By Carol McCracken (Post # 689)
Despite the cold temperatures, a huge crowd took part in a march that ended on the steps of city hall yesterday afternoon. Representatives from a number of local non-profits spoke about values. One speaker said: “It’s wrong to hate. No matter if everyone is doing it. We have to take back and rediscover our precious values. Galvanize yourselves to stand for something.”
One of the highlights of the 45 minute rally was the introduction of a “gift basket of Maine books about our diverse heritage,” said Rachel Talbott Ross, of the local NAACP. She asked for volunteers to assist in delivering the gift basket to the Blaine House in Augusta. This in response to Governor Paul LePage’s well publicized statement to the NAACP to “kiss my butt” following his refusal to attend the annual Martin Luther King, Jr. events in Portland. It’s a long-standing tradition that Maine Governors attend this celebration.
In the audience at the rally was John Gjika, Integration Facilitator for Maine Peoples Alliance. “Everyone is a teacher. At our best we are all teachers. Like Martin Luther King and Governor Paul LePage,” he said.
“One of the purposes of this gathering is to educate our community about social and economic justice. It sounds very intellectual, but these are deep and serious issues that center around humanity. We come with our humility and to voice our values because they are especially important in the face of Paul LePage’s agenda. He refers to it as the agenda for Maine people, but if Maine people only means the 99% whites, we are overlooking our neighbors and the people who made this state a diverse place.” said Gjika.
EDITOR’S COMMENT: If the N.F.L calls for a time-out on ‘trash’ talking, why shouldn’t voters expect the same from our elected officials? What a shame that the N.F.L. has no authority over our elected officials!