Where are you?


Updated Sept. 29 

At one point, we actually counted the number of tweets by U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, targeting Martha’s Vineyard, and it was 62 — or about 60 more tweets than he wrote to defend his wife when then-presidential candidate Donald Trump mocked her appearance during the presidential primaries.

A bully — and Cruz is a bully in the image of his hero Trump — continues to bully in a vacuum. The victim hopes his friends and family will emerge in a strong defense to show they have his or her back.

Instead what we’ve heard from some Massachusetts leaders was mostly silence — disappointing quiet, even when they were asked to speak out.

U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who has certainly gotten her share of support from Islanders both in votes and campaign contributions, hasn’t stepped up to dispute the narrative being marketed by Cruz, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott. We’re told by Warren’s Boston office that she issued a press release. But if you’re not sending that release to the newspaper, what are you even doing?

Ditto, U.S. Sen. Ed Markey: Though he has shared a couple of tweets condemning the actions of DeSantis, they have been tame by comparison with the vitriol from Cruz, DeSantis, and Abbott. Public comments from those three have ratcheted up their base to the point that they have made threatening phone calls, written sarcastic emails, and posted distasteful memes on social media that depict the Island as a bunch of rich elites who couldn’t wait to rid themselves of the migrants and refugees.

Gov. Charlie Baker, who made the call to move the migrants and refugees to Joint Base Cape Cod, would surely set the record straight, right? Hello, governor … hello? Anyone there? No, Baker has clearly checked out — counting the days when he no longer has to answer for his lost political party. Baker made a radio appearance on Monday, and was asked point-blank to call out DeSantis. He passed: “I’m not running for president, so why engage in what is obviously a presidential debate?” This has nothing to do with presidential politics, and all to do with DeSantis making Vineyarders a prop. It shouldn’t be that difficult for Gov. Baker to stand up for six communities he serves.

U.S. Rep. William Keating, who represents the Island in Congress, failed to sign on to a congressional letter that calls for a Department of Justice investigation. There were 46 co-signers, including four Massachusetts representatives, but no Keating. The Times has since learned that Keating’s office has signed on to other letters calling for an investigation and has also requested a congressional hearing on the topic.

Even former President Barack Obama, who has a home on the Island and is the reason that DeSantis, et al., targeted Martha’s Vineyard “to own the libs” hasn’t said a word. It’s not like the former president has been silent on issues since he left office, so why not at least tweet your support of your fellow Islanders, or issue a statement when asked?

Meanwhile, a nearby airport — not on the Island — agreed to fly a banner that disparaged Islanders with a sign that read, “Vineyard hypocrisy.” That banner literally flew under the radar — the pilot staying far enough away from the airport tower so he did not have to identify himself under FAA rules. Did the airport need the money that much?

Then two daily newspapers, one of which purports to cover the Vineyard, allowed newspaper ads that mocked the Island. Along with being grossly inaccurate, the ads were a disgusting portrayal filled with uninformed clichés. We’re certain the newspapers got some negative feedback from the poor decision, and a spokesperson for Gannett, the corporate conglomerate that owns the Cape Cod Times and Providence Journal, issued a statement saying they don’t plan to run it again. But who thought it would be a good idea in the first place?

We’re grateful for state Sen. Julian Cyr, D-Truro, and state Rep. Dylan Fernandes, D-Falmouth, who have been strong advocates for Martha’s Vineyard in the days after the DeSantis political stunt. Both of them have paid the price of being bullied and threatened by DeSantis, Cruz, and Abbott supporters for showing care and compassion to the migrants and refugees while calling out DeSantis and his cronies for their inhumane treatment of the individuals from Venezuela. We have to believe they would have appreciated some reinforcements from Warren, Markey, and Keating — politicians they have both supported.

On Sunday, The Boston Globe had a story titled “Martha’s Vineyard was portrayed as rich, white, and elite, but there’s another side to the Island.” While we would have preferred the headline “Martha’s Vineyard was portrayed as rich, white, and elite, but that’s not true,” it was at least an attempt to push back against the narrative being fueled by Fox News host Tucker Carlson, other right-wing “news” outlets, and that right-leaning nonprofit that took out the newspaper ads.

