Let’s strike back at Governor LePage.
Whenever LePage says something stupid, hurtful or racist—or when he says somethings stripped of context in a way that signifies an ignorance of abstraction or an intentional pandering to people who respond favorably to these things—I find myself faced with a dilemma. Do I respond by underscoring, demystifying and offering context to what he has said, or do I consider—as I often suspect—that the statement is intended to create a spectacle in which he revels, and that creates a monumental enough distraction from whatever he is really up to?
That’s where I am at after he recently appeared to double down on his “black drug dealers come to Maine to knock up our women.”
I’ll go into it elsewhere at another time, but what has become evident, though, is that LePage does not exclusively say racist things. Governor LePage is racist. He made this clear with his comments about D-Money and all that, and pretty brazenly touched on this in his most recent comments by suggesting he said what he did in order to move the legislature on addiction. So it’s their fault? I guess?
I make the distinction that he is racist (as opposed to being a person who said something racist) because his commentary and commitment to that narrative implies one of two things.
The governor believes what he said, and places the onus of a complicated problem on black aliens without putting addition in the context of poverty, an appetite for drugs created by drug executives and companies and more, all as a means to fixate resources on a strictly law enforcement approach. This can be achieved by an Executive exclusively through willful and tactical ignorance.
The governor uses this narrative to engage a chunk of supporters he knows fears this story (story it is, considering how many white drug dealers we’ve seen busted since the statement was made) and uses it as a way to distract from what drug addiction says not just about the habits of addicts, but about the failures of corporate self-regulation, destruction of social safety nets and economic policies torn from the pages of a half-read copy of Fountainhead.
It seems likely that it’s likely a healthy mixture of both, and whichever way it manifests itself, the governor is actually the worst.
Rather, though, than to get frustrated, overwhelmed with anger, and then overcome with frustration and powerlessness when you feel nothing can be done, might I suggest donating your efforts and money to agendas and narratives directly oppositional to those of Governor LePage?
As for political action, do this right now: Call your representative and tell them your feelings about LePage’s proposal to hand $23 million to out-of-state corporations. Here’s how you find your representative. [UPDATE: The State House voted to effectively cancel this giveaway.]
As for people and organizations that make the world better through their insights and good work (and, by doing so, make the governor cry his big, sad, white, male crocodile tears), help these folks keep doing what they’re doing.
GIANT, BOLD DISCLAIMER: These groups are a-political and totally nonpartisan, though the fruits of their agendas happen to be oppositional to the brazen, anti-humanist perspectives of the governor. ASSESSMENTS REGARDING THEIR EFFORTS BEING OPPOSITIONAL TO THE AGENDA OF LEPAGE ARE MY OWN, NOT THEIRS. To any normal person, their agendas are totally heartwarming, creative and pedestrian, but to zealots like LePage, being a good human and making the world a better and more accepting place is a contemptible act.
Black Girl in Maine: Shay writes thoughtfully and succinctly about race and, specifically, a black women’s experience in Maine. Hers is an accurate and authentic counter narrative to the governor’s politically advantageous over-simplification of the subject. You can help subsidize her endeavor (get her paid) here.
Cultivating Community: These organization takes a totally non-partisan, abstract, and thoughtful approach to providing resources and opportunities members of Maine’s immigrant communities. Their efforts work to keep money local, and help food assistance dollars find investment in local agriculture. As such, their approaches, which are again decidedly a-political, provide the exact opposite of what Governor LePage advocates for.
Bangor Daily News and Portland Press Herald: Sign up for a subscription and help to pay for the news. Journalists help to keep him honest, or at least tell the truth when he lies. He hates the news so much that he’s told kids to not read the paper, and joked about blowing up newspaper buildings.
IMAGE CREDIT: BDN File