By Robert E. Macdonald
Mayor of Lewiston
During my 69 years as a proud citizen of our country, I have never seen this kind of reaction to a Presidential election.
Over the past eight years, we on the right side of the political spectrum were disappointed by the election and re-election of President Barack Obama. But this is how Democracy works. We accepted the results and moved on. We did not demonstrate, riot or cause property damage to people’s homes and businesses.
Over the past five years Lewiston has been a peaceful and safe place to live and work. Our citizens’ days are occupied with navigating through the personal problems that come into play daily, not perceived injustices happening around us.
Those who have been strutting around the henhouse like cocky roosters have found themselves going from relevant to very irrelevant. They have chosen to not go down without a fight.
While going through the editorial section of the local Sunday paper, I came across a column titled “Somali Voices” by Abdikadir Negeye, a Somali Bantu and a founder of the Maine Immigrant and Refugee Services. The piece read like a page out of Democratic Sen. Harry Reid’s playbook, designed to create fear throughout the local Somali community.
He spoke of Lewiston’s Muslim population fearing harassment if they left their homes. He stated Lewiston’s Muslim female population is afraid to wear their hijab (head covering) in public because of “Trump’s win.” In order to create a false narrative of widespread harassment, he spoke of two incidents, one in Auburn and one in Lewiston, where Somali women had allegedly been harassed. He went on to say these incidents had been reported to the local police. Had the newspaper staff done a bit of due diligence, they would have found that no such complaints existed.
As mayor, I am not going to put up with or let this type of incitement go unchallenged. To those of our Somali community, nothing has changed. Go about your daily business—the government is not coming after you.
In Lewiston, city leaders are elected, not proclaimed. Our city will not be disrupted by individuals who seek notoriety fueled by delusions of grandeur or individuals who can’t cope with reality when not getting their way. In short: don’t disrupt the apple cart.
Lastly, I am not going to remain silent about two letters published on November 20 in our local Sunday newspaper. Both letters were authored by elected officials. Those on the Left (liberals) praised me. Those on the Right (conservatives) criticized me for telling all sides to “knock the political crap off.” The election is over, move on.
Let me make this clear. The Somali community is only a problem and obstacle in people’s minds. They work, own houses and businesses and have measurably brought up Lewiston’s graduation rate, which should bring thanks from parents, especially if your child is trying to get into a well-respected college.
The Somalis have been made scapegoats by community organizers and those on the Left who need cover in order to avoid Lewiston’s real problem: the unemployable welfare seekers from outside Lewiston and their children who have serious and costly mental health problems, which have now become the problem of Lewiston’s taxpayers.
During the past five years working with city staff, we have accelerated the removal of unlivable buildings and tightened up General Assistance. This has resulted in a substantial drop in city welfare.
To our city councilors on the Left, Lewiston is a welcoming place, not a soup kitchen. Your duty is to Lewiston taxpayers, not to those from away with their hands out. To Lewiston’s neophyte councilors on
the Right, your job is to decide the best course for the city on need—not cost. Political agitators should be immediately stopped, not blown off and allowed to fester.
Again, I repeat: the Lewiston City Council’s duty is to the local taxpayer and those residents who ask what they can do for our city, not to those with outstretched hands.