The Mayor of a Maine city is standing by critical remarks against Somali immigrants, despite his views garnering more attention after his appearance in a documentary film.
According to The Huffington Post, Lewiston Mayor Robert Macdonald’s (R) anti-immigrant viewpoint gained a larger platform when he recently appeared in a British Broadcasting Company documentary.
“You come here, you come and you accept our culture and you leave your culture at the door,” he said in the film. In an interview with WGME-TV that aired Wednesday, he refused to walk his comments back, at one point criticizing the native culture of the town’s Somali immigrants, who makes up about 10 percent of Lewiston’s population.
“Why aren’t you over there fighting for it?” MacDonald said about the Somali culture. “If you believe in it so much, why aren’t you over there shedding your blood? Why are you over here shirking your duties? These people are yelling that I’m insensitive to their culture — if it’s so great, why aren’t they back over in Somalia? Why are they over here?”
MacDonald also told the station he is not a racist, and that he is trying to bring his diverse constituency together.
MacDonald’s original remarks can be seen in the video below, originally aired Wednesday on NECN.