JULY 13, 2017 – The recent words and symbols of hate painted on the wall of the Marblehead causeway reminds us that despite educational efforts by elected officials, interfaith organizations, task forces, and the Anti-Defamation League, there are still those who seek to divide our community by marginalizing and bullying minorities. While the graffiti offended many, it served to remind North Shore residents that hate speech would not be tolerated. Two days after it was discovered, a phalanx of interfaith clergy, and local and state elected officials – along with the police chiefs from Marblehead and Swampscott – stood in solidarity against the hate speech at a rally attended by over 200.
Given the North Shore’s long history of exclusion – from area golf courses to beach and yacht clubs, to restricted neighborhoods that banned Jews and other minorities – the response by law enforcement and elected officials was another reminder that times had changed, and that the community takes hate speech seriously. The incident also serves as a reminder that we must continue to take a proactive role in promoting tolerance and civil discourse. And when those who hate, or seek to blame or bully the innocent, we must not be silent.