UK in the VI.

He said Governors are selected and briefed on what missions the Crown is trying to achieve in the Territory ahead of deployment, including alleged briefings on local news, grassroots activities and local politics.

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