In her letter to the editor (June 13), Jacqueline Smith stated that 172 white people and 88 black people have been killed by police this year. Because of that, she claimed there is no racism.

In the United States, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, 72.2% of the U.S. population is white and 12.7% is black. According to the data source provided by Smith, so far this year, 40% of people killed by police are white, 20.5% are black, 13.3% are Hispanic, and 26% are listed as unknown or other. Black people make up only 12.7% (one-eighth) of the U.S. population but are the victims of 20% (one-fifth) of police killings. That is clearly disproportionate.

Considering that everyone, regardless of race, has the same inherent capability of committing crimes, why would black people be more likely to be killed by police?

People should think this through.

Speak to any black person or person of color and you will soon realize that racism is still rampant in the United States, as it has been for the past 400 years. The end of slavery and Jim Crow did not mark the end of racism, prejudice, discrimination, or racial profiling. Whether it is bird watching in a public park, going for a jog, driving through a predominantly white neighborhood, applying for a loan, sleeping,  or shopping at the grocery store — race matters.

Allison Emery, Mechanic Falls

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