Thursday, January 9, 2003

Good move, Mr. Mayor:

A few months ago I blogged an article about the large numbers of Somalis moving to Lewiston, Maine. 1,100 have arrived since February 2001 in this city with a populartion of about 36,000. The numbers have put a strain on social services, understandably, but you have to wonder about a mayor who publicly asks poor, dark-skinned immigrants to stop coming to his largely white, French town. (populated, we wearily point out, by the descendants of immigrants who were not exactly welcomed to the region by the Anglo types (whom my mother, born in NH and raised in Maine) said were referred to by the French as "Johnny Bulls")

But the mayor went ahead and said it. Which then encouraged racist groups to enter the scene, to the point of planning a rally , which will continue despite the arrest of its main speaker, Matthew Hale, leader of the World Church of the Creator:

Hale decided to speak in Lewiston after Mayor Laurier Raymond asked Somalis to stop moving to the mostly Franco-American, Roman Catholic city. Raymond said the city was "maxed-out financially, physically and emotionally" because more than 1,100 Somalis have moved there since February 2001. Hale planned to give a speech entitled "The Invasion of Maine by Somalis and How We Can End It."

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