MPA members stand with all of those who are condemning the murder of George Floyd and mourning the loss of countless other victims of police violence and systemic racism, in Maine and across our nation.
The murder of George Floyd by police is another heartbreaking tragedy, another loss of life resulting from a long history of police violence against people of color in America.
Police violence against communities of color is not a new phenomenon. Policing in America originally emerged out of slave patrols used to control and harm Black bodies. Systemic racism and white supremacy are deeply ingrained into the very fabric of this nation and the result is a policing and criminal justice system that perpetually targets and attacks Black people.
The wave of protests across the country are a necessary and legitimate response to this long history of racial discrimination, economic deprivation, and police violence. We stand with the protestors in demanding change.
Despite being the whitest state in the country, Maine is not immune to racial injustice and systemic racism. Black people, who make up 1.2% of the population in Maine, are overrepresented in our prisons, are at higher risk of contracting COVID-19, and face systemic barriers to access healthcare, education, housing, and other essential needs. These inequalities are not inevitable; they have been constructed, and they can be dismantled.
The moment before us holds both peril and possibility.We can’t let this moment be a familiar repeat--a senseless murder followed by protests and leaders who shake their heads and offer prayers, but not policy change. This week, MPA staff and volunteers are meeting with allies in Maine and across the nation who seek to recommit to building a multi-racial movement for collective liberation and using this painful moment to escalate demands for change.
Our friends at Stand Up Maine are maintaining a list of local protests and other events in Maine that you can attend. We suggest doing so in a physically-distanced way, keeping in mind Maine's protective measures to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
If you would like to donate, here are some organizations on the front lines, demanding justice: Black Visions Collective, Minnesota Freedom Fund, Northstar Health Collective, Reclaim the Block, Unicorn Riot, Just Georgia Coalition, and Louisville Community Bail Fund.
Black Lives Matter. Period.