We were surprised by that initial call from Kevin Brooks, an Edgartown barber, alerting us that he had been the victim of a racial incident involving a Vineyard Transit Authority bus driver.
Surprised because, for the most part, the Vineyard is a diverse and welcoming community. But, alas, no place is immune from racism and, in the current political climate, it appears that some people find it acceptable to let their ugly sides show.
We listened to what Brooks had to say about being ignored when a bus driver drove by as he tried to make his daily commute from Edgartown to the ferry, and the ferry to his home in New Bedford.
When he confronted the bus driver, the unidentified man initially told Brooks he didn’t pick him up because the bus was full. Pressed, the driver then told Brooks, “It’s because you are black.”
It’s a terrible incident that was caught on tape by the bus line’s onboard video and audio system.
Within 24 hours of hearing from Brooks, the bus line issued a press release announcing that the driver had been fired.
It was clear, decisive, and necessary.
Good for Brooks for shining a light on what this bus driver did, and better for the VTA for taking quick action when it was clear that the allegations were true.