Self-serving revisionism

To the Editor:

Here we are in 2016, but listening to the “Newspeak” of forthright Gov. Paul LePage’s backpedalling communications director Peter Steele. It seems more like George Orwell’s “1984.”

LePage means what he says, and it is fair to judge him by his words. When he recently complained about out-of-state drug traffickers “impregnating white girls” in Maine, LePage irrefutably, explicitly introduced race into the discussion of Maine’s drug problem.

When he identified these drug traffickers as having names like “D’Money,” LePage implicitly identified them as being black.

It is very clear what the LePage meant: Black outsiders are responsible for Maine’s drug problem, also, by the way, for the increase in underprivileged children in Maine.

It is wrong of Peter Steele to deny this. If for no other reason (and there are many others, such as truthfulness in public discourse) than that it obscures the fact that a significant number of Maine residents want to illegally buy, sell and use opiates. And, some women in Maine may be either irresponsible about their sexual activities or ignorant, uneducated and unsupported in issues of family planning.

We here in Maine certainly need to do all we can to address our problems of a surfeit of drug trafficking and a deficit of responsible family planning and childcare. By making this into an “us versus them” issue – out of staters vs Mainers, and black vs. white – LePage riles people up. That takes the focus off the fact that his administration’s deleterious health and human services, educational, financial and commercial policies exacerbate, rather than usefully address, the unfair conditions many of us struggle with, and some of us are drowned by.

The LePage administration prefers to spend our tax money on putting and keeping people in jail, rather than on ultimately less expensive services to help people make better choices and to make Maine a better place to live. The governor’s fighting words and his administration’s record of failing the people of Maine speak for themselves. We cannot afford to be misdirected by the self-serving revisionist spin put on them.

Annlinn Kruger

Bar Harbor

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