Society & Culture

VT GOP adopts anti-racism statement

‘Party of Lincoln’ pledges to ‘confront racism wherever it exists’

by Guy Page

September 21, 2020 – As reported on social media yesterday by several Vermont Republican candidates, the Vermont Republican Party this weekend approved a statement in opposition to racism.

The statement, entitled “The Republican Party’s History of Confronting Racism,” does not assert that Vermont is a “systemically racist” state, but does promise to confront racism wherever it exists. It also promises opportunity to all Vermonters “without regard to race, color, creed, national origin, gender, sexual orientation or disability.”

The resolution is the culmination of a lengthy discussion among Vermont GOP leaders and rank and file about how best to approach the issue of racism. Johnson/Hyde Park House of Representatives candidate Shayne Spence and young GOP leader and Scott Milne campaign staffer Kolby LaMarche of Burlington have been among the strongest proponents.

“I am proud to have been a co-sponsor on this resolution alongside Shayne Spence, Senator Joe Benning, and Senator Randy Brock, “LaMarche said on his Facebook page.
“These are difficult conversations to have, but necessary if we are to progress in improving the lives of people of color. I thank Shayne for bringing this conversation to the table and working with countless others to pass a statement that is bold and proactive.”

The text below was published Sunday on the Facebook page of Treasurer nominee Carolyn Branagan of Georgia.

Top right, resolution architect Shayne Spence (GOP House candidate for Johnson). Bottom right, Burlington GOP leader Kolby Lamarche.

Whereas: The legacy of slavery and its aftermath are a stain on our Nation’s history and contravene the words and the stated intent of our Nation’s founding documents; and

Whereas: The legacy of slavery and its aftermath are a stain on our Nation’s history and contravene the words and the stated intent of our Nation’s founding documents; and

Whereas: The Vermont Republican Party was created to support the abolition of slavery while preserving the Union; and

Whereas: Vermont Republicans such as Solomon Foot, Jacob Collamer, George Edmunds, Justin Morrill, Ernest Gibson, Ernest Gibson, Jr., Ralph Flanders, George Aiken, and Julius Canns, among others, have demonstrated by their leadership and by their actions the Party’s long commitment to the abolition of slavery, the promise of Reconstruction in the post-Civil War South, the resistance to Jim Crow and the fight for the civil rights and economic freedom of Black Americans; and

Whereas: Despite the efforts of many, racism, a blight on our common ideals, continues even today in ways that negatively impact the lives of Vermont’s People of Color; and Whereas: Vermonters have witnessed national scenes of violence against People of Color and their businesses that shock the conscience, calling attention to the need to reinvigorate and continue the work begun by the founders of the Vermont Republican Party to ensure that every citizen is vested with, and entitled to, liberty and justice under the law; and

Whereas: Success in reaching that goal requires all of us to understand and recognize racism’s corrosive effect on society, learn how to address it, and work to ensure that Vermont and America are welcoming to all.

Therefore, be it Resolved: That the Vermont Republican Party will continue to confront racism wherever it exists, and

That the Vermont Republican Party continues its 166 year commitment to treat all Americans as worthy, equal and welcome partners in our democracy, distinguished by their unique contributions to our state and, individually, by the content of their character, not by the color of their skin, and

That the Vermont Republican Party and its candidates pledge to continue to reach out to People of Color, welcome them into our midst and ally with them in the common effort to bring hope and opportunity to all Vermonters without regard to race, color, creed, national origin, gender, sexual orientation or disability.

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2 replies »

  1. When I was growing up, “racism” effectively meant “thinking less of someone because of their ancestry”. The definition people are pushing now seems to be “any measurable disparity between racial demographics that favors white people.”
    I’m personally coming to believe it’s actually “seeing the world through the lens of race”. Coming out strongly against a word whose definition is in flux is not particularly bold.

  2. I suspect this Republican statement, for some who consider themselves to be Republicans, is a misleading response to a false assumption – an ‘informal fallacy’. That because they are Republicans, they are compelled to put forth circular reasoning requiring that the assumed conclusion, that Republicans haven’t, sufficiently at least, let it be known that they do indeed “..reach out to People of Color”, is not only true but irreconcilable. A proverbial confession for Republican ‘original sin’.

    While I consider myself to be an Independent, I nonetheless reject the assumption that because anyone is a Republican, they haven’t judged people by the content of their character unless they put forth the mea culpa that they have been, and perhaps still are, reformed racists.

    What’s next, Scarlet Letters painted on their foreheads? Yellow Stars pinned to their collars?

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