Until this week, the governor's implicit message on Maine's drug problem was that black people were the problem and white people the innocent victims. On Tuesday, that racist message became explicit.
This administration wants Mainers to believe – even though the data says otherwise – that black men from away are drug dealers who should be locked up for decades, or even executed by guillotine or subjected to vigilante justice. In Maine, as in the rest of the nation, the so-called war on drugs is really a war on people of color.
It is no longer enough to simply speak out against this harmful rhetoric; our elected leaders in Augusta must take meaningful action. Legislators who truly want to stand up to racism must vote against bills that would give the governor more weapons in his war.
The governor has made it abundantly clear whom he will target with increased law enforcement and harsher penalties. We urge legislators to join us in rejecting racism in Maine, by voting against drug bills that will be enforced in racist ways.