Tags: paul lepage | maine | newspaper | kkk | mural | free speech

Maine Newspaper: LePage 'KKK Mural' Is Testament to Free Speech

Image: Maine Newspaper: LePage 'KKK Mural' Is Testament to Free Speech

Gov. Paul LePage (Photo by Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images)

By    |   Monday, 12 Sep 2016 03:04 PM

A public mural depicting Maine Gov. Paul LePage in Ku Klux Klan regalia is an example of the First Amendment in action, one of the Pine Tree State's leading newspapers says.

In an editorial published Monday, The Portland Press Herald says the mural, painted on a 100-foot-long wall by Portland's East End wastewater treatment plant was like no other protest graffiti residents have seen there over the years.

"That's the way it's been, and that's the way it should be, even after a mural, painted by an anonymous artist, appeared there last week depicting Gov. LePage in Ku Klux Klan regalia next to the words 'racist,' 'homophobe' and 'moron,'" the Herald's editorial board writes.

"Overall, some people agreed with the mural, others found it offensive and both sides were able to express their views … It was free speech used in the service of public discourse. That's the First Amendment in action — welcoming to a wide range of public expression, if sometimes messy and even irritating."

The mural was sparked by an astonishing outburst from LePage after a reporter told him state Rep. Drew Gattine had described the governor as racist for focusing on black people as bearing primary responsibility for the drug trade in the state.

LePage responded to Gattine with a blistering, profanity-laced voicemail that has been widely circulated. Earlier this year, LePage denied he intended to be racist when he said drug dealers "with the name D-Money, Smoothie, Shifty" were coming to the state to impregnate "white girls."

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A public mural depicting Maine Gov. Paul LePage in Ku Klux Klan regalia is an example of the First Amendment in action, one of the Pine Tree State's leading newspapers says.
paul lepage, maine, newspaper, kkk, mural, free speech
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2016-04-12
Monday, 12 Sep 2016 03:04 PM
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