On an Island, and specifically in a town steeped in a rich history of Native/Indigenous and African American history, it is disappointing that Oak Bluffs is experiencing white supremacy and racism. It is particularly troubling that our Island’s Black businesses felt the sting.

Instead of giving white supremacists any additional oxygen, we invite you to join us in the following actions:

Step one: Support all Black-owned and Native/Indigenous-owned businesses on the Island.

Step two: Have anti-racist tools in your tool box to respond to racist comments or actions. Be actively engaged and join us: NAACP, MV Black Lives Matter, (MVBLM) and the MV Diversity Coalition (MVDC).

Step three: Vote and get involved in our democracy. We are assisting Island voter registration efforts and MVBLM 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. Fear and hatred will not prevail. We will not be discouraged or intimidated.

Toni M. Kauffman, president NAACP of Martha’s Vineyard MVBLM Steering Committee

MVDC Board of Trustees