“Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.” Hebrews 13:2
From the beginning of time, there has been mistreatment among citizens and non-citizens. However, the Bible clearly tells us in Hebrews 13:2 “Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.”
The Israelites were mistreated in Egypt as they were considered a threat. Consequently, Pharaoh made them slaves and worked them so hard. Apparently, Pharaoh did not know that the Saviour of the world, Jesus Christs earthly father Joseph was part of the lineage of the Israelites. I suppose even if he knew, he probably would have still treated them the same anyway as he probably wouldn’t believe anything about the Great Messiah.
It is very unfortunate that today in the world, we continue to label and stereotype different nationalities and ultimately treat them based on our assumptions about them.
Citizens vs Citizens
In the Great United States of America, once you are a citizen, you should be considered an American. It is then further broken down into African American, Asian American, Hispanic American and White (Euro) American. Unfortunately, American citizens are treated differently depending on your ethnic background but, they are all Americans and should be treated equally.
In the Turks and Caicos Islands, there is a lot of conflict among citizens as well. Some of our citizens were not born in the country but either one or both of their parents are from here and they either live here most of their lives or they migrated to TCI at young age. Sometimes we call these individuals foreigners. These individuals are Turks and Caicos Islanders whether we like it or not. It is known fact that there is small amount of TCI Islanders who were born outside TCI and live here most of our lives but yet refer to ourselves as another nationality other than TCI Islander and perhaps this is why some people refer to them as foreigners. However, this is still not right as these individuals have dual citizenship. However, I cannot for the life of me understand why a TCI Islander who was born outside TCI and lived here of their lives still do not consider themselves Turks and Caicos Islanders.
There are some citizens who migrated to TCI as adults, I don’t expect them to refer to themselves as TCI Islanders as they lived elsewhere more than half of their lives. However, they are also citizens of Turks and Caicos due to their parents. I expect though is for all of us to respect, appreciate, assimilate and treat each other right. One group should not look down on the other group because after all, we are one family as our grandparents are the same. Whoever thought that so many of our own would be living in TCI. Treat people right as we do not know the future.
Then there are persons who became citizens by living here for a long time. We called them paper belongers and some of us feel that they should not enjoy the same benefits as other Turks and Caicos Islanders. This is not right as they are TCIslanders. The thing is some of these individuals are very passionate about TCI and consider the TCI their home just like we do. Of course there are some who do not assimilate at all which causes friction among us.
Citizens vs Non-citizens
Some of us feel like this issue is only in TCI but I believe it feels this way because it so evident among the size of our population. However, rivalry among citizens and non-citizen is a global issue.
When the Israelites started to outnumber the Egyptians, Pharaoh felt threatened, so he mistreated them. In societies throughout the world including TCI, the population of some non-citizens is growing rapidly, and it is concern for the citizens especially if their jobs are threatened by non-citizens. This concern results in verbal fighting and threats among the citizens and non-citizens.
The truth is people migrate to other places for a better life. The Israelites migrated to Egypt because there was a famine in their homeland. They were initially accepted because Joseph was in charge. Perhaps later though that Egyptians felt that they were too generous to the Israelites by allowing them to bring their entire family with them and participate in their booming economy. On the other hand, the Israelites was perhaps giving glory to God for rescuing them from famine.
We have similar scenarios in TCI where our growing and booming economy attracted thousands of people from over 91 nationalities. Unfortunately, there is mistreatment among citizens and non-citizens. Sometimes the citizens are blamed for this mistreatment, but quite frankly non-citizens also mistreat citizens equally Some of use the work permits to control and threaten non-citizens. Some non-citizens on the other hand do not mingle or assimilate and despise and look down on citizens of the TCI. Therefore, we do not live in harmony with each other and treat each other mean.
The truth is whether we like it or not, we need each other so let us learn to treat each other right. Stop fighting over frivolous things such as who cooks the best food, who dresses the best, who talks the best, who looks the best, who has the best airport and who has the most famous people.
As I always say we do not know the future so treat people right. There is a season for everything. The country that you look down on now may be that the same country that you may have to migrate to in the future for a better living.