My family’s minivan proudly displays a “Black Lives Matter” bumper sticker. For two years, the sticker has sparked all kinds of great conversations about race, racism, policing, and politics. Last week, however, a similar sticker on a friend’s car in Hallowell attracted the notice of a bigot who put a KKK card on her windshield — an unmistakable threat.

Sadly, it was not an isolated incident. In the past two months, we have seen Klan fliers in Augusta, the desecration of Jewish cemeteries nationwide, and repeated physical attacks on immigrants. This is not “politics as usual.” When Klansmen feel emboldened enough to target people in a place like Hallowell, we have crossed a significant line.

To the good people of Hallowell and central Maine who reject this kind of hatred — conservatives and liberals alike — I say: Stand up. Put a “Black Lives Matter” sticker on your own car. Just contact me and I will give you one for free. Let’s overwhelm the bigots with a visible show of spiritual force. We will not be intimidated.

To the aspiring Klansman who put that card on my friend’s car, I say: Quit skulking around in the shadows. Knock on my door. I would be happy to talk to you about why my family and I believe that black lives matter and why I think that our diversity makes us stronger. I look forward to our conversation.

Chris Myers Asch


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