February 12, 1902, The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), a civil rights organization for ethnic minorities in the United States was planned in response to the unending practice of lynching and the 1908 race riot in Springfield, Illinois.
The NAACP’s objective is to safeguard the political, educational, social and economic equality of minority groups in the United States and abolish racism. The NAACP seeks to eliminate all walls of racial discrimination.
The NAACP has extended several invitations to the Governor of Maine, Paul LePage (R) that he has declined. Their last invitation was to attend an event honoring Martin Luther King. Again, the invitation was declined and the NAACP felt snubbed.
The Governor has a reputation for his untamed tongue. In a CNN interview Governor LePage was asked to respond to the decline of the latest invitation, he said, “they are a special interest. End of story, and I’m not going to be held hostage by special interests. And if they want, they can look at my family picture. My son happens to be black, so they can do whatever they’d like about it. “
The reporter asked him again about a pattern of slighting the NAACP in turning down their invitations and he remarked “they can “kiss my butt. If they want to play the race card, tell them to come to dinner and talk to my son.”
The governor has an adopted Black son from Jamaica.
The Tea Party backed LePage during his campaign and faced fire when he said he would tell President Obama to “go to hell” if he was elected. Later the Governor said he regretted the frankness of his words.
The last invitation extended to the Governor from the NAACP was to meet with African American prisoners at the state prison in honor of Martin Luther King Day. LePage states the organization rejected his requirement to meet with all prisoners at the event. His response was “that wasn’t acceptable to them, so, tough luck.”
There are many people who view the NAACP as a racist organization. If the event was scheduled for only the African American prisoners it may appear to some that they are racists, therefore the Governor had every right to turn the invitation down, as all prisoners should have been involved.
Everyone has an opinion and is entitled to what they feel and say what they want. Nevertheless where are the days when politicians would reserve those types of remarks for their colleagues and not for the world to hear?
We are living in a society of free speech, but what about respect. As long as the world continues to plays the race card and not be mindful of what they say and how they say it, there will always be racial divide. No one will be able to look beyond their own damaging contributions to the ways of the world.