By Guy Page
February 12, 1974, the Soviet police arrested dissident Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn for the last time. That day, before they exiled him to the West, he wrote a final message to the Russian people titled:
“Live Not By Lies.”
According to author Rod Dreiher of the 2020 book “Live Not By Lies,” Solzhenitsyn said honest people must stop “accepting without protest all the falsehoods and propaganda that the state compelled its citizens to affirm – or at least not to oppose – to get along peaceably under totalitarianism.”
“Everybody says that they have no choice but to conform and to accept powerlessness. But that is the lie that gives all the other lies their malign force. The ordinary man may not be able to overturn the kingdom of lies, but he can at least say that he is not going to be its loyal subject.”
Today, American educators and media are telling a pernicious Big Lie. They teach that America is a white, heterosexual supremacist culture determined to oppress non-white and gay and minorities. Highlighting historic wrongs, they ignore the historic rights that followed. Their hate-filled America can only be redeemed if all white Americans obey the new state religion of Critical Race Theory as officiated by its clergy, the educators, philosophers, and rule-makers teaching and enforcing ‘equity and diversity.’
Like Solzhenitsyn’s Russians, Vermonters are confused and afraid to publicly question. Look what happened to Windham school principal Tiffany Riley and Essex lifeguard Alex Katsnelson: fired, both of them. The same fate may await state employee Ben Morley. More on him and his inquisitors later.
Meanwhile, some in the Vermont media are playing the role of thought police. Dissent is labeled hate-speech and banned from the public square. For example, on July 26 Front Porch Forum banned a post submitted by Tom Licata of Burlington.
Read Licata’s post:
Persecutive and disturbing are two adjectives to describe the banning of the Burlington Ward 3 City Council Republican candidate from the old North End’s Facebook group.
Christopher-Aaron Felker has been denied access to some 1500 Ward 3 potential voters while the other two candidates have full access. Felker’s transgression, according to the Old North End’s Facebook moderator Holly Beckett, is that Felker is a known “transphobic” whose “hate speech” “doesn’t sit right with me”. Felker’s campaign says his “view is shaped by his religious faith and in line with the Catholic Church.”
This kind of censorship in Vermont politics should not be tolerated.
Believing that men are born men and that women are born women are the beliefs of all the major world religions: Christianity, Judaism, Islam and Hinduism. Apart from religion, Natural Law, the moral basis of our nation, shares these views.
What’s going on is a kind of purge of reason, for ideology. It’s a kind of postmodern or social constructionist worldview.
The citizens of Burlington, its media and its political class should publicly condemn the banning of Candidate Christopher-Aaron Felker from the Old North End’s Facebook group. – Tom Licata, Burlington
Something in this post “harasses, degrades, intimidates or is hateful toward an individual or group of individuals on the basis of religion, gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, age, or disability,” FPF says.
Reader, what do you think? Can FPF continue to honestly call itself “essential civic infrastructure” any more than Pravda of Solzhenitsyn’s Soviet Union deserved its name, the Russian word for “Truth”?
Licata’s comeback to FPF has echoes of Solzhenitsyn.
“Your’s is a lie. ‘Hateful speech’ amounts to whatever you deem to be hateful, in other words, censorship under the lie of ‘hate.’ It’s a cute language game, but that’s what Postmodern social constructionism is all about: Language and discourse dictate reality and hence, wield power.”
Like any other zealous new religion that has been given the power of the state, questioning is not tolerated. Yesterday’s Vermont Daily Chronicle featured a first-person account of a state employee undergoing mandatory ‘diversity and inclusion’ training.
Questions were not allowed, Ben Morley of Orleans writes:
“Ms. [Mirna] Valerio told us, ‘I do not take questions. It serves to derail the work…. questions are very self-serving, and sometimes people ask questions to stop the progress of the group.’”
That is the stench of dictatorship. That is the white Sheriff with his hand on a whip saying ‘shut your mouth, boy.’ Except this new sheriff’s whip is the threat of job loss for those who don’t get in line. Like Riley, like Katsnelson, Morley – a former Employee of the Year – has since twice been threatened with losing his job. Worse, he said there will be an “Equity Audit” of state employees to insure they are speaking and acting in compliance with the New Orthodoxy. It seems that not only American history, but employees’ performance history, will be rewritten.
Tom Licata called a lie a lie. I call Critical Race Theory a malicious lie against America and the progress made since the first four score and seven years in which we tolerated the original sin of slavery. It is a cruel slap at the Americans who marched and voted for civil rights and the achievement of widespread, systemic racial intolerance.
That’s not to say that many historic wrongs remain unaddressed. The 1862 Homestead Act championed by Vermont’s Sen. Justin Morrill virtually gave away millions of acres of farmland in the midwest and west – but only to whites. That’s one example of a historic, systemic opportunity denied to non-whites. Yes there is work to be done, and no-one of good faith would deny it.
But tossing all of American history in the slime of slavery and Jim Crow is a lie, a lie, a lie. And I for one will not live by it.