My dream for the Island I love is that we all embrace in word, and most especially in deed, the ever-growing diversity on the Vineyard, while ensuring that all know why that is important. It is also important that our young people be taught the history of all the people who populate the Island, so that there is a greater appreciation of where they have come from … and for those who still face some discrimination, on and/or off the Island, to know that their history is their armor against the slings and arrows of overt hostility, as well as often unintended, insensitive slights and hurtful remarks.
We need to think deeply about how to constructively confront that which makes us uncomfortable, so that this small piece of paradise can be a living proof of America’s ongoing greatness, regardless of race, creed, color, national origin, or politics. We can be a more-than-ever-necessary beacon to a divided nation and the now worrying world if and when we get it right!
Charlayne Hunter-Gault is an award-winning journalist, author, wife, and mother. She is currently working as a special correspondent for the PBS NewsHour, with a yearlong series on solutions to racism called “Race Matters.”