Saturday, August 27, 2016

maine governor: people of color are the enemy



HuffPo | Perhaps Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R) thought he had been too subtle in expressing his views on black and Hispanic people in the past. How else to explain what he said in a Friday press conference while discussing a threatening, expletive-filled voicemail that he’d left for a state legislator?

LePage was widely criticized earlier this year for claiming men with names like “Smoothie, D-Money and Shifty” were coming into his state to deal drugs. Earlier this week, he said he keeps a binder with mugshots of all the drug dealers arrested in Maine, and he claimed that 90 percent of the people in that binder were black or Hispanic.

Note that 95 percent of Maine residents are white, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

On Friday, LePage first denied that Maine police officers were racially profiling people ― an obvious concern if they really are arresting almost exclusively people of color for drug crimes.

Then the governor suggested that people of color in Maine were “the enemy.”

PressHerald | LePage later invited a Portland Press Herald reporter and a two-person television crew from WMTW to the Blaine House, where during a 30-minute interview the governor described his anger with Gattine and others, told them he had left the phone message and said he wished he and the lawmaker could engage in an armed duel to settle the matter.

“When a snot-nosed little guy from Westbrook calls me a racist, now I’d like him to come up here because, tell you right now, I wish it were 1825,” LePage said. “And we would have a duel, that’s how angry I am, and I would not put my gun in the air, I guarantee you, I would not be (Alexander) Hamilton. I would point it right between his eyes, because he is a snot-nosed little runt and he has not done a damn thing since he’s been in this Legislature to help move the state forward.”

Gattine is the House chair of the Legislature’s Health and Human Services Committee, which has opposed some of LePage’s welfare, drug enforcement and other reforms. He said the governor’s phone message was uncalled for.