It’s not too late for Warren, Markey, Keating, and Baker to speak up on behalf of Martha’s Vineyard and correct the record. Where are you?

An earlier version of this editorial mentioned that Keating did not sign onto a letter calling for a federal investigation. While that’s true, the congressman has signed onto other letters and has requested a congressional hearing. 


  1. While I have a lot of respect and admiration for Barack Obama, he is not an “islander”. He’s a summer person. There is a difference.

      • So, by your definition all the seasonal, absentee land investors, speculators and wash-a shores are considered “islanders” ? Seems kind of diluted and generally all encompassing. My thoughts go with people who have a demonstrated affection and loving commitment to our island, it’s ideals, cultures as well as it’s proud history. I know many year around individuals and families who have rented here for decades and never paid a dime in property tax. Most are deep rooted and very passionate about our rock.That’s an ” islander” Bud ! Any nouveau riche, like Obama, can buy some dirt here but he ain’t no ”islander.”

        • Eddie– Not everyone who lives here year round shares all those lofty vaguely defined things you speak of.
          We just celebrated “indigenous peoples day”.
          There are many people here who don’t really consider the traditions of the native American people who’s culture, ideals and proud history spans thousands of years.
          Some would rather celebrate the genocidal actions of conquistadors who crushed that proud culture.
          The Vineyard also has a proud LGBTQ community here.
          A strong and tightly knit Brazilian community.
          Do you celebrate the ideals and values of those islanders ?
          How many times do we see negative comments about this island from year round commentors on this very forum ?
          I have been here for 36 years– I know the values and ideals of my fellow islanders.
          I can assure you that Mr. Obama shares more of the ideals, culture and pride in our history than you do.
          It just depends on how you define those things.
          And when people pay rent, part of that money helps the landlord pay property taxes.

          • I, also, understand and appreciate the customs, ideals and cultures of our islands’ population make-up.However you seem to be sending mixed messages about anybody that pays property tax is an ”islander”. Once again I disagree. Merely buying piece of land or seasonal house does not automatically ascend you to the support and sharing of our values here. Your assurance of what Mr. Obama shares rings hollow as I have not seen any evidence of his commitments, other than an ill advised tent party summer bash smack in the middle of a major pandemic event . Real “Islanders” were indeed hired to serve cocktails and caviar. How nice !

          • Eddie–I guess if one has to “ascend” to the values of “real islanders” , I will agree with the likes of Ron DeSantis and Greg Abbot that we are entitled elitists.
            I value honesty– some others here clearly do not.
            I believe in the right of a woman to choose what to do with her body -some others here clearly do not.
            I believe destitute asylum seekers should be humanely treated in accordance with our federal immigration laws —
            some others here clearly do not.
            I believe that people have the right to marry who they want, use the bathroom of the gender they identify with and consenting adults can have sexual relations in any manner they want—–some others here clearly do not.
            Who chooses which set of “values” are islander values?
            It would seem to me that either I have “island values” or the “others” do.

            How many documented cases of covid resulted from that party ?
            In case you forgot, none.
            Everyone was vaccinated and tested before entering the “tent”.
            That bible study group that put their faith in God rather than masks or social distancing produced 11 documented cases.
            Why are you not mentioning that ?
            After all, most of the people at Obamas’ party were not “Vineyarders” Everyone in the bible study group was.

      • I would place “a profound love of the island” at the top of the list of prerequisites to the coveted title of “Islander”.
        There are taxpayers with no more interest in the island than as an investment; no love, no “islander”.

  2. Katherine–I assume “BHO” refers to the initials of the 44 th twice elected president of the United States. Could you tell us why you didn’t just use his name, what the “H” stands for, and why it seems to be important to you ?
    Also, it seems you think he can have dual residency in Hawaii and Chicago.
    Why not call him a Vineyard-Chicago-ite ?
    Or better yet, A Hawaiian-Chicago-Vineyard-ite ? Three is better than two.
    Even Steve Bannon got to register to vote in Florida and New York.

Comments are closed.