President Obama was in Selma last Saturday for the anniversary of Bloody Sunday, a day that began 50 years ago as a peaceful protest march and ended in beatings by police officers and shocking the nation, eventually leading to the Voting Rights Act.

Also last Saturday, Oklahoma University frat brothers sang a racist chant and posted it on YouTube. University of Oklahoma President David Boren was sickened at the news and did not waste any time kicking the frat brothers off campus and expelling two of the chanting ring leaders.

About the same time, Maine Republican state Sen. Michael Willette decided to post a tasteless racial “joke” on his Facebook page. Let’s be honest: It was no joke, it is a form of hate speech and there is no room for racism coming from elected leaders of our state.

The question now is: What will Michael D. Thibodeau, president of the Maine Senate, do about it? Will he respond the way Boren did and take action and express how he feels about racist remarks coming from members of the Maine Senate? Saying and doing nothing is the same as condoning the behavior.

“In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.” – M.L. King

Gus Goodwin

Portland