Anna Sheffer
Updated Jan 24, 2018 @ 4:23 pm

Even in 2018, prejudice is still an issue in the United States. Hateful views toward Muslims are especially prevalent, as is evidenced by the federal government enacting a travel ban on people from Muslim-majority countries. And yesterday, January 23rd, a Maine town manager was fired for making anti-Muslim comments.

Thomas Kawczynski managed the town of Jackman, Maine, until he was quoted in local newspaper the Portland Press Herald on January 22nd saying that Islam is “not compatible with Western culture.” In the same interview, Kawczynski spoke of a movement called New Albion, which he said seeks to defend “the people and culture of New England.” He additionally praised Maine’s lack of ethnic diversity, saying that it allowed him to “experience the joys of living in a monoculture.” Kawczynski is also a proponent of racial segregation.

The Jackman Town Office voted 4-0 to remove Kawczynski. In a press conference, Kawczynski said that his termination amounted to “firing without cause.” He said that the media had depicted his comments inaccurately and that he was exercising his freedom of speech. He also denied being a racist.

Later in his speech, however, Kawczynski stated “I love white people as white people” and said that “white civil rights” needed to be addressed.

On January 22nd, the town of Jackman issued a statement on Twitter, condemning Kawczynski’s comments after their publication.

Jackman is a town of less than 1,000 people on the Canadian border. Kawczynski moved there last year and became the town manager in June. Despite what Kawczynski says, condemning an entire religion and advocating for “white civil rights” is racism, pure and simple. While racism is a well-documented phenomenon in the U.S., it does not exist against white people, period. The fact that someone with such reprehensible views was able to gain power in the first place is unsettling (although Kawczynski wouldn’t be the first), but we’re relieved to see that the town of Jackman has disavowed its former town manager.