John Balentine’s May 7 column, “Portland cemetery reflects Maine unity,” simultaneously attempts to pose as a unifier while being a denier of white privilege, invoking the unity of humanity in death, with the Evergreen Cemetery in Portland as an example.

John begins his “editorial” discussing recent tombstone tipping at Evergreen, attributing the event to male teenagers. From personal experience in Ohio, tombstone tipping includes female teenagers also. While well-intentioned, John’s assertion is sexist.

To prove his assertion that white privilege does not exist in Maine, John offers: “… near the cemetery office building, two short rows of gravestones” and a list of 18 names to prove that Maine is diverse in its commonality of death. Names mean nothing. My wife and I have Irish and German/Norse surnames, respectively. Our children are Caucasian, African American and Asian.

The sample size of John’s “proof” is laughable in size alone. Maine is one of the whitest states in the United States. The same is true in death. Could it be that group of graves was interred there, close to the office, by the administration of the cemetery, appeasing the white families of others buried farther away?

Is this the best the “Forecaster” can do to obtain reasonable editorial dialogue?

Loren D. Porr
Topsham