If we are going to move forward as a state and as a country, we have to tolerate the discomfort of realizing that white privilege exists and that we, as white people in Maine, benefit from it even though we don’t make a conscious effort to prosper on that biological/God-given trait. It is why I, as a white person, do not get followed around a department store, and why no one reflexively locks the car doors as I walk by. It is why when I achieve something, no one automatically thinks my achievement meets some quota.

The June 19 Press Herald article “Maine State Bar Association apologizes for member’s comment about white privilege” quotes attorney Leah Baldacci’s statement about being “accuse(d) … of having ‘White Privilege.’ ” I ask her to read the above and realize that she misunderstands the concept, as she can’t be “accused” of something that just is.

She can, however, decide to turn her energy (using, no doubt, the same commitment and effort put forth to earn a law degree) toward understanding systemic racism and how that plays out in the practice of law and then work to make this a more just world. I sure hope that she takes that path.

Robin Hirsh-Wright


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