Not the leadership Maine needs

Dear Editor:

“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.” Emma Lazarus’s famous poem inscribed on the Statue of Liberty has become as much a part of our nation’s charter as the Declaration of Independence. We extend “worldwide welcome” to “the homeless, tempest-tost” out of a recognition of our common humanity. Unfortunately, our President, our Governor and other elected officials have done everything in their power to make refugees and immigrants feel unwelcome.

This past week, State Rep. Larry Lockman tweeted “Muslim refugees and immigrants in Lewiston are demanding change, refusing to assimilate, taking credit for making Maine great, and saying they aren’t leaving whether Mainers like it or not. #buildthewall #theyhavetogoback.” This type of racist, anti-immigrant, Islamophobic rhetoric has no place in Maine politics. Immigrants and refugees have always been a vital part of the fabric of our communities in Maine. In this time of global unrest, where many are being displaced by war and the effects of climate change, we should welcome refugees and immigrants to our state, not demonize them and treat them like the other. Mainers are compassionate, hospitable people; we deserve leaders who respect the dignity of every human being, not those who fan the flames of bigotry and xenophobia.

Max Coolidge


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