If you’re Somali, you may want to think twice about moving to Lewiston, Maine. Apparently Mayor Robert Macdonald has issues with the Somali culture and feels they should leave their culture at the door.
Earlier this month about 50 protesters rallied outside City Hall before delivering 1,400 petitions to Macdonald’s office, asking for his resignation. In an interview with British Broadcasting Corporation he said immigrants should “accept our culture and leave your culture at the door.”
This comment didn’t sit well with the 6,000 Somali refugees living in Lewiston. Nimo Yonis, 26, said the mayor’s comments were painful and hurtful and “represent hate”, she said. “Basically, he’s telling us to forget who we were,” Yonis said. “Just leaving your culture at the door is leaving what you believe, what you stand for and who you are at the door.” In response to the criticism, Mayor Macdonald claimed his remarks were of course taken out of context. What he meant to say was that Somalis should try to acclimate to American culture. As if that sounds any better.
This incident isn’t Macdonald’s first time sticking his American foot into his mouth. He wrote in a local weekly newspaper that “submissive Somali women turn into obnoxious customers at the grocery store cash register.” He also wrote that he was tired of news stories about Somalis being treated poorly; most complaints, he wrote, came from “boo-hoo white do-gooders and their carpetbagger friends.” He later told a reporter that immigrants shouldn’t “insert your culture, which obviously isn’t working, into ours, which does.”
How about that for post-racial.