Republican candidate Jay Allen, who says he is a 'Trump conservative,' made several misinformed, racist remarks during a debate on Tuesday.
Jay Allen, the Republican candidate for Maine's 1st Congressional District, said on Tuesday that police officers shoot Black people who "need to be shot."
Allen's comment came during a debate with Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-ME), who currently holds the seat.
Allen describes himself as a "Trump conservative." According to him, police are "less likely" to shoot a Black person "because they know that if they shoot a Black person, then they will face an inquisition if they shoot that Black person."
"They have to be pretty sure that that Black person needs to be shot," he concluded.
Over the summer, thousands of Americans across the country protested against police killings of Black Americans after the death of George Floyd, an unarmed Black Man who was killed by a white police officer.
During the debate, Allen disputed the role systemic racism plays in Black people being more likely to be shot by police officers.
"Crime is committed by more African-Americans too, and again it goes back to the fact that they are raised in homes that do not have fathers, that do not have that principled leadership within the home," said Allen.
He further argued that the "family-centered home" in "African-American families" had been "destroyed" in the sixties by policies encouraging fathers to leave families.
Allen's rhetoric on systemic racism echoes other Republicans, including Donald Trump, who have disputed its existence outright.
From the Oct. 21 Maine 1st Congressional District Debate:
MAL LEARY, Maine Public: What about this specific area, though, that we've several studies on from the federal government, that Blacks are killed at 2.8 times higher than whites by police agencies? That's from 2009-2012 period. Why isn't that showing some systematic racism?
JAY ALLEN: Well, crime is committed by more African-Americans too, and again it goes back to the fact that they are raised in homes that do not have fathers, that do not have that principled leadership within the home.
And that's the problem that African-American families are facing. The African-American family used to be a family-centered home. But since the great — since the sixties, that has been destroyed by encouraging practices where the father — the family's better off if the father leaves the home.
JENNIFER ROOKS, Maine Public: You're saying that police officers are more likely to shoot a Black person because there isn't a father —
ALLEN: They're less likely. They are less likely, because they know that if they shoot a Black person, then they will face an inquisition if they shoot that Black person. So, they have to be pretty sure that that Black person needs to be shot.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.