It’s pretty obvious that John Klar meant to stir up trouble when he proposed the above addition to the “Black Lives Matter” mural on the pavement of State Street in Montpelier.
Klar, who’s challenging Gov. Phil Scott for the Republican gubernatorial nomination, requested last week that the city close the street on Friday, July 3 so the American flag and the legend “”Liberty and Justice for All” could be painted. The city initially denied the request, although City Council will take it up this week.
Fine, take it up. Then swat it down. This is clearly a political stunt aimed at Them Dang Liberals in Montpelier. I mean, really: Surround the “Black Lives Matter” message with obvious symbols of traditional American patriotism? It would diminish the impact of the original mural and muddy the ideological waters of the pavement in front of the Statehouse.
And the governor is… okay with it, according to VTDigger.
“That sounds very patriotic, fitting for the Fourth of July,” Scott said. “I wouldn’t say it’s inconsistent with the Black Lives Matter message. I think they’re almost one and the same.”
Scott, who is quick to cry “politics” whenever a Democrat dares propose something he disagrees with, or when a reporter asks an inconvenient question at one of his Covid briefings, is either being disingenuous or dumb about Klar’s idea.
“One and the same”? Not at all. “Black Lives Matter” is the authentic cry of a singular moment in our history, a call for our nation to (finally) live up to its own ideals. The words stand on their own. They need no artificial attempt at “balance.”
And I have no doubt, although Klar would deny it, that he chose his phrase because it contains the word “all,” a shoutout to “All Lives Matter,” the racist’s response to “Black Lives Matter.”
But let’s, for the sake of argument, allow Klar’s protestation that he’s approaching this from a “centrist” point of view and wants to stake out a “middle ground” between the status quo and the demands of BLM protesters. Even so, he has no business bigfooting the “Black Lives Matter” statement. Let him propose painting it on Main Street.
Or let him propose it in his own town of Brookfield, instead of sashaying up to Montpelier where he does not live and pays no taxes. (Hey, he could try to get it painted on the Floating Bridge.)
In reality, Klar never intended that his proposal become reality. He just wanted to score a political point about liberal intolerance. And the man is no centrist; his campaign website calls Vermont “a progressive petri dish” in which liberal politicians engage in for “utopian fantasies and egotistical virtue-signalling,” and concludes, “We are ‘progressing’ toward economic collapse and cultural genocide.”
There’s your centrist, in his own words.
He put out a piece of culture-wars bait, and Gov. Scott snapped it up. Congrats.