A school board member, pastor, and hardcore Donald Trump supporter in Harrison, Maine, has resigned after his social media posts criticizing minorities and Muslims were revealed.
However, the Bangor Daily News reported Monday that Robert Celeste, a member of the RSU 17 school board in Western Maine, claims his resignation “had nothing to do with the fools that say, ‘That’s racist.’ They can’t even define ‘racist.’”
But the evidence of Celeste’s racism is abundant:
- Celeste posted a meme of a white woman wagging her finger at a young, blond girl and saying, “Listen to mommy. Never betray your race.” Another post called for stopping “white genocide.”
- After ISIS took credit for a terrorist attack in Paris in 2015, Celeste shared a post that appeared to threaten Muslims: “To all Muslims—the USA has the highest concentration of Armed Christians in the world, just in case you forget.” The image was set against an image of a gun firing a bullet.
- In an interview published soon after the revelation of his posts, Celeste blasted schools that would cater to “the nonbelievers, the Jews and everyone else.” He asked rhetorically, “Is there anything wrong with protecting the white race?”
- After his resignation, Celeste said that “born-again Christians should not be putting their kids in a public school,” and that students in Maine schools are taught “lies,” including that “that racism is anyone that disagrees with Islam.”
As Raw Story reports, along with serving on the Western Maine school board, Celeste is also the “senior pastor” at ChristianPatriot.com. His Facebook page reveals a number of posts made in admiration of Trump. He also regularly shares posts from fringe right-wing sites including Breitbart, and appears to be a proponent of the Pizzagate conspiracy theory.
Bob Celeste, a newly-resigned Maine school board member and "senior pastor" at https://t.co/Oril1m2vSx, made this post about a week ago that appears to advocate a belief in the Pizzagate conspiracy theory. pic.twitter.com/6PH9LlJfT8
— noor (@nooralsibai) March 12, 2018
In resigning, Celeste told Superintendent Richard Colpitts that he wanted to spend what “time I have left” completing a translation of the Bible from ancient Greek and Hebrew. Celeste said he has stage-four cancer.
Four days earlier, a handful of parents called for Celeste’s ouster at a school board meeting because of statements on his Facebook and Twitter accounts that they considered racist, xenophobic, and hateful.
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