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I am writing to express my deep concern about the alarming increase in racist and antisemitic incidents that have recently occurred in Freeport.
In April, a swastika and racist slur were carved in a public restroom stall at 100 Main St., my place of work.
In August, three offensive racial slurs were spray-painted in the parking lot owned by L.L. Bean at Bow and Middle streets. And there was an incident involving a high school student hurling racial slurs at a classmate and an adult cyclist in the Porters Landing neighborhood.
This week, a swastika was carved in the playground at Morse Street School.
I personally reported the first two incidents to local police and the business owners and communicated with the spouse of the cyclist involved in the third incident. Regrettably, the response to these incidents has been less than satisfactory.
I do want to commend the RSU 5 superintendent for issuing a statement regarding the swastika found on school property. Their prompt removal of the graffiti and immediate condemnation of the incident are steps in the right direction.
It is disheartening that similar hateful incidents have occurred in Bangor, Hallowell, and Portland in recent days. I urge people across Maine to condemn these acts of hatred and work towards fostering an environment of acceptance, understanding and unity.
In Freeport, the town’s Social and Racial Equity Committee will convene at 6:30 p.m. on Sept. 27. I encourage all concerned community members to join me at this important meeting.