Did anyone else see the displays that took place in Portland and South Portland on July 4?

The displays of privilege, hypocrisy and bullying that happened on our two cities’ public social media groups that evening need to be addressed.

Juxtaposed to the 100-plus posts of new moms, elderly and pet owners politely pleading for neighbors to follow the ordinance in South Portland, an equal number of people belligerently posted their intention to ignore the ordinance. Multiple and various forms of “nothing you can do” comments ensued. “No cop is going to do anything about it.” “I’m a vet and I have zero PTSD, so any vet that tells you that is faking it to get your attention.” By the morning, both posts were entirely deleted. I am a data collector, so as I watched these posts, I collected the data.

I call these comments examples of “privilege”: To be aware of the ordinance and to boldly state you have an intention to defy it, all the while using toxic, aggressive language to let your neighbors know that law enforcement will do nothing to stop you.

Listen: I have a Black son. Can you imagine, if he dared to utter these words … that he intends to defy the laws and expects the police department to back him up. Oh, the reckoning you would bring to my door, to say the least. Your privilege is on display and some of you don’t even know it, Portland.

Oh, I am a native Mainer, too. So there is that. Ayuh.

Marie Boynton
South Portland