Streaming across the border, the poor rabble looked for a better life, looked for jobs. We resented them, they couldn’t speak English, tended to live in enclaves of their own and didn’t go to our churches. We were worried that they would overrun our culture. They were just so different.

So we organized to counter the invasion, our resistance resulted in the highest per capita KKK membership of any state in the nation. They were not wanted, these families with names LePage, Poliquin, Thibodeau and Fredette.

I would hope that all Mainers would refute the racism of our past. We must realize that the hatred of any one ethnic group is not only wrong but is detrimental to the prosperity and success of our state.

So it was a surprise when the recent castigation of the Somali community was supported by so many of our political representatives. Sadly, the more openly racist seemed to revel in the limelight. I find it most disturbing that some politicians chose to ignore the history of their own ethnic injustice.

Every ethnic group, European, Asian, African or indigenous has enriched Maine’s culture.

It saddens me greatly to see racial divisions exacerbated by politicians. Those who have done so need to apologize to the Somali community, disavow the racism of their colleagues and follow the lead of those who have already rejected division.

Earl Morse, Waterford


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