I read with interest the recent Maine Voices columns “ ‘Whitewashing’ history gives youth distorted view of America,” by Sam Pausman (June 26, Page A12) and “Let us become a Juneteenth nation, not a Fourth of July one,” by Jackie McNeil (June 27, Page A10). Both express support for Black Lives Matter, but focus mainly on terminology.

Our history of slavery is shameful, but it is our history. I feel we should primarily try to improve lives in the present.

We need to address police brutality, but we need police. Civilian oversight might help. Police have great power and do not govern themselves well. They should not have immunity for criminal acts.

The Fourth of July celebrates our independence from England, and is important historically. Juneteenth is also significant, but it is not interchangeable with Independence Day.

Economic injustice and deficits in education, housing and job opportunities are interrelated, and all need to be addressed.

The systemic and cultural aspects of racism are difficult and uncomfortable for whites to face, and they are often ignored.

I hope that we will be able to utilize this movement to correct these devastating problems while recognizing that our country, while flawed, is still our country – for all of us.

Nancy Barber
Bath


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