Maine House Speaker Rachel Talbot Ross, in a 2022 file photo., is among the Maine Democrats condemning white nationalist mailers. Credit: Troy R. Bennett / BDN

AUGUSTA, Maine — The Democrats leading the Maine Legislature condemned and alerted police to mailers recently sent to lawmakers’ homes that were credited to at least one known white nationalist group.

It is not clear whether the mailers were only sent to lawmakers or to the general public, but a spokesperson for Senate President Troy Jackson, D-Allagash, said she believed eight Democrats in the upper chamber received the letter, as well as some state representatives.

The mailers purport to outline “AntiWhite” actions based on the racist idea that immigration undermines the racial identity of white Americans. It also criticizes “demographic replacement via immigration” in a way that is reminiscent of a far-right conspiracy theory.

“The groups issuing these messages masquerade as seeking social justice, yet in reality distort information to create false equivalency to misdirect the public and stoke racial tensions.” Jackson and House Speaker Rachel Talbot Ross, D-Portland, said in a statement.

The exact sender of the mailers is unknown. The letters say they were produced by three groups and a person who writes under an alias and calls themselves an independent journalist focusing on alleged anti-white crimes. Jackson and Talbot Ross said they have alerted Capitol Police to the mailers under normal protocols.

The only group with a noteworthy digital presence is called Anti-White Watch. Its website was down on Friday, but The Daily Beast has termed the online forum as “a racist answer to hate crimes” because of its focus on alleged anti-white crimes that may not have had anything to do with race and its use of terms invoked by social-justice movements.

Maine reported slightly fewer hate crimes in 2021 than it did the year before. The vast majority of those targeted were Black and LGBTQ people. In 2020, the number of reported hate crimes here quadrupled amid a national rise.

Michael Shepherd joined the Bangor Daily News in 2015 after three years as a reporter at the Kennebec Journal. A Hallowell native who now lives in Augusta, he graduated from the University of Maine in...