Media misses brazen Burlington censorship story

Former city councilor seizes the microphone from Todd LaCroix, who still had 30 seconds left of his two-minute ‘public comment’ time at the August 14 Burlington City Council meeting.

By Michael Bielawski

About two weeks ago VDC did a report on an incident at a Burlington City Council meeting regarding the apparent censorship of a public speaker by a former council member. The meeting occurred on Aug.14.

The incident involved Todd Lacroix, a Burlington resident who frequently speaks at public events. After speaking critically of social justice efforts such as the Black Lives Matter movement he then had his microphone seized from him by Rachel Siegel who is a former Burlington city councilor as well as she was recently the campaign manager for Councilor Melo Grant.

The meeting was covered by various media outlets online. Accounts of the meeting largely left out details of the incident or made no mention at all.

WAMC reported on the meeting but made no mention of the incident. The article gives much attention to the crowd that was largely there to support Tyeastia Green. She is the former Racial Equity Inclusion and Belonging office director who was caught in numerous questionable public financing decisions regarding the city’s 2022 Juneteenth celebration.

The VTDigger report covered the incident in a paragraph more than 20 paragraphs into the article. It described it as a “crowd” that took away the microphone rather than identifying the individual.

“That led several in the crowd to stand up and pull the microphone away from him. He continued to shout as he left the room,” the report states.

A message was sent to Paul Heintz the editor of the website asking for further comment, but he has not yet responded.

Seven Days covered the meeting but according to a note at the bottom of the article, the original story had to be updated to include that the mic was grabbed from the speaker.

“Council President Karen Paul (D-Ward 6) had to pause the meeting at one point after one attendee began shouting about ‘black supremacy and white supremacy.’ The speaker, Todd Lacroix, continued to yell even as the crowd shouted over him and an audience member attempted to take the microphone from him. He eventually left the auditorium,” is what the report now states.

The report goes into no further details on who took the mic or what Lacroix was trying to say. It doesn’t note that no one tried to interfere with the censorship.

No one “dared to challenge” the censorship

Not only the media but the public in attendance largely sat quietly or cheered on the 1st amendment offense.

“This was authoritarian suppression. And no one stopped it,” wrote Kolby Lamarche for VDC.

“Not one lawyer, of the many present, dared to challenge the infringement. They sat, silent, afraid of any engagement,” Lamarche added.

What was he trying to say?

Lacroix was only able to speak for a brief moment before being cut off.

“I see so much selective outrage from people every which way from people like you and people like you [he points to individuals at the meeting] and people being hypocrites,” he said. “How many times have you called someone an anti-semite because they called you out for being corrupt?”

He mentioned he had a messy divorce from his former African-American spouse and he suggested that both white and black supremacy are real concerns.

At this point, the microphone is grabbed and his statement is cut off. No one from the council or other city leadership – including Mayor Miro Weinberger – intervened in the apparent 1st Amendment violation. Instead, the council called for a break. Lacroix leaves the room in apparent distress.

He takes the microphone at 1:50:45 into the meeting which was on Aug. 14.

Siegel has a history

Siegel – who took the microphone – has established herself in local media as a “Leftist, Militant and Queer” during her time as a city councilor. On July 4 of this year, Siegal posted an angry rant on her Facebook page about the patriotic holiday. She also includes posts demonstrating how to do “twerking” dance moves.

“And I hate the impact on Black people, brown people, and other marginalized people for whom independence is limited throughout their lives by interpersonal and systemic barriers to a full and free life,” she wrote.

Free Speech Controversies in Vermont

This is not the first time that Vermont has been in the headlines for free speech infractions. In 2017 the Middlebury College campus came under nationwide scrutiny for a protest that essentially shut down a speech by Charles Murray, author of “The Bell Curve” which suggests a link between race, intelligence, and economic outcomes.

In another free-speech controversy, Aaron Kindsvatter, a former professor in the College of Education and Social Services at the University of Vermont, has been outspoken about efforts to indoctrinate staff and students with “race essentialism” which is similar to critical race theory.

The author is a reporter for the Vermont Daily Chronicle

Categories: Burlington, Media

23 replies »

  1. They didn’t miss it.

    They do this on purpose.

    It’s called censorship. The highest paid complement any one can get from Marxist trash is to be completely ignored. That means they have no rebuttal. That means you are directly over the target.

    This is how the Chinese know what their government is really up to, it’s often more important to know what they DON”T say or cover. Case in point.

  2. Keep in mind that Burlington has it’s own culture and it’s own lexicon to wrap around it. Preventing someone from saying something that might make someone else feel bad is called a promotion of civil rights, and not an infringement of free expression.
    Such is the bizarro, woke world of the left and Burlington…

    • It’s cancel culture at it’s finest. Take away the microphone, even faster if they are politely disagreeing and making really good point. Or even more so if you repeat what they are saying….like the kid’s books. Can’t say that in public!

