The town manager of a small northern Maine community is under fire for promoting white separatist views and making comments critical of Islam, it was reported Saturday.
Jackman Town manager Thomas Kawczynksi, 37, says he is the leader of New Albion, a racial segregationist movement that wants to preserve the white majority of northern New England and Atlantic Canada.
“I am not a white supremacist. I am not a racist,” Kawczynski told the Portland Press Herald. “What gets me in trouble sometimes is I am a white person who is not ashamed to be white.”
He told the paper he opposed Islam because it was “not compatible with Western culture.”
The paper interviewed the pastor of First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church in Portland who said that what Kawczynski was doing was awful.
“He’s going against everything that is American and what we stand for,” Rev. Christinia Sillari said. “He needs to be stopped.”
The Bangor Daily News reported Friday that Kawczynski frequently shared his political views on the far-right website GAB and his personal Facebook page.
The paper quoted Kawczynski as calling Islam “the scourge of Western civilization.”
“We are pro-white without being anti-other groups in terms of their racial identity,” he said, according to the paper. “But we … oppose the idea of bringing people in from the outside that come from different cultures.”
He added, “I would say unequivocally that I see Islam as fundamentally incompatible with Western civilization.”
“Wow,” American Civil Liberties Union of Maine legal director Zachary Heiden told the paper. He said Kawczynski’s views were “shockingly racist.”
Kawczynski told the paper he doesn’t run Jackman town affairs in a way that discriminates against anyone. The town, near the Canadian border, has 860 residents.
In 2016, he served as town chair for Donald Trump’s presidential campaign in a town in New Hampshire, the paper reported.
Two members of the Jackman Board of Selectmen told Maine Public Radio they were unaware of Kawczynksi’s viewpoints.
The Lewiston Sun Journal reported that the Jackman board hired Kawczynski as town manager last year. His contract was extended another six months just before Christmas.
He told the paper he was worried about the backlash over his views.
“I’m tired of people backing down from stating the obvious for fear of being politically correct or being blackmailed into silence,” Kawczynski told the paper. “I won’t be silenced like that. I can be hurt. We all can. But only we can ever sell our dignity.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.