My spirit has been lifted by the outpouring of people in opposition to our new president. With gratitude, these are thoughts for sharing.

I’m a white, middle-class, able-bodied, heterosexual cisgender male, and these reflections are addressed primarily to those who share these identities.

Pangs of threat and danger are now being felt. This isn’t new, but for many of us, a mask has been lifted off the racism, sexism and classism that have been ever-present for marginalized folks. I suggest and challenge us all to follow the leadership from marginalized communities as those who best understand the deepest roots of these dangers.

There’s a common cry at the recent movements suggesting “We are all immigrants.” This marginalizes indigenous people. We need to stand in solidarity with all those who have been marginalized, including indigenous people and immigrants. We can live in a welcoming and inclusive society. Maine is blessed with strong indigenous leadership.

At the Portland Jetport protest Jan. 29, a (white) speaker was describing the beauty of Portland’s diverse schools (with a “post-racial” tone).

As white people, we can’t say what a person of color’s experience at Deering High School was. Defining another’s experience is white supremacy. Colorblindness is damaging and minimizes historic trauma. Instead, let’s seek to take accountability for the damage whiteness has done, examine our egos and learn ways to fight white supremacy and all oppression.

We are at a critical juncture. We are powerful. We can make change. To do this we must learn our true, shared history. We must do our internal work to understand privilege and oppression. We must listen to people from communities that have not historically held the megaphone (as individuals, not representatives). I call on all people to join in with trust and love.

Dan Marks

Portland