By Jeff Petriello
A promise is a pact made from one party to another, ensuring future action with only the flimsiest of assurances: words. Provincetown is a community that, according to US Census data, is over 91% white. This is almost 20 percentage points above the total US population, and points to a disparity that must, after all, come from somewhere. No place in America is “naturally” white. We, my fellow white folx reading, should feel empowered to question this disparity, to talk about it openly, and decide how we react to it. It’s not a matter of recognizing a holiday that Black folx have been celebrating for over 150 years just fine without us, but of showing up again and again, and making consequential, actionable decisions that benefit folx other than ourselves.
When I think of Provincetown’s next generation, I think of it much like how I do the next generation of our nation – queerer, blacker, browner, and more equitable. The creation of an office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in our local government was certainly a step in the right direction, but it cannot be a scapegoat for our own inaction as individuals. I love this town with all my heart. I want it to be the dream many of us talk about it being – one that is so necessary and vital to our country. It will take work to live up to that promise. Here’s to finding joy in keeping it.
Jeff Petriello is a member of PLOVR, the Provincetown League of Visionary Revolutionaries, and invites you to join at https://ptownplovr.wixsite.com, where you can help organize the next round of Community Conversations on Race.