Society & Culture

Guv proclaims ‘Inclusion’ – but what does it mean?

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.”

Click here to view the Inclusion Week proclamation.

Click here to view the Proclamation of Inclusion.

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

11 replies »

  1. I can tell you what inclusion DOESN’T mean: It doesn’t mean including anyone here who is not a democrat or “progressive”. It doesn’t include people who believe that our laws or mandates ought to follow the Constitution or science. It doesn’t include people who value the lives of unborn babies or the elderly. It doesn’t include people who believe that America is NOT a racist country. It’s not inclusive of those of us who believe there are two genders as well as, of course, rare birth anomalies within a fraction of the population. And it certainly doesn’t include people who do not believe you can switch your gender to the other. So…..I’m out.

  2. “Inclusion” in Vermont these days does NOT include persons who are of a mindset and worldview that is outside that of the leftist establishment norms. There is solid evidence that a persons place on the ideological spectrum is influenced by their DNA and is as ingrained into their psyche and identity as is a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity. That is the SCIENCE. If we must not discriminate based on sexual orientation or gender identity, then we must as well accept the worldview and opinions of all persons, and not cast those whose thinking is branded “conservative” or “right wing” as outside the mainstream or villainous in nature. If we claim to value ALL human lives then we need to stop regarding the unborn and tobacco users as second-class citizens as they currently are treated in Vermont. The utter hypocrisy and phoniness of the left needs to be revealed for what it is.

  3. And this comes from our elected folks…our government…those we’ve empowered to take charge of so much of our lives. Oh gracious…any more evidence needed about the mistake we’ve made here? Perhaps we’re ready to use our votes to disenfranchise these folks and restrain a presumptive government gone off the rails.

  4. An Inclusive, Nonracist, Non-ethnocentric , Unbigoted ,Anti-Marxist “American Proclamation” for Vermonters circa 1793 is called The Constitution of Vermont.

    It is not new, it was clearly stated and approved in 1793 , and one need not read past Chapter 1 to understand the meaning of “Inclusion”.

    However , a new ” Proclamation” the Governor should consider these days is as follows:

    Hitherto and Henceforth, be it known that:

    -BLM and Antifa are banned and lawfully declared domestic terrorist organizations in the borders of Vermont.
    -Critical Race Theory  is banned from all books and public schools in Vermont.
    -The year 1619 is expunged. The year 1776 remembered.
    -The State WILL Faithfully follow  its Constitution ,  as it has since 1793.

  5. Important to check the science, if they actually care about health and lives more than promoting division and pharmaceutical profits. “…this health disparity is partly due to insufficient vitamin D production, caused by melanin in the skin blocking the UVB solar radiation necessary for its synthesis; (ii) the vitamin D insufficiency is exacerbated at high latitudes because of the combination of dark skin color with lower UVB radiation levels; and (iii) the health of individuals with dark skin can be markedly improved by correcting deficiency and achieving an optimal vitamin D status, as could be obtained by supplementation and/or fortification. Moderate-to-strong evidence exists that high 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels and/or vitamin D supplementation reduces risk for many adverse health outcomes…”

  6. Powerful article by Mr. Page and all of those he quoted, followed by brilliant commentary. So why is it the same misguided leaders get reelected over and over again? When I settled my family here 40 years ago, I thought Vermont was a bastion of fierce Yankee independence, conservative values and freedom-loving citizens. Boy, was I wrong. And now “Critical Race Theory” may destroy what little is left of those ideals that brought me here so long ago. Wake up Vermonters before it’s too late!

  7. Yes, what Gary Steinberg said also thumbs up to what Terry Burke said!