In this April 26, 2019, file photo, Gov. Janet Mills speaks at the signing ceremony to establish Indigenous People's Day at the State House in Augusta. William J. Nicholas Sr., Governor of the Passamaquoddy Tribe-Indian Township, left, and Clarissa Sabattus, Tribal Chief of Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians attended the event. Credit: Robert F. Bukaty / AP

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Though I vote nine out of 10 times with the Democrats, I choose not to be one officially because there is a fatal flaw in how Democrats treat certain communities. There are what I view as the outright racist outbursts of Paul LePage, and then there is the more subtle but more insidious racism of many Democrats that includes paternalism and a lack of trust that certain communities do not know or will not choose the right path — so someone must choose for them to ensure their safety and prosperity. I believe the paternalistic racism of certain Democrats can be worse than the in-your-face racism of certain Republicans.

I think Gov. Janet Mills’ choice of not supporting Maine’s Native American communities more is an unfortunate example of Democratic paternalism, lack of trust, and yes, racism. I have been going on my very long and just started journey of being less racist (we’re all racist) as a cis gender, white male and have so much more to learn and to do better. I ask that Mills and her advisors also start a true journey of listening, understanding, and taking real anti-racist action.

Just because most of one’s actions are right, does not make one good — just because one is 10 times better than LePage does not make one just — admitting one’s mistakes and doing better each day can though. I believe Gov. Janet Mills has a very acute case of Democratic, paternalistic racism. She should change her stance — support tribal sovereignty — this is her legacy.

Chris Linder