Violent crime comes to previously peaceful and safe Martha's Vineyard. And guess why!
The previously unimaginable has happened: the storybook island of Martha's Vineyard, the seasonal home of billionaires and hundreds of elite cultural and political movers and shakers, not to mention one of three year-round homes of the Obamas, has finally experienced that rarity previously limited to the mainland: violent gun crime. And surprise: The alleged perpetrators are not MAGA white nationalists. Rather, evidence so far points to migrants, possibly of the illegal kind.
This is a bitter pill for most Vineyard residents to swallow. The island's six towns have all declared themselves to be sanctuary communities. Last September, the island rallied (AKA virtue-signaled) around fifty illegal migrants who were flown there at the direction of Florida governor Ron DeSantis — before they were bussed and ferried off the island less than two days later.
A violent wake-up call
Last Thursday, November 17, minutes after it opened for the day, a small bank in the island town of Vineyard Haven was invaded by three armed masked men. They threatened, subdued, and duct-taped the employees and proceeded to make off in a stolen car with an undetermined amount of cash — after brandishing semiautomatic handguns to intimidate the bank personnel.
Nothing like this crime has ever been seen on Martha's Vineyard. Previously, the crime rate on the small island off the southern coast of Massachusetts was almost nonexistent, confined to things like DUIs and the occasional passing of a bad check. But now, like many other blue communities that have declared themselves to be sanctuaries for illegal aliens, things are changing.
Many residents of overwhelmingly Democrat Martha's Vineyard declare themselves to be "abolitionists" who subscribe to the Critical Race Theory that the U.S. is a racist country that continues to require the abolition of systemic racism.
On the island today — two years after the death of George Floyd and the radical transformations that followed — signs in Vineyard stores, and even a huge permanent banner outside of a private home in Vineyard Haven (clearly in violation of local zoning laws), proclaim "Black Lives Matter" and "Migrants Welcome Here."
"Black Lives Matter," proclaims a permanent large sign erected at a private home in Vineyard Haven, Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts, November 12, 2022.
Photo copyright by Peter Barry Chowka.
This island-wide welcome mat has resulted in the presence of hundreds if not thousands of migrants, who now seem to be close to outnumbering the American citizens — most of them working- or middle-class — who reside year-round on the island. This radical and sudden demographic shift has been largely ignored by the island's news media.
Demography is destiny
A recent visit to Martha's Vineyard, which has a year-round population of about 20,000, illustrated the profound demographic changes taking place on the island. Making the rounds there this fall at one of the island's six food markets, for example, a majority of the shoppers — and even the store personnel — were obviously recent migrants, virtually all of whom were not speaking English. Most of the immigrant couples in the store had several young children in tow, communicating with them in their native language. Presumably, all of these kids are now being educated in island schools at taxpayers' expense.
This observation stands in radical contrast to the situation on the Vineyard only two or three years ago, when the population was overwhelmingly made up of English-speaking native-born Americans. For example, the Martha's Vineyard Commission, in a report published in 2019, put the white population of the island at 88.1%, Black or African-American 3.7%, and Hispanic or Latino 1.7%. Those statistics have been turned on their head based on observations of the island earlier this month.
As we know, increased, unregulated, illegal migration from third-world countries is associated with rising crime rates, and now Martha's Vineyard appears to be no exception.
Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama each spent seven of their eight summer vacations during their times in office on the Vineyard — which helped to establish the previously low-key destination as a world-renowned haven for the über-elite and billionaires. The presence of these two influential leftists and their large media entourages and followers also served as a promotional magnet for people in the Third World.
During the past two decades on Martha's Vineyard, McMansions have gone up, along with rents, and many who work on the island — including doctors, teachers, carpenters, and other tradesmen — can no longer afford to live there and must commute round trip from and back to the mainland each day on one of the ferry boats.
As the Boston Globe reported last September 24, in an article that challenged many of the myths about who lives on the Vineyard:
Many of the 20,000 year-round residents struggle to make ends meet, housing is desperately scarce and increasingly unaffordable, and the growing number of immigrants is rapidly diversifying the population[.] ...
The Vineyard's average weekly wage of $1,094 in 2020 was 70 percent of the state average, and its median home price — now approaching $1.3 million — was more than double the state's, according to an assessment of the island's housing needs.
The middle class has become an endangered species on Martha's Vineyard, as well as on Nantucket, its neighboring island off the coast of Cape Cod. In many ways, each island is a microcosm of life in the country as a whole, with the once thriving middle class being replaced by impoverished migrants while they are priced out by the newly wealthy.
The Vineyard was catapulted into the national news in September, when Gov. Ron DeSantis arranged the transport of 50 migrants, who had illegally crossed the wide-open southern border, to Martha's Vineyard. The fact that the migrants were transported off the island within 48 hours obscured the fact that hundreds if not thousands of other migrants — legal and illegal — continue to populate the Vineyard.
Residents are now anxious and on edge
At press time, only one of the three reported bank robbers — allegedly the getaway driver, who is from Jamaica — has been arrested. News accounts have variously described him as undocumented and documented. The other alleged perps are still at large. It will be interesting to see what if any penalties await the robbers if they are apprehended.
The Boston Globe, which has been covering the story, reported in its Monday editions, "As investigators' search for suspects in the violent armed robbery of a local bank branch continued ... residents remained on edge and anxious for an end to the manhunt that has upended normal life."
The Globe story continued:
The dramatic theft has left its mark on daily life. ... "Obviously, people are on edge and upset this happened," said Molly Coogan, the owner of the Bunch of Grapes bookstore. ...
The bank theft impacted hundreds of students and school staff — buildings were locked down Thursday, and classes ended early that day, according to Superintendent Richard Smith, who leads Martha's Vineyard Public Schools.
Smith said there will be an "added presence" of police at school buildings. ...
Some residents have made changes to their daily routines in the days after Thursday's theft at the Rockland Trust bank branch touched off a massive law enforcement response. ... Stephen Engley, who works at the Mocha Mott's coffeeshop, said Sunday afternoon that he has started locking his doors — his wife is pregnant, and he is concerned for the safety of his growing family.
Sign displayed in many store windows on Martha's Vineyard in the months after George Floyd's death in May 2020.
Hey, Vineyard residents, it's finally time for a wake-up call: welcome to 2022 and Joe Biden's transformed America, including open borders and millions of illegal migrants flooding the country. You asked for this, and now you've got it.