Maine governor Paul LePage says that guys from out of town with names like "D-Money, Smoothie and Shifty" are to blame
It is (unfortunately) a politician’s duty to invent an enemy that he or she believes people will join them in railing against, no matter how intangible. It happens every day in both the US and the UK – whether it’s Donald Trump railing against Muslims, or a (fortunately) now-defunct Nigel Farage discussing immigrants with HIV on television, in an attempt to ramp up the population’s jingoism and win votes.
The latest statesman to say something Absolutely Weird apropos nothing is Maine governor Paul LePage, who made some strange remarks at a meeting about the state’s heroin problem, opining on who he believes is to blame.
“These aren’t people who take drugs, these are guys that are named D-Money, Smoothie, Shifty, these type of guys,” he said. “They come from Connecticut and New York, they come up here, they sell their heroin then they go back home. Incidentally, half the time they impregnate a young white girl before they leave, which is a real sad thing because then we have another issue that we gotta deal with down the road.”
We imagine that LePage imagines his fictional, impregnating, drug dealing dwarves "D-Money, Smoothie and Shifty" to be black guys, particularly as he takes care to mention the race of the girls who he believes are being impregnated.
A spokeperson for LePage told AP: “Race is irrelevant. What is relevant is the cost to state taxpayers for welfare and the emotional costs for these kids who are born as a result of involvement with drug traffickers.”
LePage is right about one thing – America does have a heroin problem, something that we’ve reported on extensively. But it’s reductive fearmongering to say that a fictional man called D-Money is the one to blame and he should note that it’s hard to find the answers to incredibly complex social issues using characters from your subconscious.