Jackman Town Manager Tom Kawczynski poses in front of his New Albion flag. Photo coutesy Tom Kawczynski

The town manager of Jackman is coming under fire for promoting white separatist views and making comments critical of Islam.

Thomas Kawczynski describes himself as a “steward” for New Albion, espousing ideas based on the races being “voluntarily separate.” The New Albion website says it is “defending the people and culture of New England.”

Kawczynski, in a phone interview with the Press Herald on Friday night, said New Albion is not a racist movement, but one that promotes “monoculture.”

“I am not a white supremacist. I am not a racist,” Kawczynski said. “What gets me in trouble sometimes is I am a white person who is not ashamed to be white.”

Kawczynski, 37, said that living in northern Maine, where most of the people are white, allows him to “experience the joys of living in a monoculture.” He said he opposes Islam because it’s “not compatible with Western culture.”

Jackman is in Somerset County on the Canadian border. The town had a population of 862 people in the 2010 census.

“People tend to like living next to people who are like each other,” Kawczynski said. An Arizona native, he formerly lived in Pennsylvania, and worked as a legal clerk and courier before moving to Jackman last June to accept the town manager’s job.

Kawczynski designed and made a flag for New Albion, a green and blue flag featuring a pine tree and pine cones. He said New Albion is a cultural movement that is growing “organically” and is not an attempt at secession.

“The golden tree and the pine cones represent the search for knowledge. The green represents the forests and nature, and blue represents the lakes, rivers and oceans,” said Kawczynski, who posed for a photo in front of the flag wearing a green shirt, green tie and his arms folded. “I’m trying to start a conversation about New Albion.”

But critics pounced on Kawczynski’s anti-diversity views.

“It’s really awful what he’s doing,” said the Rev. Christina Sillari, the Unitarian Universalist pastor of First Parish Church in Portland. She said the views go against long-held American ideals of welcoming immigrants and celebrating diversity. “He’s going against everything that is American and what we stand for. He needs to be stopped.”

Sillari said cities in Maine like Portland and Lewiston that have significant immigrant populations are enriched by the new arrivals.

“Maine is a better place because of the diversity,” said Sillari, a leader for Moral Movement Maine, a group of religious leaders that bands together on certain issues. “His way of thinking is an outdated way of thinking about the world.”

Kawczynski, who is married with no children, said the United States now has enough people and he believes in halting all immigration.

He wrote on his Facebook page that “I oppose diversity as a concept. Without commenting on any particular culture, the idea you can simply throw any ingredients together and expect them to work in harmony is the most naive thing I’ve ever heard.”

The New Albion website says that “I believe in all people, living as they choose, in free determination. For the people of New England, our folk are white people of European ancestry and ideas, emphasizing the value of work, communing with nature, and a society based upon order. While I am not an absolutist on race understanding the many complications created by the American system, I do believe to the extent we voluntarily separate, the happier every group will be as they regain self-determination,” a December post on the website said.

He also has attacked feminists on social media.

“It’s no accident unattractive women make up the vast majority of feminists,” he said in a post on Gab this month. “Their issue is less with the roles men and women play, and more with resentment about the lack of attention they draw from men due to these attributes.”

Gab has been accused of providing a platform for users – including white supremacists – banned or suspended from other services for violating their terms of service.

Shauna Turnbull wrote on the Jackman official facebook page that she used to live and work near Jackman, and she was disappointed in the town.

“I would never have thought that you would have stooped so low as to have a town manager as ignorant, racist, and hateful as Tom Kawczynski. I have told people for years about the beauty of quirkiness of Maine, but racism and bigotry isn’t quirky, it’s evil and ignorant. Sorry, Jackman. You just lost a fan,” she wrote.

Kawczynski told the Press Herald that he does not bring his personal views about New Albion to his job as Jackman town manager, where he works on issues like access to health care and expanding the parks. He said while he opposes Islam, he does not attempt to persuade Muslims to abandon their religion.

“I’m not a missionary. I’m a bureaucrat,” he said.

Kawczynski said he supported President Trump and voted for him, but he does not consider himself a Republican or a Democrat, but a promoter of “folkism.”

According to Maine Public, two members of the Jackman Board of Selectmen said they were unaware of Kawczynksi’s postings. Selectman Charles Lumbert told Maine Public they were concerned enough to contact the town’s attorney.

An email seeking comment sent to Heidi Dionne, Jackman’s administrative secretary, was not returned Friday night.

Kawczynski said he hasn’t heard from town selectmen, but hopes they consider what he’s doing for the town and won’t hold his personal views against him.

“I’m sure I’m going to have an interesting week,” he said.

Morning Sentinel Staff Writer Emily Higginbotham contributed to this report.

Joe Lawlor can be contacted at 791-6376 or at:

[email protected]

Twitter: @joelawlorph

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