“In a racist society, it is not enough to be non-racist, we must be anti-racist.”
– Angela Davis

We are witnessing a very needed revolution. The murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor made us reach “enough is enough.” Hashtags were created, protests are ongoing and it’s easy to overlook the urgency of bringing this revolution home.

It’s easy to condemn the murder of George Floyd. It’s easy to tweet and post #blacklivesmatter; it’s even more easy to be a great ally to your black friends by amplifying their voices. But that isn’t enough. The urgency of now is to carefully bring this revolution home, in your own state, your own city, your family, your friends, to the causes you donate to, to everything about your existence, and ask yourself: Am I truly anti-racist?

Being anti-racist demands that one do anything possible to abolish the construct of racism and inequalities it sustains daily. Maybe this is the time to all ask ourselves, what else can we do on top of what has been done or is being done? Knowing that Maine over the years has welcomed hundreds of immigrants, refugees, and is becoming more diverse, now is the time for all of us, as Mainers, to ask ourselves if we are abolishing institutionalized racism and making sure our communities are built on racial equity.

Protesters spread out along the road in front of the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office in Wiscasset on Friday to show their support for the Black Lives Matter movement. Kathleen O’Brien / The Times Record

Some of us are sitting with the despair and the hopelessness of being part of the minority in this country, and we wonder if we are next. We wonder if our lives will truly matter beyond being hashtags. We wonder as we organize, educate, write, but what we do is never enough because more needs to be done by our allies, who now must carry this revolution in their homes. It starts with simple questions: How do I use my privileges as a person who might never have to endure discrimination based on my skin color? How do I intentionally support minorities I know? The neighbors? My kids’ friends? The organizations I donate to? The causes I advocate for? Are they rooted in racial justice?

There is no doubt the events unfolding in this country for the past days have affected all of us one way or another. The Black community in this country is mourning, crying out loud and these times louder than before, demanding that we get allowed to live. The collective organizing that is taking place could be summarized in the words of Martin Luther King Jr. during his speech “I Have a Dream” at the March on Washington:

“We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now is the time to rise from the dark and the desolate valley of segregation to the sunlight path of racial justice. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God’s children. It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment.”

MLK’s words are unfortunately very much valid, half a century later, and the urgency to abolish racism is now. I hope we all decide that the Maine we want to live in, is Maine where racial equity reigns, and all minorities are protected.

Comments are not available on this story.