The day after this newsletter went to print, George Floyd was killed by police officers in Minneapolis. Since then, protestors have taken to the streets across the country, once again calling for an end to police brutality against people of color and especially Black people. Meanwhile, the president has viciously called for a crackdown on people who are exercising their most fundamental rights.
All of us at the ACLU are feeling the pain and anger of this moment. We stand in solidarity with communities that are reeling. We join in the call for justice for George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and all those who have been needlessly killed by police. We join the Movement for Black Lives in calling for a reinvestment of resources out of police departments and into communities. We know that true justice will not be served until we have dismantled the historic and pervasive racism present in all of our systems.
Maine is not immune to this systemic racism. In 2018, two white men in Biddeford attacked and beat a Black man before chasing him with their truck. The same year a Black man was served a no trespass order at a southern Maine grocery store for simply asking to speak with a manager. Black school children in Maine are disproportionately suspended, expelled and arrested at school for the same behaviors as their white peers. And as you will read in this newsletter, Black people in Maine are now feeling a far greater impact from COVID-19 than white people. These are just a few of the many examples of the harm done by systemic racism in our state.
At the ACLU of Maine, we are committed to eradicating this inequity through the courts, legislative advocacy, public education, and by listening to and lifting up the individuals and communities that bear this harm. Thank you for joining us in this work. Together, we can create a Maine where the blessings of freedom, justice and equality are a reality for every one of us.
Executive Director, ACLU of Maine