Ed Markey says racist Nantucket graffiti is ‘as vile as it is cowardly’

The Massachusetts senator also said he found hope from the island's response.

Nantucket  MA  3/11/18  A file photo of  the Nantucket Museum of African American History.
A file photo of the Nantucket Museum of African American History. –File

Sen. Ed Markey reacted with disgust to the racist graffiti spray-painted on Nantucket’s African Meeting House over the weekend.

According to Nantucket police, someone wrote the words “N****** leave” alongside a crudely drawn penis in black spray paint on the front of the more than 190-year-old building on York Street sometime between Saturday afternoon and early Sunday morning.

“This act of racism in Nantucket is as vile as it is cowardly,” Markey wrote on social media Sunday.

As the Nantucket-based Inquirer and Mirror and The Boston Globe reported, the island’s residents mobilized Sunday morning to clean the hateful message from the little building. By 10 a.m., more than a dozen people reportedly gathered to scrub and sand the paint off its shingles and front door.


“The local community definitely came out and got to work,” African Meeting House manager Charity-Grace Mofsen told the Globe. “They brought out buckets, and soap, and sponges, and whatnot.”

Mofsen said what was left of the graffiti would be removed by a pressure washer on Monday.

The meeting house, which is owned by the Boston’s Museum of African American History, dates back to around 1827 and has served as a church, school, and social center for the island’s long-present black minority population. The building “touched the lives of escaped slaves, Native Americans, Cape Verdeans, Quakers, educators, and abolitionists over its history,” police wrote Sunday.

Markey said the community’s response Sunday gave him hope for society’s future.

“The community members that came together to scrub this hate from the walls of the African Meeting House give me hope that someday we can scrub this sort of bigotry from our society altogether,” he wrote.