I read, with dismay, the June 21 article by Staff Writer Matt Byrne about an apparently racist incident during which a black man was treated badly at Shaw’s supermarket in Saco.

Why do we Mainers cheer for David Ortiz and Mookie Betts, admire Oprah, love the blues, can’t get enough Mexican food, but mistreat or even resent the people of color who live among us?

Reading about the experience of Rory Ferreira at Shaw’s, I can see how a small matter (requiring ID from each member of a couple to buy wine) can escalate into a dispute when one or the other party gets upset. And as soon as someone gets upset (the manager or the customer), the manager calls the police. Then the police arrive, causing alarm, which doesn’t defuse the situation. All this is unnecessary.

The Shaw’s story had a good outcome in that apologies were made by higher executives. But harm was done. Imagine how you would feel if the police were called just because you questioned a store policy. Would the same action have been taken if the customer had been white? In any case, it’s up to the manager to keep cool, listen to the customer, explain the policy and apologize for the inconvenience. Call the police only if the incident risks real danger.

Starbucks did it right. An incident occurred between an employee and black customers who were doing nothing out of the ordinary, resulting in a call to police. The coffee chain recognized the problem and scheduled racial bias training for the employees of 8,000 stores. They clearly recognized prejudice and wanted to avoid it in the future.

Let’s take the lead of Starbucks. Recognize our prejudices and use our own strength to overcome them. It all comes down to the universal law – treat everyone as we want to be treated.

Victoria Adams

Kennebunk