Recent news reports concerning the purveyor of Trump-related merchandise in North Falmouth, and attacks directed at that merchant and his property, move us to share our reflections on what has transpired.
We do not question the right of the property owner to make his space available to this merchant, nor do we challenge the right of the merchant to market items that some deem offensive. We do not condone the vandalism directed at his pop-up store and the actions of a possibly disturbed individual.
These recent acts, especially in light of the recent thefts of Black Lives Matter signs and the placement of white supremacist flyers in a private mailbox, suggest a serious fraying of the social fabric of our Falmouth community. It also suggests a diminution of the concept of respect for the sensibilities of our neighbors.
This is not a partisan issue. Our commitment to a particular political party or candidate for high office should not blind us to the fact that each of us is entitled to express our opinion without fear of being attacked or having our property violated.
We need to be asking ourselves hard questions: Do my actions or reactions contribute to, or diminish, the well-being of my community? Am I prepared to defend the right of someone else to express, in a lawful manner, that which I find personally odious? Am I ready to engage in discussions with my neighbors and friends in ways that produce more light than heat?
No Place for Hate-Falmouth came into being, and exists today, to address the kinds of challenges reflected in the sorry incidents of the past weeks. We call upon the Falmouth community to join us in finding ways and forging paths to greater understanding that will help burnish our pride in our community.
Olivia Masih White
No Place for Hate-Falmouth