City officials in Portland, Maine, are grappling over whether to remove a mural depicting the state’s Republican governor Paul LePage as a member of the Ku Klux Klan.
According to the Portland Press Herald, the mural shows LePage in a KKK robe and hood, with the words “racist,” “homophobe” and “moron” printed next to his likeness. It also shows the word “governor” crossed out in red.
The mural appeared on a public wall owned by the Portland Water District.
Portland Mayor Ethan Strimling on Tuesday called for the graffiti to be taken down.
“I do not want it up there. It is not reflective of our values,” Strimling told the Herald.
“The KKK has a long, problematic history in the state of Maine and equating the governor and his rhetoric, as much as we disagree with it, is a step too far,” he said.
A city spokeswoman, however, told the Herald that the city would not try to remove it since it’s a free speech issue.
But a water district spokeswoman said that the district’s general manager is in discussion with city officials to see about removing the mural.
LePage has come under fire multiple times in the past year for making racist comments. In August, the embattled governor said that people of color are the “enemy” in Maine.