“Martha’s Vineyard” gets the pained eye roll once reserved for the adjacent island of Chappaquiddick. By Paul du Quenoy.
“VINEYARD HYPOCRITES!” announced a banner towed by a light aircraft for about 45 minutes earlier this week over the Martha’s Vineyard hamlet of Aquinnah, which until 1997 was known as “Gay Head.”
The demonstration was just one of many hard knocks Vineyard residents have endured since 48 mostly Venezuelan migrants were removed from the “sanctuary” island by the National Guard last Friday. After receiving basic support, but no invitations to stay on an island where 63 percent of homes are vacant in the offseason, the migrants now reside at Joint Base Cape Cod (JBCC), a military installation in mainland Massachusetts.
Critics have been relentless in calling out Vineyard hypocrisy. As a “sanctuary” jurisdiction in a self-proclaimed “sanctuary” state, Martha’s Vineyard joined other such places, which promise never to inform on migrants to immigration authorities. Yet it did precisely that the second even a small number of them appeared in their midst.
The Vineyard community allowed the migrants to sleep in a church hall and gave them basic meals before the military took them away in the presence of cheering crowds of well-off locals who sincerely believe they did a good and honorable deed.
From the moment their “humanitarian crisis” began, Vineyard residents congratulated themselves and lectured an incredulous world on their monumental virtue and inexhaustible compassion. The church where the migrants stayed, now styling itself “St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church and Sanctuary,” has advertised a service of “prayer, reflection, gratitude, and visioning” to celebrate the Vineyard’s resident “angels,” but not the “Venezuelan friends” they sent away a week earlier.
It was unclear if any migrants would attend, but they are now so far away it is hard to imagine how they could. The Vineyard’s status as an affluent resort island, where nearly 80 percent of residents voted for Joe Biden, and where signs purportedly welcoming immigrants, refugees, and indigenous peoples abound, enhanced the delicious irony.
After the narrative failed, everyone’s dumping on them. Even the left’s newspapers won’t defend them, except the local rag:
Unsurprisingly, no major publication has ventured any feature-length defense of the islanders. Only their local rag, the Martha’s Vineyard Times, has denounced the widespread “‘Vineyard hypocrites’ line” as a “false narrative,” the standard term of dismissal now used for any assertion that contradicts leftist values and claims. The paper also questions the use of the word “deported” on the curious grounds that the military base to which the migrants were removed offers “access to bathrooms, showers, and food.” How humane. What generosity. …
While some commentators have criticized Florida Governor Ron DeSantis for sending the migrants to Martha’s Vineyard, a social media search of every major platform now reveals much larger numbers blasting away at Vineyard shamelessness. Despite the best efforts of leading Democrats, it is simply too hard to convince any sane person that being sent by private plane to a beautiful New England hideaway resort is “cruel,” “sick,” “wrong,” “criminal,” or “un-American.” This is especially true when the well known alternative is homelessness and despair in impoverished border towns already overwhelmed by millions of other migrants who have been allowed in under policies advocated by those same Democrats.
The migrants haven’t helped the leftist narrative by praising the Vineyard’s beauty, suggesting that they would like to go back to the island, and — as reported by MSNBC — some even thanking DeSantis for sending them there. A “class action” lawsuit filed by only three of them against DeSantis and Florida transportation officials has offered the spectacle of people who entered our country illegally suing American public officials within days of their arrival under constitutional and civil rights laws that do not apply to them as noncitizens or residents. Media sources were quick to point out that an advocacy organization sponsoring the lawsuit received nearly $1.4 million from George Soros, the most hypocritical do-gooder of them all.
The right love it:
As the reenergized American Right peals with laughter, anti-Vineyard memes abound. One mocks a smiling and stylish Vineyard beauty watching the migrants leave. Another features an old Ku Klux Klan group photo featuring “Women of the Democrat Party” standing beneath a superimposed “Martha’s Vineyard” banner. Still another shows an island sign decorated with colorful diversity symbols proclaiming “Hate Has No Home Here,” with an asterisked note reading “and neither do migrants.” Several other memes transpose photos of Trump’s border wall construction to Vineyard vistas. The hip-hop artist Bryson Gray quickly released a single mocking Vineyard residents, with lyrics including “Let ’em stay at Obama’s house. No child left behind” and “They say they want open borders, but that’s really a lie.”
The Wall Street Journal flip-flopped from dismissing DeSantis’s airlift as a “stunt” to publishing a sober op-ed by Republican strategist Karl Rove observing the disparity between the massive number of illegal immigrants apprehended at the border and the comparatively few sent to Democratic-governed “sanctuaries.”
The comedic Onion, which mostly mocks ideas and public figures on the Right, could not resist satirizing Vineyard residents as spoiled, pompous, overprivileged fools suffering from an embarrassing lack of self-awareness.
In a rare moment of integrity, even the humorless New York Times admitted that the “progressive reaction was beyond parody.” The former paper of record conceded that DeSantis’ airlift “succeeded politically,” perhaps enough that it might persuade the Biden Administration to do better on border and immigration policy. …
It will be a very long time before many Americans can pronounce the words “Martha’s Vineyard” without the pained eye roll once reserved for the now funereal adjacent island of Chappaquiddick.