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Why You Got Treated Like Trash in St. Thomas, Virgin Islands


Charlotte Amalie 𑁋 The U.S. Virgin Islands is one of five disenfranchised U.S. territories that have never participated in a presidential election, despite some of these territories being a part of the United States for over a century. The Virgin Islands has a fragile relationship with the U.S., and visitors, tourists, and even lawmakers need to understand why.

Over the past few decades, St. John has seen ancestral land stripped away or swapped to make room for an ever-expanding National Park Service, which now occupies over seventy percent of the island, the smallest of the Virgin Isles. St. Croix, the largest of the three islands, experiences the gentrifying of its communities. St. Croix residents are trying to survive in a souring economy, often boxed out of land ownership opportunities from their wealthier American counterparts. And St. Thomas, home of the territory’s capital, frequently experiences the brunt of over-development and racist microaggressions from travelers as it serves as a hub for each island.

The official YouTube channel for Roots and Culture Travel explains why you got treated like trash in St. Thomas: