Have Gov. Mills, U.S. Sens. Angus King and Susan Collins, House Speaker Sara Gideon and Senate President Troy Jackson had “The Talk” that Black parents everywhere have with their children? How to act around police officers, in white neighborhoods, in retail stores because they’re Black. Will their children survive the night? Will they be brutalized because of their skin color?

George Floyd gasped for air as a white police officer’s knee pinned his neck to the street. He died under that knee’s weight and lifelong racism.

Ahmaud Arbery jogged when two white men hunted him down, shot him as they became his arresters, prosecutors, judges, executioners. Because he “looked like” a burglary suspect.

Our racism and systemic discrimination must be purged, by everyone. White, Black, Brown, Native Americans; Christians, Muslims, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, atheists; Democrats, Republicans, independents.

We ask Maine’s leaders to please share their response with families of Maine, of America – not only with their political allies. What words formed in their hearts as they saw George die and read about Ahmaud’s execution? Show how true, compassionate Mainers react to such horror. A video letter with them standing together, one voice?

Crispus Attucks, of African and Native American descent, was our first Revolutionary casualty. What would his response be?

We ask Maine’s leaders to hold Black parents in their hearts and prayers as they repeat “The Talk.” Be grateful their children and other young people in their lives breathe and jog safely without becoming victims because of their skin color. Maybe … tell them about “The Talk.”

June and Roy Smoot

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