Letter to the Editor

The Island
Originally published in Island Ad-Vantages, June 25, 2020
Opinion - Time to address toxicity of hate crime

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My family has been coming to Deer Isle for 40 years. We are homeowners; we pay taxes. I have personally been involved with programs in the high school; we support the Ambulance Corps, the Fire Department, the Opera House, the various mentoring programs on the Island. We are committed to giving to the Island in relation to all that the Island has given to us.

Seeing the “White Lives Matter” and other unprintable signs, in adddition to a noose strung up overhead near the causeway, is the most disturbing sight imaginable. Yes, racism is alive and kicking everywhere. The noose display can be considered a hate crime.

The statement that Black Lives Matter is not meant to imply that other lives do not.

It is a specific statement meant to address the hundreds of years of slavery and oppression that Black people in this country and elsewhere have and continue to endure. It is also a statement that says, Black lives cannot be taken by violence as in George Floyd’s tragic and senseless murder. No one is denying the value of every human’s life.

These signs on Route 15 that confront everyone entering or leaving the Island violate the dignity of everyone on the Island.

I know this is not the intention of all Islanders. I know this Island is full of people who care about the quality of life for the whole community. It is a small group who are expressing this threatening and hateful sentiment.

This is the time for the community to step up and address the toxicity of this hate crime.

Monica Meehan McNamara
Deer Isle