Letter to the Editor

The Island
Originally published in Island Ad-Vantages, June 25, 2020
Opinion - Cowardice? You be the judge

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Referring to the noose hung from the power line at the causeway on Route 15, let’s talk about cowardice for just a moment. Can we agree that doing something to induce fear or pain in another person or group of people in such a way as not to be identified as the doer is an act of cowardice? You be the judge.

I’ve been trying to imagine who here in this sweet place would do such a thing, and I have to admit, having been one myself some time ago, that a young man, filled with the juice of youth and not much knowledge of the world, might think this was a prank, that taking sides in this way might look like courage to others equally young and ignorant, and that he wouldn’t be held to account for it. But I don’t think that’s it.

What I know is that right now, most folks in this country are divided over the direction in which we should move. A portion of us sees black struggle as unimportant and, in fact, inimical to their own place in society. Some of us fear people who look different, talk different, maybe have different values and goals. And some people are just bloody-minded enough that the fight is all that matters, and the strangling to death of a handcuffed man in broad daylight, amid all the other police killings, is just a clarion call to notch it up.

If the person who did this (and forgive me for thinking it’s a male) is raising children (I’m guessing again, but I think not), I just want to ask, how would you feel about your beloved children’s chances to survive in our fair land, and what would you do about it?

You be the judge.

Matt Williamson
Deer Isle