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Two little words

As a 68-year-old white, retired history teacher, I have followed the sad state of our recent political discourse. My first vote was in 1972 for George McGovern. It was clearly a minority vote as he went on to one of the greatest landslide defeats in history. However, I was convinced having followed the Watergate saga, that Richard Nixon was indeed a crook. History proved my youthful perspective correct.

As the country finds itself at another crossroads, one of our most divisive issues is the legacy of racism in this country — deep, systemic, institutional racism that keeps America from reaching its full potential. The Black Lives Matter movement has become ubiquitous, but the reaction to it is anything but universal. When I see BLM signs, I read it as “Black Lives Matter, Too.” Unfortunately, many of my friends see the same message as “Black Lives Matter, Only.”

Two little words, and it seems we are from different planets. I do not see the BLM movement as anything but legitimate and long overdue. To deny institutional and social racism in America is to avoid the lessons of history, as well as daily evidence that jumps across our television screens.

So, why are many of my white friends threatened by the BLM movement? They see special rights and privileges for people of color at their expense. For them, it is a zero-sum game; if people of color win, white people lose. Unfortunately for them, the opposite is

true.

Think of this analogy: if I hold a lit candle and lean over to light yours, I am not left in

darkness; we both hold lit candles with which to see the way. True justice and equality is not

a zero-sum game, but, rather a win-win. When all segments of our society regardless of race,

gender or sexual preference have full access to the American dream, this country will unleash

the greatest potential of any previous civilization.

Tony Hamlin

Milo

Repeating history

History is repeated, repeatedly. Heavily banked, party-backed candidates push to the front of the lines of those competing for the highest electoral offices, to fight out an either-or rivalry thick with misinformation, promises, and distortive accusations. Nevertheless, developments in our political system and in our regional and national challenges are still changing dramatically.

One new key factor of the coming U.S. Senate election in Maine is ranked-choice voting. This will allow us to vote for whatever candidate, of any party affiliation or none, whom we believe best suited to serve our nation at a time of multiple crises and severe internal divisiveness, while we also identify a second and even third choice — to whom our votes will default if our first choice doesn’t come out on top.

This system for electing key public servants prevents any candidate from becoming a spoiler. However, media throughout Maine continue to focus almost entirely on candidates of the two dominant parties with huge financial support from unknown lobbies, corporations and wealthy patrons, as though only those chosen by their party machines and loyal party voters are deserving of attention.

Lisa Savage, running as an independent, deserves much closer inspection. Her principles have not been obliged to compromise in favor of behind-the-scenes party power dynamics.

I hope regional press and television will support real democracy, by improving informative coverage of her campaign. It can wake people up and inspire vital attention. It’s done so for me.

Steve Benson

Surry

Time for the truth

I am so tired of watching and reading about racism, LGBTQ, statues and trying to erase history.

Yes, changes have to be made in this era. Slavery was bad and we can acknowledge that it happened to people of many races and colors. The fact is that we have to accept the truth about our heritage and move forward to better ourselves in this time and age.

Now I read that students in Ellsworth wanted to paint crosswalks in support of the LGBTQ community. The color of the rainbow making it the symbol of the LGBTQ flag.

Let’s set the record straight! Do these students really know what the rainbow really stands for or its existence? God has created the rainbow as a sign of His covenant that He would not destroy the earth again by water ( Gen: 11-13). This was the first time man had ever seen the rainbow. The rainbow is displaying His symbol of glory, grace, patience and to bring people to repent.

The truth is the rainbow will fully reveal God’s glory and love towards everyone who believes in Him. The Bible does not lie.

Scott Leavitt

Millinocket