To the Editor:
On an Island, and specifically in a town steeped in a rich history of native/indigenous and African American history, it is indeed disturbing to hear that Oak Bluffs is experiencing white supremacy and racism. It is particularly troubling that our Island’s Black businesses have felt the sting.
Instead of giving white supremacists any additional oxygen to strengthen their ability to gather those who may be silently like-minded or straddling the fence, we invite you to join us in the
Step one: Support all Black-owned and native/indigenous–owned businesses on the Island.
Step two: Have antiracist tools in your toolbox to respond to racist comments or
actions. Be actively engaged and join us, the NAACP, M.V. Black Lives Matter (MV BLM),
and the M.V. Diversity Coalition (MVDC).
Step three: Vote and get involved in our democracy. We are actively assisting Island voter registration efforts, and MV BLM is organizing “get out the vote” campaigns.
We’re hopeful these suggestions offer all of us an opportunity to take positive action. In the past and still today, our Island legacy of perseverance, culture, economic sustenance, and many other contributions by native/indigenous, Black and brown people, cannot be erased by the hanging of racist signs.
We will not be discouraged or intimidated!
Fear and hatred will not prevail!
Toni M. Kauffman, president, NAACP MV
MV BLM steering committee
MVDC board of trustees