St. Maarten people need to realize that the foreigner’s saying, (you are not from here), could be detrimental to the success this country can enjoy as a result of its multi-faceted people and communities. Government must take the lead to properly manage and organize its social structure in order to benefit from its diversity. Those who have made St. Maarten their home must be made to feel they are as much a part of, and responsible for the entire community to benefit from the success this country has afforded to so many people.
Already there is a Member of Parliament of a certain ethnicity, that sits in the highest body in our government structure who enjoys that privilege, not because of how long he has lived here but as a Dutch citizen, who has most certainly, secured the votes of the many naturalized nationals of the same ethnicity that live on the island and hold a Dutch Passport. The same can happen for other groups that live here. Let’s just say hypothetically, that if a St. Kitts/Nevis born with a Dutch Passport, goes on a list as a candidate; the same for a Dominican Republic born, a Chinese born or even a Haitian born and the naturalized nationals with voting rights from the respective countries decides to vote for their candidate on a given list and that candidate ends up in the Parliament of St. Maarten, would that be right? Sure it would; because that person on the list and the persons who have voted for that candidate are all within their legal rights as a Dutch passport holder, (Dutch citizen), not as a St. Maartener. Therefore the narrative of “you are not from here”, does not stop this from happening.
The different nationalities and ethnic groups that live on the island have sometimes been used as one of the attributes of which we often boast, (many cultures one people); but when you look at who the ones are playing the biggest role and benefiting the most out of this economy, and also who own most of its prime real-estate, you have to say it’s not the St. Maarten born citizens. At one time St. Maarten born may have been the owners, but most have decided to sell their properties to the highest bidder which enable these ethnic groups that have bought properties, to firmly secure themselves and their families as rightful owners of prime locations and therefore legitimate Dutch Citizens in this country that flies a Dutch flag.
So then, what are the St. Maarten people and Caribbean born citizens from the region that make up the St. Maarten families to do to survive in their country alongside those citizens who have made St. Maarten their home? As for the Politicians and leaders in authority, how can they bring these groups together in harmony with a sole objective of building love for Country, national pride and patriotism, instead of the same old politics that are slowly separating those who have from those who don’t have? The leaders of this country must be engaged in bringing all Dutch citizens together as one St. Maarten residents and secure opportunities to encourage the St. Maarten families and their offspring to compete for a fair share of the economic power and not to let them slowly become extinct.
What seems evident, is that politicians continue to show their inability to cart the way forward in the best interest of unity and oneness of its citizens that will eventually lead to an independent people able to manage their own affairs, and not to be dependent on the Dutch colonial system for our protection, security and future. That is the main reason why the St. Maarten people constantly use the phrase as an excuse “you are not from here” to show how the system in which they live and managed by their own leaders is not being fair to them.