I am a white woman with a French surname. Six years ago, my husband and I knocked on doors and met all of our prospective neighbors while making the final decision to move here to Lewiston. We found a community of good welcoming people in our new neighbors and others in local businesses, and did decide to make this our home.

Lewiston has been a good place for my family. Now with all that is happening in our town, I am wondering if I was automatically accepted into this community by some because I look like them and have the right name.

Would I have been welcomed with less warmth if I were black, Jewish, gay or different in some other way?

Am I the reluctant beneficiary of a cultural or racial advantage over others “”from away”” that want to live, work, and make a life here?

Well, I don’t know, but I do know that we are blessed here in our safe little corner of the world, and it is human nature to want to be and stay safe.

I have had the pleasure of meeting some of the good people who have come to this community in the last few years from places very far from safe. I extend to them the welcome I myself received six years ago and hope they also enjoy the safety and blessings of this fine community.

I will light a candle Friday evening and I will be at the Many and One rally on Saturday to support a peaceful, harmonious and delightfully diverse future for our community.

Catherine LeBlanc, Lewiston


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