Enraged Mainers Protest Governor’s ‘Kiss My Butt’ NAACP Slam
January 18, 2011
(ChattahBox Political News)—Maine’s crass tea party governor Paul LePage, was reminded on Martin Luther King Day that he was elected to represent all of the state’s “special interest” groups. After snubbing NAACP-sponsored events honoring Martin Luther King, by saying “they could “kiss my butt,” adding he refused to be “held hostage by special interests,” hundreds of protesters marched on the streets of Portland on MLK’s birthday to condemn LePage’s offensive attack on a civil rights organization that battles discrimination and promotes peace and justice. The combative tea party governor, who once bragged that he would tell President Obama “to go to hell,” finally relented to widespread criticism and attended a non-NAACP sponsored MLK breakfast in his hometown of Waterville. But the day after he made his remarks against “special interests,” LePage attended a rally for the anti-choice Maine Right to Life Committee. Apparently, a special interest group that opposes a woman’s legal right to an abortion is OK with LePage, but an organization that helps people of color achieve a better life is not worthy of his time.
About 500 people attended the protest march on Monday, called “March for Justice,” that was organized by the NAACP, the Portland Democratic City Committee and a number of church groups. One protester carried a sign that read “Enraged by LePage, Shame, Shame, Shame.” And another made reference to LePage’s use of his black adopted son, as a shield against criticism of his race-related policies, that read “I am not LePage’s Son Either.”
The crowd also condemned LePage’s executive order requiring state agencies to demand residency information of people seeking state aid.
Chanting “This is what democracy looks like,” the march ended in front of the City Hall, with the crowd singing “We Shall Overcome.”
Rachel Talbot Ross, Maine’s head of the NAACP, urged LePage to tone down his rhetoric against the poor and people of color. And she plans to send a gift basket to the tea party governor filled with materials on diversity.
“We think the governor may benefit from reading about how words affect people,” Talbot Ross said. “Perhaps his speech writers and communications office might want to check it out as well.”
A Maine pastor uttered the best lines of the day.
“Citing scripture, the Rev. Eric C. Smith, associate director of the Maine Council of Churches, said when God’s favor returns “steadfast love and faithfulness will meet. Righteousness and peace will kiss one another.”‘
“Last week, all of us here who are committed to righteousness and justice were invited to kiss something else,” Smith said. “But I believe Dr. King would have a message … turn the other cheek.”‘