Maine governor and notorious loose cannon/doofus Paul LePage found himself in the soup late Thursday when video was broadcast of him telling constituents at a town hall that Maine's serious heroin problem is the fault of dealers with comically antiquated urban nicknames who come up north to sell drugs and get white girls pregnant. From the Portland Press-Herald:
“These are guys with the name D-Money, Smoothie, Shifty … these types of guys … they come from Connecticut and New York, they come up here, they sell their heroin, they go back home,” LePage told a large crowd. “Incidentally, half the time they impregnate a young, white girl before they leave, which is a real sad thing because then we have another issue we have to deal with down the road.”
Now, LePage could have barely maintained plausible deniability and claimed that he wasn't appealing to racial prejudice if he had just stuck with the "D-Money" thing and the reference to Connecticut and New York. (There are about 4 million black people combined in Connecticut and New York but less than 20,000 in Maine.) But then he went and specifically complained about the horrific possibility that Smoothie or Shifty might put a bun in a white girl's oven.
At that point, you'd think the game (of pretending you didn't just say something obnoxious and racist) would be up. Not so, says LePage spokesman Peter Steele!
“The governor is not making comments about race. Race is irrelevant,” Steele said in a statement he emailed in response to a request to have the governor explain his comments.
Well, there you go then.
Smoothie and Shifty could not be reached for comment. Race is irrelevant.