To the Editor:
I want to acknowledge and thank the Shelter Island student leaders, Emma Gallagher, Henry Binder, and Abby Kotula, as well as other students, for helping to organize a carefully constructed, peaceful rally that focused on the Black Lives Matter Movement, which is being expressed and embraced by many across the United States and around the world.
The former graduates who spoke helped educate and provide us with a real understanding of what it’s like for a young black person growing up on Shelter Island and attending our school. Not only were these messages well-received, but they were extremely helpful in allowing all of us to better appreciate the subtle, and sometimes not so subtle, ways in which we communicate our stereotypes and prejudices toward others. As an elderly white male, it was somewhat painful to hear, but important that it was said. Hearing these painful thoughts and feelings should make us all reflect on what is happening today. If there is one thing that people felt across the huge crowd was that it’s time for real change — now is that time.
I want to thank all of those who spoke during this rally. It took courage, and you all chose your words so carefully. For those hundreds of Islanders and visitors who attended, it might have been the best two hours of the year. Personally, it provided me with hope for the future.
This is an absolutely wonderful place to live. Our students and young adults have challenged us to listen, learn and grow as a community that embraces diversity and treats all of its citizens with respect.
Councilman, Town of Shelter Island
To the Editor:
We’ve had marches for women, gays, blacks, and recently marches for George Floyd, one of which was here on Shelter Island on June 14 (see story, page 1). I commend Emma, Abby and Henry for standing up for their beliefs along with our Police Chief James Read, our Town Board and Superintendent Doelger for working together with the students to help them have this peaceful march.
Unfortunately, many marches that were once peaceful have progressed into ones that burn our flag, destroy property, cause bodily injury, death and finally have segued into the current “peoples’ states” such as Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone (CHAZ) in Seattle. The New York Times quoted a demonstrator there saying it is part of “an experiment in life without the police,” and described it as part festival and part commune.
This “festival” is full of graffiti such as “Black Lives Matter,” Kill The Cops” and foul language. It has armed checkpoints, according to the police, a list of demands signed by Black Lives Matter to abolish the police and the court system, give prisoners the right to vote and provide a re-trial for all black people serving time for violent crimes, among other dictates.
I am dismayed that law abiding citizens would honor a person with Mr. Floyd’s background and support a group such as BLM that has let itself become overridden with violent members. I believe their destructive actions are detrimental to the advancement and well being of the good black people in our country. Yes, Mr. Floyd’s death should not have happened but neither should the injuries and deaths of numerous cops this past two weeks and over the years. Where are the protests and overblown news media supporting them?
Take a look at Raz Simone’s rap on Youtube and see what CHAZ looks like. Our country is collapsing into the poverty and oppression of socialism. Is this where you want our country to go?
To the Editor:
Does the valedictorian of Shelter Island High School Class of 2020 know how to use a comma? (See “Time for a change,” June 11). Nearly every compound sentence in her article is missing a comma. She also inserts commas unnecessarily when writing a compound predicate. I also noted her inconsistent use of the serial comma. My final observation is that she started a new paragraph without completing her thought.
This certainly does not reflect well on the school’s English Department or whoever is proofreading the Reporter. I apologize, but it is a distraction when trying to read her piece.
Theresa Lydia Kilb