On Nantucket, a racist act gets a second look

Dugan Arnett of the Boston Globe –

The Black woman rose quietly from her seat at the back of the meeting room and made her way past the white faces that surrounded her, toward the front.

A Jamaican immigrant who worked as a nursing assistant on Nantucket, Rose Marie Samuels did not make a habit of frequenting meetings of the town’s Select Board. But on this chilly evening in March, she took her place at the microphone and requested what no one on this idyllic summer enclave had yet been able to give her: Answers.

“Today makes two years,” Samuels said in her accented English. “And nothing, still, has happened.”

On March 11, 2018, island residents awoke to a startling act of hate. The front door of the African Meeting House — a nearly 200-year-old former church that now serves as a symbol of the island’s rich Black history — had been defiled with racist graffiti: “N—– LEAVE.” The crime made national news, shocking many who couldn’t fathom such overt bigotry in a place of rarefied tranquility. Residents quickly condemned the vandalism, while local officials, labeling the act a hate crime, vowed to seek justice.

But justice hasn’t come.


About Radnor Reports

Ken Feltman is past-president of the International Association of Political Consultants and the American League of Lobbyists. He is retired chairman of Radnor Inc., an international political consulting and government relations firm in Washington, D.C. Known as a coalition builder, he has participated in election campaigns and legislative efforts in the United States and several other countries.
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