Dear Greens and friends,
First and foremost, we wish to express our deepest condolences to the families and friends who were most affected by the horrible murders in South Carolina this past Wednesday. This church shooting was clearly a hate crime and act of terrorism. The attack on the AME Emanuel church was not just an attack on the individuals and leaders of the church, but on an historic landmark in American Black History. Conversations about race have come to a forefront nationally thanks to the organizing by the #blacklivesmatter movement around the police violence that disproportionally affects Black Americans. Unfortunately, as a nation, we have only just begun to scratch the surface of the change that is needed to correct racial inequality.
While shootings are an obvious violence that America’s system of white supremacy encourages through it’s devaluation of non-white lives, less obvious forms of violence continually hit close to home around the country. Here in Maine, Portland’s refugee community faces a deadly threat with the removal of General Assistance funding reimbursements from the State. Asylum seekers are unable to work while their paperwork is processed with a legal minimum of 6 months waiting period, often taking far longer. This form of violence is less obvious but is every bit as much real as police violence.
As the Green Party, we should constantly be reevaluating our discussions on race. Mainer’s cannot hide behind an illusion that we are a ‘mostly white’ state and that these kinds of events don’t affect our communities or us. We are all deeply affected by these kinds of events.
Below we have a public conference call being put on by Showing Up For Racial Justice (SURJ) that you are invited and encouraged to participate in. We should also all feel encouraged to seek out additional ways that we can understand, contribute, help and listen.
MGIP State Committee
CONFERENCE CALL: bit.ly/SURJ-Charleston