Is everyone really treated equally?

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To the Editor:

I went to the West Tisbury town meeting, held in the Tabernacle in Oak Bluffs, graciously donated by the Campground, a private organization, for free. I heard both sides of the affordable housing debate. It was one side talking about “the rural nature of the town” against “we are a community that needs to help each other.” Since the town of West Tisbury has exclusive beach policies at Lambert’s Cove Beach, a town park, that exclude the people of the Campground, let alone the general public, I find both sentiments really lacking value. They only care about “the rural nature of the town” and “community” when it benefits them.

As I’ve mentioned before, it’s not really that the town has exclusive beach policies, it’s that they hypocritically champion those values mentioned above. The town has gone even further with their recent “Diversity Pledge.” To paraphrase, they pledge that everyone is to be treated equally by the town. This, with the Land Bank’s recent purchases abutting Lambert’s Cove Beach, puts their diversity statement to test. Is the town going to put up another guard or a fence to block people from walking onto Lambert’s Cove Beach from the new public properties next year when they open? If not, why not open the beach to the public this year? If they do open to the public this year, we can then concentrate our efforts on Squibnocket Beach in Chilmark. The town there used Community Preservation Act money, public money, to redo the parking lot there. Meaning the public has a right to go there. End beach apartheid, or if not, please get rid of your diversity statement, because you really don’t care to treat everyone equal.

 

Erik Albert
Oak Bluffs