VIDEO: Augusta’s Black Lives Matter Rally
This was just part of Sunday's Black Lives Matter rally and march. It ran from the Maine State House and around Capital Park. The most-dramatic portion featured marchers laying down in the street for eight minutes and 46 seconds.
I was at Capital Park to see the march just before they marched past the Augusta Police Department. I was not at the event on the grounds of the Maine State House but I could hear they had speakers, prayers, and coming together before the march. Yes, I know I missed a lot, but I wanted to catch the march on video.
What I did not miss was, in my opinion, were the most powerful and chilling moments. As the group came back around in front of the Maine Statehouse, they laid down in the road, hands behind their backs. This group of thousands that had been chanting and marching was now face down on the pavement, hands behind their backs, and silent for 8 minutes and 46 seconds. That is how long the police officer’s knee was kept on the neck of George Floyd before he died in Minneapolis. I mean it was silent. I moved from the back of the crowd to get closer to the front event the sound of my walking seemed loud in this most reverent of moments.
I was born and raised in Maine. Racism? I have a bit of an experience. I am aware of my past. My father was older when I was born MANY years ago. So he was in from different era and he died in 1977. But I remember him saying racist things. I remember words that were commonplace in my childhood home that would be considered hate speech today. As a child I also remember just knowing that was not right. I am not sure if that came from my Mom's influence, school, friends, or just my own soul but I know it was not right. But still, there is this part of me that self monitors to make sure some of that childhood programming is not still lingering around in some deep corner of my mind. I do not know the racism many have faced or felt in fear for my life due to the color of my skin. In that respect, I have no first-hand knowledge of racism. Sexism? Yes...but not racism.