Calls are mounting for Maine Republican governor Paul LePage to resign after he doubled down Friday on openly racist statements he made by calling for a race war against people of color.
LePage made the remarks during a press conference at which he sought to defend himself against accusations of racism. During those comments, he indicated that people of color are the enemy and should be shot.
“A bad guy is a bad guy,” he said. “I don’t care what color he is. When you go to war, if you know the enemy, the enemy dresses in red and you dress in blue, you shoot at red… You shoot at the enemy. You try to identify the enemy. And the enemy right now, the overwhelming majority of people coming in are people of color or people of Hispanic origin.”
Those remarks followed statements last Wednesday at a town hall meeting in North Berwick, where the governor stated:
Let me tell you this, let me tell you, explain to you: I made the comment that black people are trafficking in our state. Now, ever since I said that comment, I’ve been collecting every single drug dealer who has been arrested in our state …
I don’t ask them to come to Maine and sell their poison, but they come. And I will tell you that 90-plus percent of those pictures in my book, and it’s a three-ring binder, are black and Hispanic people from Waterbury, Connecticut, the Bronx and Brooklyn. I didn’t make the rules, I’m just telling you what’s happening.
Yet LePage’s claims are incorrect. Mark Potok, a senior fellow at the Southern Poverty Law Center, which monitors hate groups in the United States, told AlterNet, “On top of everything else, LePage is making a claim that is simply false. The fact is that most drug dealers and consumers in the United States are white.”