Toward a more civilized approach

To the Editor:

It was encouraging indeed to read Peter Look’s fine comments on my efforts to get a dialogue going between the Brazilian community and other residents of Martha’s Vineyard, between whom, from time to time, gross misunderstandings occur. I also appreciate his criticism of my use of the word “old” in reference to residents of the Vineyard. I was careless not to underscore that my use of the words “old Vineyarders”means only those who lived here before the majority of Brazilians arrived — that is, whatever genealogical age we are, we “old” residents are merely longer residents than most of the “immigration wave,” in short, here before the majority of Brazilians came to work and live here. He is definitely correct in calling to task my careless usage of an important word.

My hope is that gradually, as people becomecomfortable with the idea of calmly discussing some of the tensions on the Island between two large groups of our population, that this will lead to a newapproach to Vineyard relations between the two groups. Very little has been done thus far to effect a more civilized approach.

Roberta Mendlovitz

Vineyard Haven