The name of our organization, No Place For Hate-Falmouth, has always been aspirational. It was never intended to describe Falmouth as it is; rather, it points us in a direction in which we always need to move.
Recent events in our town have only underscored the reality that there are among us people engaging in hateful acts. The spate of thefts of Black Lives Matter signs, the destruction of a rainbow-colored “Vote with PRIDE” sign in front of a faith community’s home, the stuffing of mailboxes with white supremacist literature, the racist and anti-Semitic graffiti recently discovered in a Falmouth conservation area are not only property crimes, they are crimes against freedom of expression, and they tear at the very fabric of the kind of community we aspire to build.
The most recent manifestation of hatred involved the placement of a Black doll’s head, with “[N-word] luva [sic]” written in marker across its forehead. It was left near a Black Lives Matter sign of a Hatchville resident over the weekend of October 23 to 25.
How should we, how must we, respond to such expressions of intolerance and intimidation?
First: If we see or know something, we must report it to the Falmouth Police Department. Chief Edward Dunne has explicitly stated that his department needs to know what is happening in Falmouth if it is to fulfill its role as protectors of all Falmouth residents effectively.
Second: Make our concern known to our elected officials, our select board, our state senators and representatives, asking them what they are doing to address this rise in hate-filled acts.
Third: Speak of these matters with your family, your friends and neighbors, in the faith communities and organizations to which you belong, encouraging them to raise their voices as well.
Fourth: Consider acquiring and displaying at your home or business a Black Lives Matter sign to express solidarity with that cause. For information about obtaining BLM signs, contact No Place For Hate-Falmouth at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Unless and until we see manifestations of hatred in all forms (racism, homophobia and transphobia, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, et cetera) as plagues that affect all of us, making our community hate-free will remain but an aspiration and not an achievable goal.
Nell Fields, Elias Lieberman, Seyana Muwasi, Pamela Rothstein and Oliva Masih White
No Place For Hate-Falmouth Steering Committee