Monday, August 14, 2017

Farthest North Support For Charlottesville: Skowhegan, Maine

My Uncle Dale from Australia and Greg Williams in Skowhegan on Sunday, August 13. This is two days
after civil violence broke out when white supremacists beat and killed people in Charlottesville, Virginia because that city
voted to remove statues honoring Confederate generals who fought to preserve slavery.

I think our protest of white nationalist attacks in Charlottesville was the farthest north of many actions in Maine and the nation over the weekend.

Sad for the occasion but happy to see Tamar, Paul, Brian R., Greg, Linda, Fang, Grace, Abby, Amanda, Mark, Dale, Jeff, Carly, Finn, Connor, Chris, Marnie, and Brian P. with an out of town friend (sorry, I forgot her name) with me on the Margaret Chase Smith Bridge.

The story in our local newspaper by Doug Harlow and David Leaming of the Waterville Morning Sentinel was headlined: "Protesters on Sunday in Skowhegan decry white nationalism."

L to R: Tamar Etingen, Greg Williams, reporter Doug Harlow and Abby Shahn

Doug accurately quoted me as saying:

“The rise of the hate groups is also an effect of right wing propaganda stirring up discontented, underemployed people whose lives will not be better than those of their parents,” she said. “It’s an old strategy. Familiar.” 
Savage said she doesn’t dehumanize those marching with tiki torches because everyone is confused at times about events in their lives.

All of the photos are ones I took yesterday. The paint was still wet on the signs when we loaded them into the van at home. It was wetter still after the downpour that happened mid-protest where many of us piled into the van to wait out the rain. Lots of weather is par for the course when protesting in Maine.

My favorite unarmed civilian Mark Roman remembering 32 year-old Heather Heyer.
She was killed by white supremacist James A. Fields, Jr. who was arrested after
driving into a crowd of antiracist protesters in Charlottesville on August 13, 2017.

Journalists seem to want these protests to be about the demagogue with bad hair. So do many of the Democratic Party organizers (of which I am not one). Yes, the rhetoric issuing from the White House was better during the Obama years. But Black Lives Matter came about on Obama and Eric Holder's watch.

Allowing police to kill black people without being prosecuted to the full extent of the law has emboldened white supremacists in the USA.

They think their time has come. They are so wrong.

Did you know that in the last U.S. census 32% more people checked more than one box under race? White supremacy is destined for the dumpster of history. 

Many politicians seemed to recognize this, but the demagogue with bad hair stuck to his corporate government talking points: decry the violence on "both sides" [sic]. Corporate media toed the line as well, consistently referring to "conflict" rather than white supremacist militias assembling in a city and attacking its black residents while police stood idly by.

Charlottesville will be seen in retrospect as a turning point. Those who remain silent in the face of white supremacist hate talk and violence are now complicit. 

You can take action today by contacting Al's Pizza in Skowhegan which has an employee's truck parked in their lot displaying a large Confederate flag for hours at a time. Call (207) 474-3100 or facebook message at
While you're at it, ask them why they sometimes display window signs defending the racist mascot of the local high school.

Why focus on the Confederate flag? Here's a quote from the article about James A. Fields, Jr's teachers who knew that he was a neo-Nazi and worried that they did not do more to educate him when they had the chance:
[Derek Weimar] recalled how an African-American cheerleader was very uncomfortable having to ride in a parade being carried by a pickup truck with a large Confederate flag sticker.

Stick up for the cheerleader. Stick up for Native athletes who must play under a racist logo. 

Stick up for the kind of society that you want to live in.

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