The Slatest

Republican Maine Governor Says “Black Dealers” Are at Fault in State’s Drug Epidemic

Now LePage, pictured on Capitol Hill in May 2015, says he was talking about black people.

Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

In early January, Republican Maine Gov. Paul LePage answered a question about Maine’s addiction epidemic by complaining about drug dealers with names like “D-Money,” “Smoothie,” and “Shifty” who bring heroin in from out of state and often “impregnate a young white girl” before they leave. LePage and his spokesman then strenuously denied that the statement about “D-Money” getting a “white girl” pregnant had anything to do with race. LePage:

“I never said anything about white or black traffickers. … What are they, black? I don’t know. I just read the names,” he said. 

And his spokesman:

“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, now LePage says he was talking about black people. From the Huffington Post:

“I had to go scream at the top of my lungs about black dealers coming in and doing the things that they’re doing to our state,” he said on his weekly radio appearance on WVOM.

So—the governor of Maine, whose party calls itself an advocate for “personal responsibility and accountability,” thinks drug addiction is something “black dealers” are doing “to” his state.

Where do we go from here?