I’m writing in regard to an issue that I have long been silent about. I have become so aggravated and disgusted with the current situation in the city of Lewiston that I cannot bear to keep my silence any longer.

I believe that the Somali community and many of the citizens of Lewiston have blown Mayor Raymond’s letter completely out of proportion and, in doing so, have put the entire state of Maine under nation-wide media scrutiny.

I have read the mayor’s letter to the Somali community, and so have members of my family. Neither I, nor any of them have found it to be racist. He was not asking the Somalis who are already here to pack up their belongings and move to another city. He simply asked them to inform their relatives and/or friends that may be looking at Lewiston as place to call home to look elsewhere because the city is strapped financially.

I understand that there may be a minority of citizens who would like to see the city rid of all Somalis, but I must assure you that they are indeed the minority.

The actions of some overreacting citizens have brought a national hate organization to the city and made the state of Maine look like a state filled with mindless bigots. I resent that.

On Jan. 20, on the evening news, I watched a group of citizens holding a press conference demanding the city take action to ease racial tensions, without first meeting with the City Council. They stopped short of calling for the resignation of Mayor Raymond.

I believe the mayor was indeed very wise by not canceling his holiday to Florida the weekend of the hate rally and opposing diversity rally. This is an issue that has just become aggravated.If we all paid what attention was due to this issue, which is what should have happened in the first place, it will surely go away.

The mayor wrote that letter to the Somali community in the fiscal interests of Lewiston.

Nathan Fitch, Peru

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