Amy Calder reporting in the Waterville Morning Sentinel Jan 18:
The Rev. Effie McClain, guest speaker at the event, walked into the audience and enlisted LePage to dance with her when the Colby College African Drumming Ensemble started dancing, encouraging audience participation.
It was a pivotal moment in the festivities. McClain, who is black, and LePage, hugged after they danced, and the audience applauded.
Here's a letter I printed out on bright pink paper and sent to the Blaine House. I hope someone reads it to him.
I am writing to express strong concern at your language on Jan. 14. I saw a video of your response to a reporter asking about the NAACP request for support. From your words and expression I got the impression you were showing off for some buddies.
As the chief executive of our state, you can do better.
Inflaming old prejudices is a dangerous way to get a few laughs. Maine has a history of white supremacist groups like the Klu Klux Klan, who operated publicly in Milo, Portland and other towns. They targeted many groups but primarily they railed against the threat posed by immigrants, French speaking, who were also reviled for being Catholic.
Right now the state of Maine is in big trouble economically, as usual. Luckily, we're used to it. It would be nice to think that Mainers will continue pulling together in the face of adversity. The old fashioned spirit that makes us stop for a car stuck in the snow. Like we're all in this together no matter how hard it gets sometimes.
Please retract your deliberate on-camera insult to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, a highly respected organization, and one that represents civility, education, and progress. I imagine that what you meant to say was something like, “I don't have to do what the NAACP wants me to do. Who's going to make me?” All true, but your choice of words was extremely crude, and sets a bad example for the children of Maine, who look up to you.
Only your conscience and dignity are going to make you apologize. Please think about my request. Thank you.
CODEPINK Maine Local Coordinator