On March 8, the Sun Journal ran an inflammatory article that, in part, strongly suggested that former Mayor Laurier Raymond and I were racists.

The article referred to an open letter that Raymond had sent to the leaders of the Somali community in 2002, advising that their diaspora to Lewiston was overwhelming city staff. Raymond asked them to slow down their migration to the city.

But the March 8 article had a different spin on Raymond’s letter, including the statement that “More than 1,000 African immigrants had moved to the largely white city in the previous 18 months. Many people considered Raymond’s request to be motivated by race.” Reading Raymond’s letter, it clearly had nothing to do with race. Any claims that it did are pure speculation without foundation.

Upon being elected Lewiston’s mayor, I immediately became the local progressive Democrats’ racist poster boy.

It will be a cold day in Hades before I apologize for my statement, “Leave your culture at the door, come in, become Americans and prosper.” The only apology due is to me for cutting out the second half of the quote.

When is it racist to inquire why one has fled to the safety of America instead of defending their country? Is there no answer because it could be personally embarrassing?

The only “racism” existing in Lewiston is that which has been created by self-serving and self-appointed community leaders and organizers. They create the illusion that behind every woodpile and tree lurks a racist, ready to set upon unsuspecting immigrants. They labor to be our community conscience.

Lastly, the resignation of Lewiston’s Mayor Shane Bouchard was not due to an affair, gathering questionable information on an opponent or racist jokes. No, it was due to a condition that plagues Republicans — a severe lack of intestinal fortitude.

Robert Macdonald, Lewiston