On Oct. 1, I attended the Maine March for Racial Justice with my daughter, age 7. I recently heard that some people were posting on Facebook that children at the march were afraid. I’d like to tell you what being afraid is like and what division actually is.

I am a U.S. citizen and I’m Catholic, as is my daughter. But I am also a child of immigrants and have brown skin, as does my daughter. Since Donald Trump was elected, I’ve been called the “n” word, I’ve been shouted at to “go back to my own country” multiple times, and I’ve been sexually harassed by a man calling me “exotic.” My daughter was told by another child, “I don’t want to play with you because you are brown.” And when we planned to visit India to see my dying grandmother, my daughter looked at me with scared eyes asking, “Can we get back home if they build a wall?”

Solidarity makes us feel safe and hopeful for a better future. Standing up with others against racism isn’t divisive — racists are. Standing up with others against racism isn’t scary — being at the receiving end of racism is.

Sonja Thomas


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