Takes issue with letter and editorial

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To the Editor:

I again take issue with Michael Bellissimo and his recent Letter to the Editor involving changing Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples Day in West Tisbury. Here is a quote: “We are blessed to have the descendants of the indigenous people of Martha’s Vineyard living, working, schooling, and playing alongside us. That is an opportunity to be celebrated and honored.” Mr. Bellissimo was also part of West Tisbury’s diversity statement, where the town pledged it would treat everyone equally. To Mr. Bellissimo, and anyone else in West Tisbury who supports changing the name to Indigenous Peoples Day, your words are worthless. You truly don’t care, because the same people you want to celebrate are not allowed on your town beach, Lambert’s Cove, a town park. I’m far from an expert on the Wampanoag people, but I’m sure denying public access to the beach is the polar opposite to anything they did or preached.

And to the editor of The Times: Your recent editorial on Indigenous Peoples Day led with this quote: “Whenever someone on the Island has a need, the Martha’s Vineyard community rallies in support.” Total poppycock, because you blatantly disregard West Tisbury’s exclusive beach policies, which are the antithesis of community. Silence is my validation, end beach apartheid. 

 

Erik Albert
Oak Bluffs