No more “layabouts and deadbeats” in Lewiston, says mayor-elect Bob Macdonald! And, needless to say the Somalis took offense.
After years of the mainstream media and Maine (and Washington, DC) liberals trying to tell us that everything was lovey-dovey in Lewiston, the election of another mayor signals that all is not going smoothly between the locals and the large (and growing) Somali population.
Readers may recall that the city was embroiled in controversy ten years ago when Somalis (mostly from Georgia where they were originally resettled by the US State Department) scouted out the welfare haven of Maine for a mass migration. New readers may wish to read this post—Somali migration to Maine: it’s the welfare magnet, stupid— to catch up on the story.
In 2002, then Mayor Raymond did the politically-incorrect thing and sent an open letter (scroll down wiki page) to Somalis begging them not to send more of their people to the overloaded city. (google this because there was lots of news coverage of his “racist” letter).
The next mayor, Laurent Gilbert,* pandered to the Somali population and even went to Washington at the behest of none-other than Soros-favorite John Podesta (Center for American Progress) to proclaim how lovely everything was in Maine where diversity was now its strength (Here is our coverage of that trip in December 2010).
This after Newsweek trumpeted a 2009 piece, with the improbable title, The refugees who saved Lewiston where the reporter paints a picture of a veritable love fest in Lewiston now that the folks (the Mainers and the Africans) have gotten to know each other better, here. (This is how propaganda works—I have seen this Newsweek piece mentioned repeatedly).
Rumblings out of Lewiston since then (from individual contacts) confirmed that the love affair might have been a Leftwing media fantasy. Now, with the election of Bob Macdonald as Mayor just a couple of weeks ago, it looks like the citizens there might be signaling with their vote that they have had it with the drain on the welfare system in Lewiston.
While running for office MacDonald reportedly referred to the section of town where Somalis live as a “fourth-world country” (quite a contrast to how it was characterized in Newsweek!):
During his campaign, Macdonald made a number of remarks that some people characterized as racist, while others said they were merely ignorant and insensitive. He referred to downtown Lewiston, where many Somali immigrants live, as a “fourth-world country.”
Then Mayor-elect Macdonald seems to have really stepped in it on his victorious election-night (in a strange turn of events his “moderate” opponent in the race died a couple of days before the election!) when he made his remarks about “layabouts and deadbeats.” Hat tip: Friends of Refugees
From the Bangor Daily News:
LEWISTON, Maine — Mayor-elect Bob Macdonald apologized to the city Thursday for his election-night comments — but his apology wasn’t enough for some members of the city’s immigrant community.
Abdifatah Ahmed, a local landlord and pharmacist, said Macdonald ought to apologize for his tone throughout the mayoral campaign, not just his election-night comments.
During his campaign, Macdonald said he wanted to make the city less attractive to layabouts and deadbeats, many of whom didn’t speak English.
“Enough is enough,” Ahmed said. “Very few people in our community get assistance, but when we get selected and called names, enough is enough.”
Macdonald must stop such talk and explain himself, to go forward with healing, Ahmed said.
“There was a lot said, and a lot of it was on camera,” Ahmed said. “You said people like me are great. But there are old people and children, and you’ve said to them that you have a problem with their fathers. As the mayor, how can you be a role model to those young children?”
Macdonald said his target was not immigrants but welfare recipients.
“If you are working here, I was not talking about you,” Macdonald said. “I was talking about the people that take money, money, money — and they come in all colors.”
Afterward, Ahmed said he and other members of Lewiston’s immigrant community believe they still deserve a more thorough apology from Macdonald.
The apology was not enough for the Somali activists (I wonder what constitutes a “more thorough apology”?). Watch this Youtube clip and see for yourself. It is very enlightening. When I watched it, it had only 37 views so please send it around far and wide. Pay attention to the beginning when the person doing the filming pans the ‘massive (not!)’ audience.
For more on Lewiston, just type the word into our search function. It has been a favorite topic here at RRW.
* By the way, out-going Mayor Laurent (sometimes Larry) Gilbert said in August that he was going to Somalia in December to deliver needed humanitarian supplies, does anyone know if that ever happened?
An afterthought: I should have mentioned that Lynn, Mass is having similar problems with refugee overload. I wrote about it here the other day.