By Guy Page
In Rob Reiner’s classic movie, “The Princess Bride,” not-as-smart-as-he-thinks-he-is Vizzini repeatedly says “Inconceivable!” despite the evidence of his own eyes. Finally swordsman Inigo Montoya (played by Mandy Patinkin) tells him, “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”
Yesterday Gov. Phil Scott issued a Proclamation of Inclusion and declared May 9-15 Inclusion Week. For several years now Vermonters have been told incessantly about “Inclusion.” Now some are telling Gov. Scott and the Legislature, ‘you keep saying that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”
The following was sent to the media yesterday by Gov. Scott’s office: “The Governor also established a Proclamation of Inclusion, which makes clear the State of Vermont condemns discrimination in all forms, and welcomes all people who want to live, work and visit Vermont. Both proclamations acknowledge the work of many in state and local government and by community groups across the state, while recognizing there is more work to do to consistently address racism and systemic inequities.
“This is an important pair of proclamations because they recognize that being truly inclusive and welcoming takes work, and we have to keep building on it,” said Governor Scott. “The fact is, if we want stronger, more economically secure communities, we need more people and more diversity in Vermont. I hope this effort sends a message to anyone who wants to live and work in a safe, healthy and welcoming state.”
These proclamations were developed under the framework of the Declaration of Inclusion, which was developed by a group of committed Vermonters and presented to municipalities throughout the state. To date, nine municipalities in Vermont, including Brandon, Franklin, Middlebury, Moretown, Pittsfield, Pittsford, Waterbury, Woodstock Village and the City of Rutland, as well as the Vermont League of Cities and Towns, and several other organizations have adopted a form of the Declaration of Inclusion.
“These proclamations are part of the State’s broader efforts to make equity a foundational element of everything we do,” said Xusana Davis, the State’s executive director of racial equity. “They espouse our values, and our values underlie our policy, budgetary, and operational work. We look forward to making an impact with these declarations, and even more so, we look forward to living them out through our work across the state.”
Vermont Daily emailed Scott’s statement to a handful of concerned Vermonters and thought leaders, inviting them to respond. (Comments by all welcome below.)
MEDIA IGNORES BLACK DISSENTERS – “While most Vermonters have had few interactions with non-white people simply because Vermont has evolved to be almost entirely white, this fact alone is used to declare Vermonters “racist”. But when asked for specific examples of how systemic racism in Vermont has disenfranchised any segment of the population to justify the need of a BIPOC only business loan system, Mark Hughes, the head of Racial Justice Alliance, had nothing specific to offer. This is because the problem does not exist. The activists use jargon and incomplete data to attempt to brainwash Vermonters into believing they are guilty of being white.
What is really going on here is the left’s intention to impose control of all aspects of our lives – education, commerce, and our constitutionally based individual rights. This ideology is based on Marxism and the current version is called Critical Race Theory.
There are politically active black Vermonters whose voices are ignored in this one-sided discussion. Kumulia Long, Alice Flanders, and Randy Brock have all spoken in opposition to the “Vermont is racist” mantra, but their perspectives are ignored or dismissed in the reporting from VTDigger, Seven Days, WCAX. Vermont’s mainstream media is complicit in the left’s determination to silence black conservative voices. Winter in Vermont.
- Monique Thurston, retired radiologist, Ferrisburgh
EVERY WEEK IS ‘INCLUSION WEEK,’ ALWAYS HAS BEEN – This is Vermont’s Inclusion Week, the week that makes proclamations that Vermonters welcome all. This week. Not next week, or every second Tuesday following the third Saturday of alternating months, just this week.
Just for the record…..In my daily life, everyday is inclusion week. When asked what makes Vermont so special, it’s a simple answer. It’s the people.
We don’t judge people by the color of their skin, what god they pray to, how much they’ve made or haven’t, what they’ve done or plan to do, what their sexual preference is or what sex they identify with, whether they are big, tall fat or small. Whether they have lots of money or none. All we care about is that you are a good person. If you are that, you are in!
After all, we are the only State of the first originals that never allowed slavery and lost the most citizenry per capita to rid our country of the scourge of humans owning humans.
Inclusion is everyday in Vermont. It’s how we were raised. Welcome to my world. Welcome to Vermont!
- Sen. Russ Ingalls (R-Essex/Orleans)
NO INCLUSION FOR THE MOST VULNERABLE – Governor Scott is a hypocrite to state that ‘Vermont welcomes all persons’ when just two years ago he signed the most radical pro-abortion legislation in the country. By doing so he sanctioned and endorsed the killing of unborn babies throughout all nine months of pregnancy.
It is hypocritical for Governor Scott to state his inclusion of people with disabilities, while the abortion of unborn babies with Down Syndrome, cleft palates and other disabilities, has his signature approval.
Governor Scott has proven his unwillingness to stand for every human life. Therefore, his words of inclusion are devoid of meaning. By signing an Inclusion Proclamation while at the same time abandoning the most vulnerable – the unborn – Governor Scott has proven he is little more than a political pawn.
- Mary Hahn Beerworth, Executive Director Vermont Right to Life
‘EQUITY’ CREATES INEQUITIES – Why must Vermont “make clear” what has always been clear – that it condemns discrimination? Most Vermonters know the history of widespread rural poverty here, yet the state’s new “Executive Director of Racial Equity” has declared that this “Proclamation of Inclusion” is “part of the State’s broader efforts to make equity a foundational element of everything we do.”
Vermonters see that “equity” is an impossible, utopian goal that is already creating many inequities. Critical Race Theory is being introduced into Vermont schools, and instructs that discrimination is necessary to end systemic discrimination. Vermont was extremely poor and white for decades, and now is being punished as racist and uninviting. Vermonters have always been inclusive — it is this new radical political ideology, which makes distinctions and judgments based solely on skin color, that is not.”
- John Klar, founder, Vermont Liberty
EMPTY RING OF A NOBLE CAUSE – In just a few years, we have descended from a pinnacle economy, where all factions of our citizens were working and prospering, to a depth, despair, and divisiveness over race. And the single most abused word in our language that has led the way to that descent is “equity”.
It is a word that sounds benign in its intent, but I don’t believe for a moment that the intent is benign. The purveyors of this concept are quick to turn disparities into accusations. They feed envy in our people, raise fears against one another, and instill shame in our children. Our schools are rolling out policies and curriculum based on “equity”; but instead of seeking the blessing of our community, the effort seems covert and underhanded.
This proclamation is a Trojan horse. It has the empty ring of a noble cause that is offered up by ignoble advocates. The words speak of inclusion, when our Governor has made it clear that he would exclude much of his own party based on groundless claims. And the words ignore the contributions of Vermont throughout history in the fight for equality among all Americans.
The Bible teaches us to “love thy neighbor as thyself”. That is the essence of inclusion. I do not need a new proclamation to teach me that.
- Ron Lawrence, Essex GOP
IT DOESN’T WORK – For over half a century the federal government has created innumerable agencies and programs, and spent millions of taxpayers’ dollars, to promote anti-discrimination and “equity.” Yet, this investment must have been a failure. If not, why would there be such an outcry for more government intervention now?
- Bret Powell, attorney, Williston
Categories: Society & Culture