Stand up against racism

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To the Editor:

The evil acts perpetrated over the past week once again demonstrate that our country still suffers from episodes of real division, hatred, and unabashed racism. People of all faiths pray for this to end, and for our country to always strive to do better and stand up against these unspeakable acts.

While mass killings and/or racially motivated killings make headlines, and they are viewed by millions, keeping us all on edge wondering the background, the who, the whys, and the what-ifs. We must also pause, recognize, and stand up to the subtle racism, yes even in our own communities. The recent incidents involving political signs goes beyond the unfortunately expected stealing or knocking over of these reminders of who is seeking your vote. A local candidate, a man of color running for an important political office, had his face blackened out on two of his signs, one in Oak Bluffs and one in Tisbury. This was viewed by the M.V. NAACP as a statement, as an opinion on black men and women’s right and/or ability to seek public office, and as an example that racism can still rear its ugly head, even in our community of Martha’s Vineyard.

We all must stand up and unwaveringly fight hatred in all its forms. We must proclaim that we will not tolerate racism, we will not tolerate intimidation, no matter the severity. It is only through standing up against what may seem pale in comparison to other acts of bias, intolerance, and hatred we can stop last week’s events from becoming the normal and not the horrendous.

 

Erik Blake

On behalf of Martha’s Vineyard NAACP