We, members of the One St. Martin Association (aka One SXM), feel duty-bound to address you, respectfully, on the matter of your pending visit to our homeland, part of which is still colonized by your kingdom.
We write you as St. Martiners, as Caribbean people, who do not see themselves as subjects of any other humans.
We note with deep regret that from your position of power and privilege, you have chosen to parade these islands during the month of Black History celebrations, showing off the people to your daughter and heiress to your throne and patronizing their culture. More dehumanizing is the expectation that our people should bow to you and your family, as a way to give legitimacy to an anachronistic and fading political system.
As the head of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, you hide behind political unaccountability, refusing to apologize for your family’s involvement in Slavery and the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade. Furthermore, the kingdom you head has refused at every opportunity to denounce racism and xenophobia at several United Nations fora.
The people of St. Martin did not choose to be a part of the kingdom, and we do not embrace you as the king of our people. We expect that you can relate to this position since your country fought an 80-year war to gain its independence from Spain as your people refused to be subjugated by the Spanish.
We believe that the only way for St. Martin to become a true “equal partner” with your kingdom is for our island to become an independent, sovereign state. We reiterate that we are not subjects of any monarch, and we definitely do not want our children to bow before anyone’s children.
As a first step in repairing the relationship between the Kingdom of the Netherlands as the colonizer and the St. Martin people as the colonized, we demand that you issue a sincere apology for the Dutch Kingdom’s involvement in Slavery, the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade, and continuing colonialism. This month of Black History Celebrations and your presence on our island present the opportune time to do this.
May we avail ourselves of this opportunity to reiterate to Your Majesty the assurances of our highest consideration.
February 2, 2023