I just signed my name onto the Black Lives Matter mailing list. It is a powerful global movement, not just a meme on social media. Trying to pay attention.
Three African-American University of Maine alumni spoke to 300+ people on a UMaine-sponsored Zoom conference today. Two are Maine business owners; one is a Brown University professor.
I continue to be shocked by testimonials from Black Americans – my neighbors! – about their lived experiences: getting spat upon, demeaned, called the n-word, harassed, pulled over. Then I’m embarrassed to be shocked, so oblivious. One man gave up daylight-driving because of chronic cop stops. A woman talked about becoming pregnant shortly after Trayvon Martin’s murder. Her first thought on learning that she was carrying a boy? Dread. How would she keep her baby safe from murder-by-cop?
I’m glad our whitest-state-in-the-country is engaging in this work – uncomfortable, difficult, essential. Keep talking; keep reading.
Consider this: Overhaul or abolish police and prisons. Sounds radical, but the more I learn about the origins of both in our country, the more I believe we need a radical reboot. There are better, safer, more humane ways to establish justice.
My 60th year in 60,000 words
Day 289: 161 words, TOTAL = 48,228; 11,772 remaining
Robin Clifford Wood is a writer and writing teacher. She lives in central Maine with her husband and dogs, loves to be outdoors, and enjoys ever-expanding horizons through her grown children and their multi-species families.