Governor Paul LePage of Maine is always saying things that are not politically correct when it comes to race. There’s always some nonwhite demanding he apologize for saying this or that.
He didn’t like Negro Congressman John Lewis saying that Donald Trump is not a legitimate president. Because the cops once hit Lewis over the head with a baton while he was engaging in unlawful protesting, he’s supposed to get a free pass for his idiocy for eternity.
While we night admire Le Page’s resistance to Negro worship, really he sent the wrong message. His words indicate that ending slavery was a good thing, which it was not. His words also indicate that segregation was a bad thing, which it was not.
Furthermore, Le Page got his history wrong, which is unforgivable, seeing as how easy it is to look things up on the Internet.
AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Republican Gov. Paul LePage on Tuesday offered an erroneous history lesson about racial segregation to a black Georgia congressman who risked his life to fight for civil rights, and he called on the NAACP to apologize to white people.
Democratic U.S. Rep. John Lewis, who was beaten while marching in Selma, Alabama, with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., should be grateful to Republican presidents and shouldn’t question the legitimacy of GOP President-elect Donald Trump’s victory, LePage said.
“You know, I will just say this: John Lewis ought to look at history,” LePage, who’s white, said on WVOM-FM. “You know, it was Abraham Lincoln that freed the slaves. It was Rutherford B. Hayes and Ulysses S. Grant that fought against Jim Crow laws. A simple ‘thank you’ would suffice.”
The Maine NAACP released a statement to NBCBLK calling the governor’s remarks “troubling” and demeaning to the entire civil rights movement.
“Governor LePage, as the spokesman for our State must apologize to the Nation for his intentional disrespect and blatant ignorance. Congressman Lewis does not need to “learn his history” – he already made history by marching at Selma, working alongside Dr. King and serving in Congress for three decades. Furthermore, the NAACP’s existence was necessitated by the basic fact that despite the bloodshed of our sons from all heritage during the Civil War, the precious Freedom fought for has continued to be denied to people of color up until today.”
Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863 and pushed for the 13th Amendment, which abolished slavery. But historians say LePage is wrong about Jim Crow laws, which legalized racial segregation.
Jim Crow laws didn’t exist during the Grant administration and an electoral deal that put Hayes in office led to the end of Reconstruction and the removal of federal troops, setting the stage for the creation of Jim Crow laws that followed, said Colby professor Dan Shea.
Later in the afternoon, the governor tried to clarify his remarks to the Portland Press Herald by saying he felt all white people were being lumped together. He said that the “NAACP should apologize to the white people, to the people from the North for fighting their battle.”
The NAACP was founded on Feb. 12, 1909 by not only African American activists, but also several white activists: Oswald Garrison Villard, journalist, Lillian Wald, nurse, Mary White Ovington, William English Walling, and Dr. Henry Moskowitz.
The governor also said that “the blacks, the NAACP” paint white people with one brush and added that “to say every white American is a racist is an insult.” The governor has also stated that a racist “is the absolute worst, most vile thing you can call a person” and last summer left an expletive-laced voicemail for a Democratic legislator that he thought called him a racist.
LePage said he knows many Maine families who had ancestors who fought in the Civil War. Maine, the nation’s whitest state, is 95 percent white, according to 2015 census estimates.
Bashing LePage over the fine points of history is a distraction designed to take the public eye off the idiocy of John Lewis and the truth of the statement that blacks should be thanking whites.