On July 4, the contrasts between decency and bigotry could not have been more pronounced. In Portland, city residents hosted a barbecue for asylum seekers who were bused to Portland from the southern border after arriving in this country, seeking a better life fleeing violence and poverty. Prior to the fireworks, the asylum seekers were given a standing ovation by the crowd.

On the same day, in a letter to the editor, former Lewiston Mayor Robert Macdonald condemned the very idea of asylum seekers coming to Maine — a state that is facing an extreme labor shortage.

Lewiston has already been shamed by the allegedly racist comments and actions by former GOP Mayor Shane Bouchard. Isn’t it time for a change?

Ben Chin — where are you when Lewiston needs you most?

A return to civility and decency in the Lewiston mayor’s office and the White House would be a good thing, I think. Maine has already made a wise choice in replacing the shame in the Blaine House; now it is time to continue making progress, not taking a step backward, as paraphrased in Auburn’s motto.

Bob Mennealy,  Auburn

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