White supremacist signs in Oak Bluffs under investigation


The Martha’s Vineyard state official said the Patriot Front signs were “clearly an attack” on the beach town popular with black families.

Several people walk past two shops at Dockside Marina in Oak Bluffs, a beach town on Martha's Vineyard.

The beach town of Oak Bluffs, located on Martha’s Vineyard, pictured September 23, 2022. Carlin Stiehl/The Boston Globe

Four signs that promoted a white supremacist group are examined in Oak Bluffs, a historic beach community in Martha’s Vineyard popular with black families.

Oak Bluffs police posted photos of two Patriot Front signs to Facebook on Sunday, urging the community to provide information about who put up the signs overnight. Signs shared on social media read “Strong Families, Strong Nations” and “America First” and the name of the group. The signs appeared to be stenciled in red and blue colors.

The organization depicted on the signs is a Texas-based white nationalist and fascist group. According to anti-hate group American Defense Leaguethe Patriot Front believes that “their ancestors conquered America and left it to them and to no one else.”

The group spreads its white supremacist ideas via banners and placards – like the one at Oak Bluffs – and even “flash demonstrations”. During these surprise marches, the group will sometimes detonate smoke bombs or attempt other similar attention-grabbing tactics.

Of the organization’s more than 150 members, about 20 are based across New England — the group is also one of the most active hate groups in the area. The Boston Globe reports.

As of 2pm on Tuesday, police said they still do not know who put up the placards and it is not immediately clear if charges can and will be brought against those who put up the placards around the city. The Cape and Islands District Attorney’s Office declined to comment on the investigation.

State Representative Dylan Fernandesa Democrat representing Martha’s Vineyard and surrounding communities, said the signage’s placement was “clearly an attack on Oak Bluffs as one of America’s historic black vacation spots.” In a statement, he identified the individuals who performed the stunt, also as “narrow-minded” and “cowards”.

The study of these signs comes at a time when white supremacist groups and the dissemination of their propaganda are increasing across the country and even in the more progressive areas of New England. Patriot Front members were marching through the streets of Boston last yearbanged drums along the Freedom Trail and reportedly assaulted a black musician named Charles M. Murrell III, who has since sued the group.

Tom Vazquez

Tom Vazquez is a USTimeToday U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Tom Vazquez joined USTimeToday in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with Tom Vazquez by emailing tomvazquez@ustimetoday.com.

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