Behind Closed Doors, Martha's Vineyard Liberals Reveal Their Hypocrisy | Opinion

"At some point in time, they have to move somewhere else," Martha's Vineyard homeless shelter coordinator Lisa Belcastro told local media after two planes carrying illegal immigrants landed at her "sanctuary destination" island's only airport, courtesy of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. "We don't have housing for 50 more people," Belcastro implausibly claimed for an island community of 17,000 permanent residents that houses as many as 200,000 people every summer.

In the island's offseason, 63% of its homes, whose median value is $1.35 million, are vacant. Former President Barack Obama's property alone reportedly has 10 bedrooms. As of this writing, Airbnb offers 355 vacancies. Nevertheless, not one of the Vineyard's residents, nearly 80% of whom voted for Joe Biden, is on record having offered an extra bedroom, guest cottage, pool house, basement, unclaimed rental, gazebo, or tent to accommodate the migrants, who slept in a church hall. Instead, liberal residents congratulated themselves on their "compassion" for providing basic services for less than 24 hours before soliciting donations on the internet and demanding government solutions.

A GoFundMe campaign collected $43,000, enough to buy each migrant a new moped. If you haven't heard of a "Mopeds for Migrants" program, don't be surprised. Within 36 hours, the new arrivals were gone, deported by bus and ferry to the mainland—perhaps past a now-ironic official sign proclaiming that Martha's Vineyard residents "stand with IMMIGRANTS, with REFUGEES, with INDIGENOUS PEOPLES."

These indigenous refugee immigrants, however, were speedily "offloaded" at Joint Base Cape Cod, a military installation now housing them in "dormitory-style accommodations." They were "escorted" by 125 Massachusetts National Guardsmen, mobilized to address the "humanitarian crisis" posed by four dozen poor people of color. That's 2.5 Guardsmen for every man, woman, and child—ensuring that even the most delicate petal in any Vineyard flower bed wouldn't be disturbed during the affluent and overwhelmingly white island's ethnic cleansing. Video of residents gathered to see the migrants off shows them cheering the restoration of pale normality as the buses departed.

If these sobering facts suggest Vineyard liberals are hypocrites unwilling to be the very change they wish to see in the world, a dive into their internal chatter confirms it. Nobody with Vineyard connections agreed to speak on the record for this article; all of those in contact feared retaliation from neighbors who sound far less tolerant than their "In This House, We Believe..." signs might suggest. Vineyard informants and the New England journalist Aidan Kearney, however, have provided screenshots from "closed" online island discussion groups, where residents revealed their true feelings.

The "not-in-my-backyard" contingent was amply represented by Esther Caroline Deming, a matron of the Martha's Vineyard Ballroom Dance Society, who literally looked forward to when the migrants "will no longer be in our backyard." Generously conceding that "we should treat them like human beings," she sent them extra groceries from her fridge.

Marthas Vineyard Migrants
Volunteers mingle outside of St. Andrews Episcopal Church on September 15, 2022 in Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts. Two planes of migrants from Venezuela arrived suddenly Wednesday night on Martha's Vineyard. The migrants are being taken care of at the church for now. Jonathan Wiggs/The Boston Globe/Getty

Fellow progressive islander Deb Dunn announced a fund for the migrants "to get transport to family members in other states," far away from anything she might hold dear.

Leslie Finnegan was "sure that once transportation can be arranged, they will be taken to Boston," a hundred miles away from her. When someone asked "why not keep them" and invited Finnegan to "show the world what opening your home looks like," she replied "the wonderful MV community has welcomed them with open arms"—if only for a few fleeting hours before a military detachment removed them.

"Can we just come and give them nice clothing?" asked Debra Marlin, whose career appears to involve painting pictures of dogs. One migrant was later spotted wearing a Ruth Bader Ginsburg T-shirt, so Marlin may have contributed something—if not the use of her beautifully appointed canine art studio, which looks spacious enough to house a migrant family.

Pat Nagi—whose tweets (now "protected") have called for the deaths of gun rights advocate Kyle Rittenhouse, former Missouri Governor Eric Greitens, and former President Donald Trump—noncommittally asked, "What else do they need?" A neighbor reminded Nagi that she owns two Vineyard rental properties that are now presumably vacant, but her militant leftism does not appear to have accommodated further initiative or even the courtesy of a response.

When Amy Lemieux, a woman of no discernible occupation who seems to spend a lot of time skiing, was challenged to welcome migrants into her Vineyard home, she replied that she had "been looking all day for how I can support the efforts." Somehow, she just couldn't figure it out before their deportation from her idyllic island.

Carole W. Saucier, whose website advises on proper care for reptiles, made no public offer of assistance to her island's new human arrivals, but posted that she could not "believe they delivered these poor people to one of the most expensive places to live." What a faux pas!

Yoga and walking enthusiast Maria Schneiderman Cheevers (she/her/hers, in case you were curious) also betrayed no humanitarian inclinations, but condemned DeSantis for allegedly wanting to "rob" women of what she called their "bodily attonomy" [sic]. She might have watched MSNBC's coverage, which reported that the migrants are "not angry with Ron DeSantis" and "are actually thanking him for having brought them to Martha's Vineyard." Maybe she was too busy learning how to spell.

The final word goes to a Vineyard "author" and self-identified Democratic voter whose Facebook name is "Sy San." "Now the illegal immigrants are being transported to us because our votes agreed to support them," Sy posted in a singular resort to reason, "I can't understand how anyone can formulate a logical argument as to why we shouldn't receive these folks." At least one state governor agrees with Sy San and promises to send more. Let's hope he does, and then make popcorn to watch how Sy's hypocritical neighbors react to embracing greater diversity.

Paul du Quenoy is president of the Palm Beach Freedom Institute.

The views expressed in this article are the writer's own.