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Rose addresses racist incidents at Brunswick town meeting

September 11, 2020

President Clayton Rose went before the Brunswick Town Council via Zoom on Tuesday to express concern about racism in the Brunswick area, sharing news of two separate racist incidents that occurred in Brunswick during the last month.

Rose reported to the Council that a Black staff member had been verbally harassed outside of a Brunswick business three weeks ago. In a separate incident, a Brunswick resident and a “friend to many” at the College was harassed by three teenagers who called the neighbor the N-word. The friend of the College was then followed home.

“In the environment we are in now, and with the hyper-partisan political season that we are in [and] the violence that is taking place across our country, my expectation, unfortunately, is we are going to see more of this, and we are likely to see more of this in our community. I hope I am wrong, but I don’t think I’m wrong,” said Rose at the meeting.

Rose said he met with Randy Nichols, executive director of safety and security, and Matt Orlando, senior vice president for finance and administration and treasurer, to share the details of the events.

“I know a lot of people in this town who will not stand for racism,” said John Perreault, chair of the Council and District Four representative. “We know it exists in the world and we even know it exists in our town—rare—but certainly does exist. Let’s hope it doesn’t rear its ugly head any further.”

Rose made it clear on the call that he did not expect the council to implement immediate solutions. Instead, his intent in going before the council was to inform the body and raise awareness about racism in the community.

“I felt a responsibility in both my role at Bowdoin and as a community member to make sure that they are aware of what has happened as examples of what is happening and what will almost certainly continue, and to let them know that Bowdoin is ready to work with the town and neighbors to fight racism and for racial justice,” wrote Rose in an email to the Orient.

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