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New Gloucester selectman says detractors have ‘malicious’ agenda

George Colby said the effort to recall him reflects the “cancel culture” that is “infecting” the country.

| Emily Bader, Lakes Region Weekly |

NEW GLOUCESTER — Selectman George Colby said in a letter to the Lakes Region Weekly this week that the effort to recall him is reflective of the “cancel culture” that is “infecting” the country.

“I stand accused of racism for a comment that was not racist,” Colby wrote, referring to a Dec. 3 selectmen meeting when at the end of the Pledge of Allegiance, he said, “Liberty and justice for all, for everyone. Even us white folks!”

Colby said that since his comment “wasn’t racist, I’m not going to apologize for saying it. I exercised my freedom of speech and expressed my dismay at the state of America, my frustration that people are trying to tear down America.”

He wrote that this “dismay was falsely condemned as racist” by resident Laura Fralich in her opinion piece printed in the Sun Journal.

Fralich, a member of the Facebook group New Gloucester United Against Racism, wrote that “white grievance is racism.”

Fralich said Tuesday that the recall petitioners are “not trying to tear down America but rather create a more equitable, inclusive and just country and community for all races.”

“Hiding behind the catchphrase of ‘cancel culture’ disregards the accountability that we all have for our words and actions and the need to take responsibility for the harm that they can cause,” said Fralich, a teacher at Gray-New Gloucester High School.

Colby said the recall petitioners’ “agenda is far more malicious,” than simply “canceling” him.

“They’re also attacking you and a free America,” he wrote.

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