Letters to the Editor June 11

Jun 11, 2020

Thoughts on “white privilege”

Recent events caused me to reflect upon what is meant by "white privilege." It is something bestowed upon white men in America the moment they are born. I have it.

This privilege is not because of something I have, it is for the many things I do not or have not had:

  • My ancestors were not brought to this country as slaves.
  • I have not had my land taken from me and been forced to live on a reservation.
  • I have not been denied the right to vote because of my sex.
  • My forefathers never had to be fearful of lynchings.
  • I have never been forced to sit in the back of the bus.
  • I have never worked for less money than a female counterpart doing the same job.
  • I have never been interned in a detention camp by my own government.
  • I have never been denied entrance to an establishment due to my race.
  • I have never been hit by a police officer, nor attacked by a police dog.
  • I have never been sexually harassed.
  • I have never been denied the right to vote due to the color of my skin.
  • I have never had a racial/ethnic slur uttered towards me.
  • I have never had a burning cross placed in my yard
  • I have never lied prone on the pavement with an officer’s knee on my neck.

I have two questions: Will meaningful change come at last? If so how will change be done?

The answer to the first is maybe, and the second is this:

Change can come when those with the privileged decide to deal with the historical injustices America built. It is not about undoing this history, but acknowledging it, and then advocating for the common good, which means equal treatment under the law, equal opportunity, equal educational access, equal health care, freedom from food insecurity and the right to enjoy the freedoms I take for granted.

If this is not offered by, advocated by, legislated by and implemented by those with "white privilege" it will not succeed and history will once again repeat itself.

Richard Crossman

Camden

Stand up for what's right, for everyone

I was raised to use my voice when I see injustice, no matter who disagrees and to stand up for what I believe in. What has been happening to black people for hundreds of years, must end. While it is not my voice that needs to be heard, I hope it's my voice that helps you listen to those voices that do need to be heard.

I am ashamed to see what is happening. People have forgotten that America was supposed to be free, and we have been brainwashed into thinking it is. If it was free, George Floyd's daughter would have her daddy at her graduation, at her wedding, seeing her children.

This country is corrupt and we need change. Riots and protests are what bring change, since the beginning of America, we riot when we want justice. They are the voice of the unheard. I highly encourage people to research what is happening, I too grew up thinking cops were good people who protect us, that's white privilege. It is time to use our white privilege to help BLM.

It is our right to protest and I would rather die standing for black lives, then silently watch them die.

Lily Ireland

Oakland

And I approve this message

I have no idea how much a typical 24-second political advertisement costs. If the candidates are to be believed, they constantly suggest that each is spending multiple millions of dollars to run false and misleading political ads that include unflattering photos of each other.

These repetitive ads quickly become irritating and are only mute-button worthy. The following is a hypothetical political advertisement that could be praiseworthy during this time of national emergency:

"Dear people of Maine – as you are aware, I am running for national political office and I am seeking your support in the coming November election. However, in this time of national pandemic emergency and social upheaval, I also want you to know that I have made the decision to suspend televised political advertisements.

"This will allow my political campaign to redirect millions of dollars to addressing critical needs within our state such as programs to sustain small business, strengthening services for the unemployed, the procurement of needed medical supplies and equipment, fuel and food assistance efforts, and other acute emergency needs within our state.

While I am suspending televised political advertisements, know that I will continue to actively campaign and seek your vote. To do this I am committing to a series of televised forums where my political rivals and I can share the core beliefs and ethical principles that shape our political and policy positions, answer questions directly from Maine citizens, and debate the pressing issues of the day.

"I believe this would be the best way to engage with and inform voters as the November election approaches. I pledge to participate in as many of these open forums as possible.

Finally, I would ask that if you are contemplating donating to my campaign or national party, please consider contributing instead to support one or more of the critical need areas mentioned in my statement, or to any other charitable service organizations helping to sustain our fellow citizens in this unprecedented time of need.

"Many are truly suffering, and this is certainly a time that calls us to reconsider and reorder our priorities in working together to overcome the health and social challenges of our shared national and state catastrophe.

Thank you for your attention, understanding and mutual efforts, and know that I continue to welcome your support.

I’m ______?_____, and I approve this message."

Neal Guyer

Thomaston

What is it with masks?

I will admit I was a reluctant mask wearer at first. But, now that I’m used to it, I find it comforting to be among the mask wearers. And, I find it disquieting to encounter those who do not don a mask when in the proximity of others.

I’m sure I speak for many when I express my heartfelt gratitude, and empathy, for all of those employees of local businesses who are complying with the mask. Nowadays, I limit my trips primarily to Hannaford, the Farmer’s Market and Rankins. At each of those places all employees are wearing masks, as are most customers. And this makes the odd customer who does not wear a mask quite obvious.

