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Letter: Janet Mills shows paternalistic racism in tribal sovereignty debate



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Though I vote nine out of 10 times with the Democrats, I choose not to be one officially because there is a fatal flaw in how Democrats treat certain communities. There are what I view as the outright racist outbursts of Paul LePage, and then there is the more subtle but more insidious racism of many Democrats that includes paternalism and a lack of trust that certain communities do not know or will not choose the right path — so someone must choose for them to ensure their safety and prosperity. I believe the paternalistic racism of certain Democrats can be worse than the in-your-face racism of certain Republicans.

I think Gov. Janet Mills’ choice of not supporting Maine’s Native American communities more is an unfortunate example of Democratic paternalism, lack of trust, and yes, racism. I have been going on my very long and just started journey of being less racist (we’re all racist) as a cis gender, white male and have so much more to learn and to do better. I ask that Mills and her advisors also start a true journey of listening, understanding, and taking real anti-racist action.

Just because most of one’s actions are right, does not make one good — just because one is 10 times better than LePage does not make one just — admitting one’s mistakes and doing better each day can though. I believe Gov. Janet Mills has a very acute case of Democratic, paternalistic racism. She should change her stance — support tribal sovereignty — this is her legacy.

Chris Linder


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