Jackman Fires Town Manager Who Promotes Racial Segregation

Jake Bleiberg, Bangor Daily News, January 23, 2018

The Jackman Select Board voted unanimously on Tuesday morning to fire the town manager, whose support of racial segregation and condemnation of Islam put the town in what most locals saw as an unflattering light.

Town manager Tom Kawczynski was dismissed four days after the Bangor Daily News reported that he is the founder and leader of New Albion, a pro-white organization that actively opposes people “from different cultures” coming to northern New England.

The roughly 45 Jackman residents who crowded into their town hall early Tuesday greeted Kawczynski’s ouster as welcome news. One woman let out a small cheer.

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Kawczynski’s views on race, culture and religion brought intense scrutiny to this small community near the Canadian border, with local, state and national organizations declaring they make him unfit to serve as a town official.

In exchange for $30,000 in severance pay, Kawczynski signed an agreement not to sue the town. Officially, his was a “no cause” dismissal.

After the meeting, the 37-year-old Kawczynski was unrepentant. He said he signed the contract simply to take the national spotlight off Jackman and said depictions of his views in the news media have been inaccurate.

“I reject categorically the suggestion that I am a racist, a bigot, a Nazi or any of the other foul names which have been attributed to me or my wife,” Kawczynski said. “I lost a job today, but I have gained a cause. And I am not going to stop this fight.”

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Kawczynski told the BDN last week that he wants to preserve this region’s white majority and to keep out Muslims but that his group welcomes people of all backgrounds, as long as their culture is “rooted in Western civilization.”

As of Friday evening, posts on the New Albion website referred to Islam as “barbarism” and suggested that America would be better off if people of different races “voluntarily separate.” These statements appear to have been removed.

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Along with many locals, the decision to fire Kawczynski was welcomed by a number of state and national groups that promote diversity.

“We’re big supporters of the First Amendment. And everyone has the right to their own religious and political views, even if they’re bigoted, but you really don’t have the right to impose those views through some kind of public office,” Ibrahim Hooper, communications director for the Washington, D.C-based Council on American-Islamic Relations, said after Kawczynski’s firing.

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Kawczynski, whose annual salary was about $49,000, had been on probationary employment status, Jackman officials said.

Since November, the Arizona native has been been running a website and Facebook page for New Albion, which promotes “traditional Western values emphasizing the positive aspects of our European heritage” in northern New England and Maritime Canada.

“I hate no race and I love all people, but I do love white people,” Kawczynski said Tuesday. “And I love white people as white people.”

Town attorney Warren Shay said that the local government does not challenge Kawczynski’s right to hold controversial views. The town paid him $30,000 to “settle the matter and get it done today,” Shay said.

Kawczynski, who had worked for Donald Trump’s presidential campaign in New Hampshire, was hired by Jackman amid the rise of the so-called alt-right and a resurgence around the country of white nationalist movements that have felt buoyed by the Trump’s election. {snip}

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Glenn Levesque, who owns the Bishops Motel, said that Kawczynski’s work had been “instrumental” in helping the town keep 24-hour urgent care. But, the 56-year-old said, the ambulance service is still at risk and the former manager’s divisive personal views made it impossible for him to be an effective advocate for Jackman.

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