Maine has witnessed an increasingly energetic hunt for racism and racists over the last 10 years. Right now, the legislature seems poised to launch a hunt for racist traces in our laws, policies, and political customs. This hunt begins to remind me of the fox hunts I’ve seen in various BBC costume dramas, with mobs of baying hounds, their tails wagging furiously, in pursuit of a doomed fox. The editorial board of the Portland Press Herald has joined Maine’s hunt, their tails oscillating as energetically. It believes that the legislature’s investigations of its own work will shed light on the “systemic racism” which pervades Maine, the United States, American culture, and, the white race.

The PPH board tells us that people in minority communities are less likely to go to college or borrow money to buy a house or start a business. These disparities must be the consequence of racism. There can’t be any other cause. Here the rule of full disclosure compels me to admit that boys on the board are pointing an accusing finger at me.

They point out that the COVID vaccine rollout plan is being revised because it is failing to reach African Americans. The people who are at the greatest risk of sickness and death are members of our marginalized communities. They are at greater risk because they have to wait their turn until the oldest people in our population get vaccinated and white people have longer lives.

So, here’s my confession, I’ve been an octogenarian for weeks and I decline to die in order to help correct this disparity. Worse, I don’t really give a damn.

But enough of me, the board draws a larger lesson, I quote “Yes, systemic racism exists, even here in Maine. If we want to change that, identifying the racial impact of new laws is a good way to start

Their planted axiom, confidently assumed but never openly stated, is that all disparities must be the product of systemic white racism. There can be no other explanation.

The PPH masterminds aren’t bigoted. They understand that many, perhaps most, of Maine’s colorless people (CPs) don’t realize that they are enemies of people of color (POCs). I’m writing to announce that help is on the way. A global movement called Check Your Privilege is working to support individuals on their journey to become actively anti-racist. It is organizing workshops and events “to deepen the awareness of how unconscious bias and the interlocking systems of domination affect the mental health of Black, Brown, Indigenous and Marginalized Persons of Color. Readers who want to become better people should check

Skip ahead a couple of years and reflect on some neglected aspects of Maine’s next gubernatorial campaign. Janet Mills is enjoying her power too much to walk away from a second term. Paul LePage is so annoyed by her policies that he is almost certain to go after a third term.

The question before us: “Will Janet Mills reject her white privilege and forego its advantages?” The Mills family has been prominent in Maine politics for generations. A Mills has moderated Farmington’s town meeting in every year except one since 1916.

The Mills law firm has been Farmington’s legal heavy hitter since I had pimples. Janet’s brother ran for governor. His legal firm in Skowhegan is widely admired. Janet was elected to Maine’s House twice from a overwhelmingly CP district. She was elected Attorney General of Maine by a legislature which was almost exclusively white. She became governor of the whitest state in the union in January 2019.

In short, Janet Mills is so white she would become invisible in a heavy snow storm. Her life has not been silky smooth, but she has had more advantages than 99% if Maine’s population. We may have to wait a couple of years to find out how deeply she regrets her white privilege.

Now Paul LePage is also white but it’s much harder to discover what privileges accrued to him from this. Was it a privilege for him to quit his intolerable family situation when he was a boy aged eleven years old and lived on the street of Lewiston for a couple of years? Two families informally adopted him.

One owned a small café, where he learned some useful dish-washing skills. Another had a job delivering Pepsi, helping Paul learn how to lug cases of bottled soft drinks. His English was so poor he couldn’t get into college until Olympia Snow’s first husband persuaded Husson to give him his test in French (his mathematical skills were never in question).

Paul LePage’s tenure as governor has little relevance to the white privilege hogwash. Janet Mills’ advantages have none. It could be entertaining to find how Maine’s liberal media will adjust to the comparison…assuming they allow themselves to make it.

What is important is the weird transformation in American liberalism. When I first paid attention and learned to dislike it, liberalism sought power in the name of improving life and conditions for the American people. Now we are seeing programs and policies for improving the people themselves by cleaning their minds of undesirable ideas and undeserved pride. When and how does this stop short of overt totalitarianism?

By the way, on a different topic; Donald Trump has been acquitted.

John Frary of Farmington, the GOP candidate for U.S. Congress in 2008, is a retired history professor, an emeritus Board Member of Maine Taxpayers United, a Maine Citizen’s Coalition Board member, and publisher of He can be reached at [email protected]

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