Combat Prejudice and Descrimination

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Combat Prejudice and Discrimination

On November 21st, 2016, less than two weeks after the Presidential election, the Bangor Daily News reported that an African American man was physically attacked in Bangor and told by his assailant to “…watch out because Trump could deport you.”

This is but one ugly incident among hundreds that have occurred, both during the campaign and since the election, against immigrants, African-Americans, LGBT individuals, Muslims, and women. The swastika, symbol of Nazi horrors, is being used to deface American property.

This is unacceptable in the America we believe in.

The greatness of America requires unity, not division. No nation can be great unless all its citizens are granted respect and equality under the law and by our fellow citizens. The Presidential election of 2016 and its aftermath have been marred by overt and often violent expressions of racism, intolerance, and ethnic and religious bigotry.

We must stand together to oppose these acts that cripple American democracy and to speak out against them.

The Holocaust and Human Rights Center of Maine (HHRC) is neither a political nor a religious organization. We are a statewide organization, and our mission is educational: we use the lessons of the Nazi Holocaust and other genocides to combat prejudice and discrimination in Maine and beyond. We encourage individuals and communities to reflect and act upon their ethical and moral responsibilities in our modern world. To achieve that mission, we visit schools all over Maine and we open the doors of HHRC’s Michael Klahr Center, on the University of Maine-Augusta campus, to all.

The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum reminds us that “The Holocaust did not begin with killing; it began with words.”

We recall Martin Luther King’s famous 1967 quote about the Vietnam War: “The time comes when silence is betrayal.”

We call on Maine’s religious and civic leaders, the leadership of Maine’s government, and all Maine citizens to confront racist thinking and divisive speech, and everyday incidents of racial and gender bias, and religious or ethnic hatred. All citizens can voice their concerns to Maine’s local, state and national representatives. Emails and letters are effective, but the most direct way to voice your opinion is to call their offices. Let them know that you oppose all expressions of racial, religious or ethnic hatred and that you expect them to oppose these things as well. Together we can protect and preserve our nation.

Contact your Federal representatives:

Congresswoman Chellie Pingree – (202) 225-6116
Congressman Bruce Poliquin – (202) 225-6306
Senator Susan Collins – (202) 224-2523
Senator Angus King – (202) 224-5344

Contact your State representatives:

Governor Paul LePage – (207) 287-3531
Senate President Michael Thibodeau – (207) 287-1500
Senate Message Line – (207) 287-1540
Speaker of the House, Rep. Sara Gideon – (207) 287-1300
Maine House Message Line – (800) 423-2900