By Ryan Velez
When you say something offensive at your job, most places won’t wait to shuffle you out of the door and try and act like you never worked there. This isn’t the same everywhere. The Grio reports that after a town official in Maine made racist comments against Black people and Muslims, he was fired, but is still getting a hefty $30,000 severance package, even as he continues to double down on his rhetoric.
Tom Kawczynski made white supremacist comments on his personal website and social media for some time, but it was when these were made public that the town of Jackman’s selectmen unanimously voted to fire Kawczynski.
The comments themselves leave little room for interpretation. “Haiti has been a sh$*hole from day 1,” he wrote in one post. “To quote Papa John’s, if better ingredients make better pizzas, does it not also follow that better people make better countries?” He also shared similar statements from other users. “God, they are sh$*hole countries. Black countries everywhere suck (expletive). Why do you think they are always trying to move to White countries?” one read. The revelation sent the tiny town of Jackman into an uproar until Kawczynski was fired.
At the time, he was making a salary of $49,000 and is now getting paid $30,000 in severance. The additional payment was a part of an agreement Kawczynski signed stating that he will not take legal action against the town.
After being terminated, Kawczynski spoke out to local press, somehow trying to say that he wasn’t racist while being proud to lead a movement for white people at the same time. “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. What I will say, and I will say this quite publicly, is I do believe that we have the rights as citizens, as American citizens, to assert that some ideas are better than others and to have discussions about those ideas,” he said.
“That does not take away people’s constitutional rights to express them. But no citizen, without regard to what their office is, should have to give up their rights of free expression or freedom of assembly.”
And while he claimed that did not hate any particular race and loved all people, he asserted, “I do love white people, and I love white people as white people.”