‘Wash-ashore’ is insulting

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To the Editor:

A recent comment about giving money for the vet bills of a chicken, “at least it isn’t a wash-ashore or a tourist,” pointed up the attitude of some locals that no matter how long some of us live here or what we contribute, they will never appreciate what we bring with us to the community. This is really discouraging, and frankly despicable considering how many Island organizations are made up mostly of people who at some point came from off-Island.

If you want people to volunteer in local organizations and charities and town committees, then at a minimum acknowledge that the term “wash-ashore” is offensive and insulting, implying that we are garbage which just happened to float in on the tide.

Most of the people whom you disparage as “wash-ashores” have spent years of their lives planning and saving, and making real sacrifices, to be able to move here. And when we do, we actively participate to support this place because we have chosen it as where we want to live because we love it. We may even appreciate how special this Island is MORE than someone who was born here, precisely because we have lived in other places. So please, ditch the attitude.

Ellen Miller
Vineyard Haven