Lewiston Mayor Bob MacDonald's comment is in a BBC documentary about Somali immigrants in Lewiston. The comment has gotten backlash, but MacDonald isn’t backing down and says he wants to unify Lewiston. The comment has received criticism from Somalis and left others scratching their heads.
“When you come here you embrace our culture and leave your culture at the door.” That's Mayor Bob Macdonald's controversial comment in a clip from the BBC. And it hasn't been received too well. MacDonald sat down with us to talk more about his BBC interview. He says he meant what he said saying “I don't care if you're white, you're black, you're yellow. I don't care what color you are, when you come into the country, you have to accept our culture. Don't try to insert your culture into ours.”
When asked shouldn't we listen to their ideas and hear what we have to say? Isn't that democracy?, MacDonald stated, “Eventually if that happens, yeah, it's democracy. If they all of a sudden become a big force and that's what they want to do then they're gonna do it, Ok? But right now, today? No.”
Macdonald says he's not racist and has long-embraced hard working Somali immigrants, and they've embraced him too.
The documentary was shown over the weekend at the Maine Global Institute. Lewiston's former mayor Larry Gilbert is on the board there, and Mayor MacDonald believes Gilbert is trying to make him look bad. But MGI’s executive director says the two mayor's personal relationship has nothing to do with why they showed the documentary.
They've even invited MacDonald to come talk about the film at their next meeting. MacDonald told us he's not going to go.