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  1. Beenthere2Hippie
    Maine Gov. Paul LePage gave a speech on Friday in which he encouraged law enforcement to profile people of color, who he claimed are “the enemy right now” in the state’s opioid crisis.

    “Look, the bad guy is the bad guy, I don’t care what color he is,” LePage said, as first reported by the Portland Press Herald. “When you go to war, if you know the enemy and the enemy dresses in red and you dress in blue, then you shoot at red.”

    The Republican governor then turned to the House Minority leader, a member of the Maine Air National Guard, and said: “Don’t you—Ken [Fredette, Republican of Newport], you’ve been in uniform? You shoot at the enemy. You try to identify the enemy and the enemy right now, the overwhelming majority of people coming in, are people of color or people of Hispanic origin.”

    In another statement that week, LePage claimed that 90% of drug arrests in Maine are black or Latino people. (Maine is 94.9% white, according to the most recent census data. Black residents account for 1.4% of the state’s population, while Latino residents account for just 1.6%.)

    LePage is the same governor who said earlier this year that the state’s heroin epidemic stems from “guys with the name D-Money, Smoothie, Shifty” coming from places like New York to sell heroin in Maine and “impregnate a young white girl before they leave.”

    Heroin-dealing men of color from out-of-state impregnating white women, he continued, “is a real sad thing because then we have another issue that we’ve got to deal with down the road.”

    The ACLU of Maine responded to LePage’s claim about drug arrest rates by filing a Freedom of Access Act request for state records on these arrests.

    “According to the governor, Maine police are nine times more likely to arrest people of color for selling drugs than white people, even though we know white people are just as likely to commit drug offenses,” Alison Beyea, executive director of the ACLU of Maine, said in a statement. “This alarming disparity in arrests raises significant concerns that Maine law enforcement is participating in unconstitutional racial profiling.”

    In April of this year, LePage vetoed a bill that would have made Naloxone, an anti-overdose drug, available over the counter. The American Medical Association and the Centers for Disease Control are among the major medical and public health organizations that support making the life-saving drug more widely available, but LePage claimed that increasing access to the Naloxone would foster “normalcy and security around heroin use.”

    Maine saw a 31% increase in drug overdose deaths in 2015. At the same time, the state spent 6.6% less on drug treatment and prevention, according to data obtained by the Press Herald from the Department of Health and Human Services.


    By Katie McDonough - Fusion/Aug. 29, 2016
    http://fusion.net/story/341514/maine-governor-calls-people-of-color-the-enemy-in-states-drug-crisis/
    Photo: Crooksandliars
    Newshawk Crew

    Author Bio

    Beenthere2Hippie
    BT2H is a retired news editor and writer from the NYC area who, for health reasons, retired to a southern US state early, and where BT2H continues to write and to post drug-related news to DF.

Comments

  1. prescriptionperil
    Yeah, 90 percent of drug arrests in Maine are black or Latino. It's called racial profiling. Statistically, whites are more apt to be drug users.

    This guy is an ass.
  2. Beenthere2Hippie
    He's such a cartoon image, the poor mess of a guy he is.

    You think he could be biologically related to the now-deceased Toronto Mayor, Rob Ford? They kinda look similar, and they sure do (did) share an obvious bad attitude towards people of color. What they didn't share is the same prejudice towards a use of drugs, quite obviously. Other than that, they're equally and sadly misguided.
  3. mastermind22
    Are you fucking kidding me dude? Am white, grew up in fairly white area. Overwhelmingly the vast majority of users, addicts, and dealers I met are fucking white. Bet it's not going to be much different anywhere in maine not that far away. A huge part of our nation's view on drugs is also stained with a history of racism. More racism is not going to help now that racist politicians only care because more white people are picking up heroin and overdosing at unprecedented levels than ever before.
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