Mayor’s racist text causes pain in Maine home to refugees

LEWISTON, Maine (AP) — A mayor’s resignation amid turmoil that included the disclosure of a racist text message is renewing tensions in a Maine city that has grappled with diversity since the arrival of thousands of African immigrants.

Shane Bouchard resigned Friday after a text message surfaced in which he likened elderly black people to “antique farm equipment.”

The text message comes in a year that has seen intense debate about how casual racism infects American politics.

It also laid bare racial difficulties that have garnered national attention for Lewiston before, but that are rare for Maine, the whitest state in the nation. Somalis began settling in Lewiston two decades ago. While most accepted the immigrants, the rapid arrival of thousands of newcomers has sometimes caused tensions.

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