Letter to the Editor: Taking responsibility 

To the Editor: 

In the June 18 issue of the Islander, the Commentary pages included a letter to the editor titled “Alternative points of view” to which I would like to respectfully respond.  

First, the writer claims that “99 percent of policemen and women on duty are there to serve and do provide excellent care for those in their municipalities. She offers no evidence for this statistic. In a country where black and brown people are disproportionately incarcerated (www.naacp.org/criminal-justice-fact-sheet/), the word “serve” poses the question that communities across America are asking – who are the police actually serving? 

Second, George Floyd’s substance use did not make him eligible for the death penalty. The writer’s statement implies that the murder of a black citizen is justified due to the drugs later found in his body.  

Lastly, systemic racism will end only when “white people acknowledge their ancestral bias. It is essential. Race, and therefore racism, were created by white people in the 18th centur(www.americananthro.org/ConnectWithAAA/Content.aspx?). If you are white, working towards becoming anti-racist is the only way to disband white supremacy.  

As Ibram Kendi puts it, “Essentially, to be anti-racist is to admit when we’re being racist.” (www.mindful.org/4-lessons-on-anti-racism-from-brene-brown-and-ibram-x-kendi/) Becoming anti-racist does not mean ‘apologize for being white’. There is a profound difference between being asked to take responsibility and being made to apologize.  

Alifair Durand  

Bar Harbor 


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