By Robert E. Macdonald
Mayor of Lewiston
I don’t know about you, but the occasional news stories about the poor treatment of Lewiston’s Somali population are becoming annoying.
I’m sick of hearing the Somalis don’t feel welcome here. I’m sick of hearing Lewistonians must understand their culture and make exceptions towards them if their actions clash with American customs and laws. I’m sick of hearing about their lack of employment. I’m sick of hearing about phantom victimization.
But what frosts me the most is these complaints are coming almost exclusively from boo-hoo white do-gooders and their carpetbagger friends.
Since becoming mayor, I have met with groups of Somalis on several occasions. I have found the overwhelming majority to be kind and very hospitable. The majority express their appreciation for having been afforded the chance to live in a place that is safe and offers unlimited opportunities in which to better themselves.
Many are employed. Many own homes. Many have started businesses, which have grown our tax base. Lastly, their children are bright, especially the girls. Many currently attend top private colleges and universities, maintaining a GPA of between 3.5 and 4.0. These are the Somalis I know.
In my job as mayor, I have two goals. The first is to work with the city council and city staff to set Lewiston on a path towards economic growth. The second is to unify the city because, after 10 years of this foolishness, enough is enough.
Perhaps a recap of the last 10 years from a different perspective might help.
After surviving the squalor and rampant danger in refugee camps, the Somalis sought safety and opportunity in Lewiston. Almost all Lewistonians welcomed them; that is, with the exception of those living in the neighborhood in which the Somalis were settled.
These new neighbors looked upon the Somalis as interlopers, fearing they would cut into their portion of the welfare pie. Their solution? Make it uncomfortable for the Somalis. The result? All Lewistonians were branded as racists, creating a divide—not by the Somalis, but by the white do-gooders and carpetbaggers.
How do submissive Somali women turn into obnoxious customers at the grocery store cash register? Could it be they were told by white do-gooders and carpetbaggers, “Don’t take no for an answer. Stand up for your rights!” Thus, they widened the divide.
Then the piece de resistance: equating safety-seeking Somalis with job-seeking French Canadians. This so outraged Lewiston’s established community that even today this statement is held against the Somali population, creating a divide that may never be closed. Yet the Somalis never made this comparison. The white do-gooders did.
Are there some Somalis who are layabouts, constantly thinking of ways to game the system? Absolutely! Like our white and black domestic bums, they should be encouraged to find a new place to live.
Living in America, the Somalis must conform to our culture. Here men and women are equal. In many places of employment, women are the boss. Somali men will have to get over it and conform. There can only be one dominant central culture: American.
The demagoguery and hypocrisy coming from a small number of extremist white liberals and their African surrogates seeking to cast Lewiston in a bad light is unconscionable. This is especially egregious when the behavior of the Somalis towards the Bantus is revealed.
The Somalis and Bantus hate each other and have no problem getting physical with one another, thus creating a problem of coexistence between the two groups. Yet we never hear about this.
Julius Sleeper of Tree Street Youth, Chris Pope of the Root Cellar, Sonya and Doug Taylor of the Jesus Party and many Bates College students work with the inner-city refugees and the poor of Lewiston. They put and keep kids whose prospects in life are bleak on a real path to success without any fanfare. As Lewiston mayor, I thank them for what they are doing.
For those who feel they have to justify their existence by demeaning Lewiston, attempting to make a pimple into a major crisis: Don’t let the door hit you in the rear. You’re not welcome here.
Next week, Part Two.
Remember in November.
Lastly, I apologize to Lewiston’s landlords and business people. I have not forgotten you. Hopefully, we can sit down within the month.