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Black Lives Matter

    Since the protests following the killing of George Floyd and the plea / insistence that Black Lives Matter, I've noticed a number of placards and road signs in our rural county that announce All Lives Matter or America Matters or Maine Lives Matter. In these times of social isolation from pandemic and serious social division as a nation, road signs are sometimes as close as we get to a conversation.  So let's talk!

    Why do folks put up those signs?  Is it a hope for unity, a recognition that life is sacred and equal - We hold these truths, to be self-evident? I certainly agree that all lives should matter, but somehow, in these times, it seems these signs pose more of a counter-argument or an attempt to change the subject.  The fact is that Black lives, in America, haven't fully mattered. Black Americans have been devalued as property, chattel, criminals; have been cast aside, kept from citizenship, property ownership, education, voting, access to credit, jobs; deemed as suspicious, followed while shopping, walking, driving, jogging, breathing.

    The demand that Black Live Matter is to claim this truth in the face of unrelenting, generational, and system-wide oppression.  To change the subject to All Lives Matter is to continue to deny that Black lives matter.  For all lives to matter we must undo the injustice and racism that is part and parcel of our history and continues in so many forms to the present.  Let it not be our future.  A start is to say it together: Black Lives Matter.  Then we must all work to make that true.