Nowadays, it is nearly impossible to successfully call anyone a racist unless they’re currently wearing the garb of the KKK or tattooing a swastika into their flesh – and even then, they’ll usually say they’re “alt-right” or “just trying to preserve their heritage.”

But when it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it’s important to call it a duck.

Which is why we have no qualms referring to Maine Governor Paul LePage as a flagrant racist.

Over the weekend, LePage couldn’t help but take the racial bait when his hero Donald Trump entered into a public feud with civil rights leader Congressman John Lewis. Rather than keeping his fat face out of it, LePage condescended to Lewis, declaring that he should be thanking Republicans for ending slavery, rather than criticizing President-elect Turmp.

No description can really match the true ire of his words:

“Criticizing the president. You know, I will just say this. John Lewis ought to look at history. It was Abraham Lincoln that freed the slaves. It was Rutherford B. Hayes and Ulysses S. Grant that fought against Jim Crow laws. A simple ‘thank you’ would suffice.”

This would be racist if used in reference to any Black American, but especially when used in reference to John Lewis who was arrested dozens of times for standing up for equal rights. Lewis marched alongside Martin Luther King Jr., and it was his efforts which directly gave way to the Voting Rights Act.

If anyone is owed a “thank you,” here, it is Lewis himself, though the likes of LePage will never deign to thank a black man.

LePage has been peddling his special brand of prejudice long before Trump was elected on his racial platform, accusing black and brown drug dealers of impregnating white-as-snow Maine teens and declaring that “90 percent of drug dealers are black & hispanic.” 

LePage has called for the death penalty for drug dealing charges, called a fellow Democrat congressman a “socialist c*cksucker” in a furious voicemail, told the press he would no longer speak with them, shouted at a group of students, and much more. LePage also promised to resign if his constituents told him to and when they sent him thousands of letters demanding his resignation, he conveniently forgot his promise.

Simply, LePage is about as disgusting as it gets, and for him to even let Lewis’s name enter his mouth is a major insult to the civil rights leader.

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Sydney Robinson is a political writer for the Ring of Fire Network. She has also appeared in political news videos for Ring of Fire. Sydney has a degree in English Literature from the University of West Florida, and has an active interest in politics, social justice, and environmental issues. She would love to hear from you on Twitter @SydneyMkay or via email at srobinson@ringoffireradio.com