Daily Archives: July 4, 2016

It’s summertime, and racism is bustin’ out all over

Perhaps in honor of our nation’s birthday, there’s quite a bit of sobering news for those who believe that Vermont is above all this racism stuff because, well, we’re Vermont!

Actually, I’d compare us to Scandinavian countries before the first waves of darker-skinned immigrants. They didn’t have racism because there wasn’t any reason for it to spring forth. But you add in some brown people — or even the idea of adding in some brown people — and boy howdy, turns out your attic is full of spiders.

We have, of course, the ongoing disgrace in Rutland, where opponents of setting 100 Syrian refugees might go so far as to eject the best damn mayor their city has ever had. And don’t try to sell me that the anti-refugee contingent are upset over process. That’s an excuse. No, they’re afraid of dark-skinned people wearing heebie-jabbies.

Exhibits B and C are separate reports detailing “stark racial disparities in Vermont policing and incarceration,” per VTDigger; Exhibit D is a series of truly disturbing incidents of racism in, of all places, Craftsbury — the summer home of Bill “Spaceman” Lee and an epicenter of Northeast Kingdom counterculture.

And the cherry on top of this shit sundae: Governor Shumlin urging federal authorities not to harass or “hassle” members of the Rainbow Family Gathering. I wonder if he’d express the same sentiment if it was, say, a Hip-Hop Nation event at Mount Tabor.

Call me cynical, but I doubt it.

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The dreams of youth, so quickly dashed

Nice little Q&A by VTDigger with one of the legions of young people inspired by Bernie Sanders to throw his hat into one of the many available rings. In this case, 28-year-old Nick Clark, running for State Representative. He wants to provide a voice for the millennial generation, a group under-represented in the Statehouse. 

Fair enough, and I welcome new people to the political process. I just hope his dreams aren’t permanently dashed when he gets mollywhopped in the August primary.

Clark is running against two seasoned Democratic incumbents, Jim Masland and Tim Briglin. Both are respected members of the caucus, and both have the nearly bulletproof status of “incumbent.” Methinks Mr. Clark, like many of his fellow Bernie-inspired young progressives, is in for a big fat disappointment. I hope it doesn’t transition into disenchantment.

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