DiverseCity (8)

As Trump Calls for Violence, We Must Actively and Loudly Say No

On Friday, July 27, President Donald Trump gave a speech to law enforcement in Long Island, New York, during which — for all intents and purposes — he essentially advocated violence against criminal suspects. “When you see these towns, and when you see these thugs being thrown into the back of a paddy wagon," Trump said. "You just see them thrown in. Rough. I said, 'Please don't be too nice.' Like when you guys put somebody in the car,…

Having to Work Twice as Hard (It's Far More Truth Than Hyperbole)

Even in a place as overall blue as Portland — we’re talking political inclinations, not summer skies and Casco Bay on a calm, clear day — that even progressive white people often think we people of color overstate just how steep a hill we have to climb in American society. Especially Black people. I've come to believe this from personal experience talking to white people and from gut feelings (not to mention the copious anecdotal evidence from POC I…

'Black Lives Matter' is More Than a Mere Slogan

“They’re just protesters. They don’t have a message. They don’t have a complaint. They don’t have nothing to say except Black Lives Matter, and that’s a bumper sticker.”   Those are the words of Stephanie Anderson, Cumberland County District Attorney, when she discussed her decision to end efforts to revive a restorative justice process with the 17 Black Lives Matter protesters who were arrested at a July 2016 demonstration on Commercial St. in Portland.   …

The Virulence of Racism, Even When Non-Whites Abound

A few weeks ago, a dear friend (who, like me, happens to be a Chicago transplant to Maine)  asked if I wanted to go to Boston to watch the Red Sox play the Chicago Cubs at Fenway Park. To be clear, I am not a sports person. However, coming from Chicago, I do feel a certain affinity for the Cubs, who only recently rejoined the winner’s circle with that World Series win after a nearly…

Racial Diversity is Only the Starting Point

I moved to Portland from York County almost two years ago after the collapse of my marriage. Seeing as how I wanted to stay in the area to ensure that my minor daughter would have access to both parental units, Portland seemed like a good fit. An added bonus: She likely wouldn’t be the only child of color in her classes. And at King Middle School, indeed she isn’t. However, it's become clear to me…

Moving From Talk to Results

While on Facebook recently, I read with a heavy heart a status update from a fellow woman of color in Maine that announced she and her family had decided that as much as they loved the state, they couldn’t make this place home. They felt that the racism was too deeply entrenched and it was too great a risk to their wellbeing to remain. On the surface, this woman’s plight (and her family’s response) might…

Our Foundation is Crumbling Because It Was Built on Supremacy

Remember that bit of wisdom that those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it? Well, start digesting this as well: America was built on the foundation of white supremacy. That’s not a guilt-trip or an accusatory slap to white people today. It’s simply a fact. We are a nation that was built on land stolen from nonwhite natives largely by the labor of people stolen from another continent and enslaved. That is…

Once More Into the Breach

After a hiatus from this space for a couple years, it feels quite timely that my return column kicks off the same week that this nation’s president-elect, Donald Trump, will be sworn in … barring any shocking last-minute twists. Nothing has been normal since the 2016 presidential election, so I’m not about to assume that the inauguration will go off without a hitch. “DiverseCity,” which ran in The Portland Phoenix from 2003 to 2014, has…
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