      • The kind of cancel culture that results from making really good points in the midst of ignorance is the reason VTDigger stopped allowing comments…The other kind of cancel culture is when someone on the left cannot come up with an objective and logical argument and then accuses their opponent of being a racist and declares that they can no longer have a conversation with a racist…

    • The bizzartp world of the left is driven by the United Nations Council on Human Rights. I have been reading their documents. These cultural Marxists have redefined words. For example, the word “safe” no longer means safe from physical harm. When these entities state that certain states aren’t safe for the LGBTQ population, they really mean safe for their activist activities or ideology. Recently, the prime minister of Canada put out a statement to this affect because 13 states have prohibited minors from receiving gender affirming care. Part of the issue is that on a whole the average person still attributes the word “safe” with physical violence. This allows them to gain public consensus on issues.

  3. If you want to see what’s going on, Josh Slocum usually has the 411 on video.
    He’s a Vermonter with a Sunday 9pm show updating us on the insanity of the Left, often times the local crap going on in VT.
    Most recent podcast showing what happened: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=no056AyEqT4&t=2240s (exact moment of the incident begins there).

    • Thank you KGB. This is a very disturbing video. I am not surprised by these activists. This is the Social Justice racist ideology on full display. The best example I have seen to date. Public schools are actually indoctrinating school children into this ideology, separating children based on the color of their skin into Affinity spaces. As a productive, hardworking and kind individual, I take great offense that these activists are allowed to act this way. The truth is that the City of Burlington is worried about their ESG score, which is why the council takes this abuse from uneducated, belligerent narcissists. Yes, cities and municipalities are subject to RSG ratings. The city is marching to the orders on non-elected, international NGOs.

  4. Go to “Disaffected Podcast” on YouTube. Dunno if I’m allowed to post a link.
    In case I cannot, just look up this guy’s podcast.

  5. “Shocker”! The Burlington City council and its minions that support the city council are a Progressive cult. All you need to know is they stand for high ideals (e.g. “Freedom of expression!!”, “my body, my choice!!”, etc. etc.) but lack principles (“give me that mic!) – as always, don’t patronize Burlington. At some point, residents and business will meet their breaking point based on loss of private property, violence, loss of liberties, loss of business and rise up against this authoritative regime that rule these people. Unfortunately, it may take a few generations to succeed.

  6. Burlington the ” Queen City ” has become a liberal cesspool, and as you can
    see from this ” City Council ” meeting and the X council member taking the lead
    on quieting down a citizen of the city because of a different point of view.

    What a disgusting display, and the city council let these, Gestapo tactics happen !!

  7. Typical liberal b.s., they talk about being all inclusive and accepting which is a crock. It’s their way or nothing there is no civil discussion with any of them.

  8. They saw it, it’s just like the other day when during the medal of honor ceremony sleepy Joe walked out before the ceremony was over. Everyone was like where did he go but not a mention of it on the news. Covering for the clown

  9. Hardly a surprise when one realizes that much of the media in Vermont considers itself to be a public information arm of the Dem-Prog Grouupthink!

  10. Thank you Michael for honest reporting. Glad you are here!

    It is past time for right minded people to hold their ground and stand up for this censoring. I think many are taken back and shocked by it when it happens and it might take a minute to process WTH just happened because it is so wrong Sadly that is now the world we live in now.

    I am going to remind myself to be more aware at any meeting, rally or gathering I attend, pay attention to who is violating our constitutional rights. Stand up and document, we can’t let them get away with it anymore.

  11. If THEY were censored, on the other hand, they would care. No-one cares so long as its someone who disagrees with their view getting censored. See their reviews of the Patriot Act or the FCC for reference. In both cases, liberty and freedom of expression are assaulted in the name of an amorphous “greater good.”

  12. Seven Days is a propaganda rag mag! Must take their cues from the CCP! So ignorant beyond belief. Well, when China takes over they will lose even their liberal voice. Thanks Seven Days.

  13. “Siegel – who took the microphone – has established herself in local media as a “Leftist, Militant and Queer” during her time as a city councilor.”

    She inadvertently omitted fascist.

  14. I, for one, applaud the freaks of misery and encourage them to continue their war against humanity, justice for all, and free speech. The more they scream and behave like the hedons and vipers that they are, the more the majority is waking up, extremely annoyed, and ready to do battle. Seeing people forcibly pushing back and body slamming the climate freak traffic blockers is a great example. All the lies and deceptions are boomeranging bigly!

  15. Re: Media misses brazen Burlington censorship story

    “You can’t wake up people pretending to be asleep”. Roseanne Barr

  16. Ummm….Where in Holy HELL is the Vermont Secretary of State on this??? Is the Burlington City Council going to be sent a warning letter? Has the person whose rights were infringed upon contacted the Secretary? Is the Council going to be penalized?? Where is the ACLU???

    This is a SERIOUS matter that the State ought to be contending with. Instead? Crickets…..As Usual. NOT acceptable!!! Under. Any. Circumstances!

    These are the PUBLIC SERVANTS of this state: Elected and appointed. FORCE THEM TO ADDRESS THIS!!!! TODAY!!!!!!!!!!!!