To the Editor:
Our Island community is again in controversy over the Civil War monument in Oak Bluffs. The discussion is about moving the plaques honoring Confederate soldiers to the Martha’s Vineyard Museum. It is NOT about removing the statue, which represents a Union soldier.
As members, we write for the Racial Justice and Human Dignity Committee of We Stand Together/Estamos Todos Juntos, in support of the Martha’s Vineyard chapter of the NAACP. We agree these plaques should be removed and donated as pieces of history to the M.V. Museum. The plaques can become a basis for education.
One plaque declares, “The chasm is closed.” Would that this were true. To quote Mayor Mitch Landrieu on the removal in 2017 of Confederate monuments in New Orleans, “The Confederacy was on the wrong side of history and humanity. It sought to tear apart our nation and subjugate our fellow Americans to slavery. This is the history we should never forget, and one that we should never again put on a pedestal to be revered.”
Let us work together to look fearlessly at the legacy of slavery and the persistence of racism in our community. The statue will remain. The plaques belong in the museum.
Michelle Jasny, West Tisbury
Jane Katch, Chilmark
Toni Kaufman, Oak Bluffs
Talia Luening, Oak Bluffs