3/4/18, Maine First Media Staff Report,
In yet another clear signal that Maine media outlets are managed by Leftist ideologues rather than journalists, the Ellsworth American has refused to publish an op-ed, on the grounds that it didn’t meet their “civility threshold.”
The op-ed was written by Maine-First state Rep. Larry Lockman of Amherst.
The topic was the racist, identity-politics tactics of the PC-thought-police Left, specifically in reference to LD 1492, the Foreign Workforce bill.
Rep. Lockman inquired as to whether or not the Ellsworth American would be running the piece. He received the following reply from managing editor Stephen Fay:
“The answer to your question is no. Lines such as: “The next wave of foreign-born immigrants Katz wants to subsidize should be encouraged to go to Wal-Mart and buy Rosetta Stone (English) for less than $140,” do not meet my civility threshold. Your focus on race and Muslims is offensive.”
As you can read in Lockman’s piece at the bottom of this story, there is not one mention of “Muslims,” or “Islam,” anywhere in the op-ed. And who knew that encouraging immigrants to pay for their own stuff is now considered “offensive”?
Ironically, the Ellsworth American’s stance affirms Rep. Lockman’s point about how the Left uses the race issue to muzzle anyone with a conservative viewpoint or a Maine-First agenda.
And the Ellsworth American wasn’t alone. Both the Bangor Daily News and the Portland Press Herald turned down the op-ed that exposes both Republicans and Democrats who promote race-based identity politics.
Rep. Lockman tells Maine First Media that the PPH declined the piece because they don’t want to provide a platform for him to opine on the subject.
“Greg Kesich, the Editor of the Editorial Page at PPH, told me my writing feeds the narrative of ‘white grievances,’ portraying whites as victims of discrimination,” Rep. Lockman said. “Kesich condescendingly told me over the phone, voters in my district are perfectly free to re-elect me, but he won’t give me a platform to propagate opinions that feed the narrative of ‘white grievances’.”
Apparently, according to the PPH, white Mainers aren’t allowed to be upset about anything. In the elitist view of Kesich and his colleagues, unemployed or underemployed whites in rural Maine should just shut up. They are, after all, the beneficiaries of white privilege.
The BDN had originally agreed to run the op-ed, but within an hour reversed themselves, without citing any reason.
The Fake News industry in Maine is now walking in lock-step with radical Left-wing activists who aren’t interested in debating contentious issues, immigration in particular. Their objective is to silence critics of identity politics.
The Ellsworth American is using an entirely subjective “civility threshold” to decide which viewpoints are legitimate. The result is, their readers only see one side of the debate on important issues such as immigration.
Leftist politicians and their sympathizers in the news media now seek to win the debate by shutting down the debate. Their opening volley is character assassination, smearing conservatives as “white nationalists” or “white supremacists.” Then the Fake News media editors block publication of dissenting opinion pieces.
You can read Rep. Lockman’s op-ed below, and decide if it was unfit to print, or if this is another case of the PC-thought-police crowd, silencing their opponents.
COLLINS & KATZ EMBRACE IDENTITY POLITICS
That’s right. I’m not losing any sleep over reports that Sen. Susan Collins won’t be supporting my campaign for re-election to the Maine House of Representatives.
Apparently, her abrupt decision was triggered by my use of the phrase “war on whites” in an email blast opposing passage of Sen. Roger Katz’s LD 1492, “An Act to Attract, Educate and Retain New Mainers.”
In his written testimony, Katz asserted that Maine’s status as the whitest state in America is “nothing to be proud of.” He went on to say that immigration is “a social justice issue,” and that if we want a bright economic future, Maine needs to attract more non-white immigrants who don’t speak English and have higher birth rates than native Mainers.
Katz is not alone in pushing race-based identity politics in Maine. In fact, the Left’s obsession with skin color and ethnicity rears its ugly head frequently on both sides of the aisle at the Colosseum on the Kennebec.
Former Speaker of the House and now Democrat candidate for Governor Mark Eves told a gathering of Maine Peoples Alliance activists last summer that, “Maine’s whiteness is bad news.” He went on to say, “Maine is going to be in big trouble if it can’t attract a more diverse population.”
Imagine for a moment a candidate for Governor of Michigan giving a speech in Detroit, one of the least racially diverse cities in America, with a population that is over 84% African American. How would the Fake News media and Leftist politicians react if the candidate exclaimed that Detroit is way too black, and will never be prosperous if it doesn’t attract more white folks to settle there?
The question answers itself.
It’s worth noting that Sen. Collins weighed in on my “war on whites” comment only after a reporter cited the media arm of the far-Left Maine Peoples Alliance as the source. Be mindful that the MPA is so far to the Left that they lobby for voting rights for non-citizens, so I understand their interest in pushing the Katz bill. And I understand their desire to smear opponents as white supremacists. But when did this scandal-plagued pressure group become the tail that wags the mainstream media dog in Maine?
Here’s the problem. When Leftist politicians and their allies in the media play the race card, everyone loses. Baseless accusations of racism shut down debate and poison the well of civil discourse. It’s impossible to have a rational debate with folks who engage in character assassination.
So I appreciate this opportunity to clear the air and offer some fact-based arguments for an immigration strategy that puts Maine people first.
Leftist progressives tell us our future depends on state government devoting scarce resources to attract non-citizens who don’t speak English, but census data paints a very different picture. It turns out Maine had a .4% population increase from 2016 to 2017, the biggest increase in quite a few years. The vast majority of those newcomers came from other states, not foreign countries. It’s a safe bet most, if not all, of these new Mainers are English-speaking U.S. citizens.
Yet the Katz bill is focused almost exclusively on teaching foreign-born immigrants how to speak English, at a time when Maine taxpayers already foot the bill for more than $19 million a year for English-as-a-second-language (ESL) instruction in Maine schools. That sum represents a more than a 100% increase in just ten years.
The next wave of foreign-born immigrants Katz wants to subsidize should be encouraged to go to Wal-Mart and buy Rosetta Stone (English) for less than $140.
Meanwhile, we still have over 1,600 elderly and disabled Mainers languishing on the notorious Medicaid waitlists because the state doesn’t have the money to pay for needed in-home services.
The nearly $2 million Katz wants for his bill would come at the expense of Maine’s most vulnerable. People who have lived here and worked here and paid taxes here all their lives are being shoved aside to make way for low-skilled and no-skilled immigrants, many of whom have no intention of assimilating.
I believe we can move our beautiful state from poverty to prosperity if we focus on putting Maine people first. Let’s make Maine a more attractive place for English-speaking U.S. citizens from other states to settle and raise families — regardless of race or ethnicity.
If that offends Senator Katz and Senator Collins, too bad.
Lawrence Lockman, R-Amherst, is serving his third term in the Maine House of Representatives. He is co-founder and President of Maine First Project, a conservative nonprofit. He may be reached at [email protected].