I am not concerned about their reasons for no mask. I don’t care if it’s outright refusal, or political, or just being oblivious to the situation. And, if there is a medical reason why they cannot wear a mask then they should have someone else doing their shopping for them or, as has been suggested, make an arrangement with the business so their physical presence in the store is minimized – thanks SK.

Those non-mask wearers are putting us all at risk. Perhaps for me, as a mask-wearing customer, the risk is very small. But, and this is something those non-mask wearers should think seriously about: they are disrespecting every employee they have contact with by not wearing one.

You know the old adage: in order to be truly empathetic to a person’s situation, walk a mile in their shoes. So, all of you non-mask wearers, think how it must be for a person working all day wearing a mask. Try it yourself, you won’t like it.

Studies are now beginning to make a direct correlation between the wearing of face masks to cover your nose and mouth and prevention of the spread of COVID-19. If you are not part of the solution, then you are part of the problem, so please don a mask when you are around others. You may save a life. It might be your own.

John Fitzgerald

Camden

Thank you from Good Shepherd

Since the beginning of the pandemic, we (Good Shepherd Food Bank) have been channeling all of our efforts to be a stable and reliable resource for our great state of Maine. The Food Bank is committed to working with national, state and local partners to deliver critical services that ensure Mainers have access to nutritious foods they need to thrive. Thankfully, individuals, foundations, and businesses are stepping forward to help — especially, Knowlton Moving and Storage in Warren. We are so appreciative, as I’m sure our partner agencies are, of their efforts at the Knox county drop-off site.

Our Knox county stop has always been one of our largest drop offs. Through this one distribution point, we serve 29 individual partner agencies — food pantries, meal sites, schools and senior living facilities — and deliver more than 39,000 pounds of food, which means sending two full trucks! This means a lot of hands needed at the drop-off site.

The team at Knowlton Moving and Storage has gone above and beyond. In addition to the use of their space, they are helping us offload trucks by using their jacks and forklifts to make the job faster, more efficient and overall easier for everyone involved. Their employees are willing to accommodate, willing to help with big and little projects like picking up the trash, stacking pallets. Any need that comes, they’re always ready to lend a hand.

We wanted to express how grateful we are for their service to the community. And thank their team for pivoting and exceeding expectations. The quality of work is noticed and we want to make sure others are aware of how helpful the team at Knowlton Moving and Storage has been to our drivers and partner agencies.

Bill Turner and the Customer Service Team

Good Shepherd Food Bank.

 

Camden Area Conversation Circles begin in July

Thank you all who participated in person or online in the solidarity gathering on the Camden Village Green June 3. We came together over our grief and anger with regards to systemic racism and the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, and we don’t want the conversation to end there. W.E.B Dubois once wrote, “All this life and love and strife and failure—is it the twilight of nightfall or the flush of some faint-dawning day?” The work of seeking the dawn is ours to do.

One action step is to get educated together around racism and white privilege. Toward that end, we are working with Molly Mulhern to form the Camden Area Conversation Circles. Circles will begin after July Fourth and will initially feature book and film discussions led by trained volunteers. Both online and in-person (physically distanced) will be offered.

Thankfully, there are a lot of great resources but many are temporarily out-of-stock or only available electronically. We take this to be a good sign of engagement! For now, the book discussion groups will focus on the following books and film (please see www.rocklandstrand.com for a great list): “Guest Book,” by Sarah Blake; “White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism,” by Robin D’Angelo; and “Just Mercy,” a film produced in 2020.

We highly recommend the following books for potential future reading and discussion once they become available again (look for your copy ASAP):

“My Grandmother’s Hands: Racialized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending Our Hearts and Bodies” by Resmaa Mendee

“How to Be an Anti-Racist” by Ibram Kendi

“Between the World and Me” by Na-Tehesi Coates

“Waking up White and Finding Myself in the Story of Race” by Debbie Irving

To sign up as a CACC participant or a leader, go to this link and fill out the intake form by June 25. Group leaders will work with and contact their participants to schedule virtual or in-person meetings that will take place in July. For more information, call Rep. Doudera at 542-1990.

Sincerely,

Rev. Ute Molitor, First Congregational Church of Camden

Rep. Vicki Doudera, District 94

If you appreciated reading this news story and want to support local journalism, consider subscribing today.
Call (207) 594-4401 or join online at knox.villagesoup.com/join.
Donate directly to keeping quality journalism alive at knox.villagesoup.com/donate.
Comments (0)
If you wish to comment, please login.