Let’s Check In With Vermont’s #1 Nativist

The unintentionally ironic flag of the Know-Nothing Party.

John Klar, erstwhile gubernatorial candidate and self-described leader of the short-lived Agripublican movement, has been a busy beaver. He regularly contributes opinion pieces to little-read far-right outlets such as True North Reports and The American Thinker. They’re not worth reading, but they do merit the occasional bit of scrutiny.

After all, this is a guy who got 12,762 votes for governor in 2020. He got walloped by Phil Scott, but that’s still 21% of the Republican electorate who either agree with Klar or hate Scott so much they’d prefer an unknown alternative.

Last week, Klar posted two pieces on consecutive days, each are on the same subject: the evils of the Black Lives Matter/antiracism movement and its essentially alien nature. The pieces include notable displays of Vermont nativism, unsubtle racism and white victimhood. (Maye he should move to Stratton.)

First, his February 19 TNR piece (click through at your own risk) entitled “Vermont Liberals Gaslight…Themselves?” Let’s run down the highlights, shall we?

Klar begins with a reference to “Vermont’s headlong rush to defeat ‘systemic racism,” presumably in quotes because he doesn’t believe in systemic racism. He then, without evidence, claims that Vermont “led America in displaying BLM flags at schools.” The reference he cites is one of his own 2019 columns, in which he did not try to rank the states in prevalence of the BLM banner.

And then we get to his assertion that the “victimized citizens” in this sphere are white Vermonters. I’m sorry, what? They have to look at a few banners, but none of them get killed in acts of police violence.

Klar proceeds to slander political figures including “the vitriolic [Montpelier City] Councilor Conor Casey” and “Vermont’s RINO Governor” Phil Scott. He accuses those seeking racial justice as “gaslighters” bent on suppressing white conservatives.

He throws in a quote from an “expert” named Douglas Murray. In case you don’t know the fellow, he’s a right-wing “intellectual” from Great Britain. Think of him as the home country’s Ben Shapiro equivalent. The quote is from Murray’s The Madness of Crowds, which diagnoses ALL the madness as occurring on the left. He doesn’t mention the growing nativist/nationalist movements all over the globe; his focus is on gay, gender, trans and antiracism activism. The real enemies of, you know, people like Murray and Klar.

Klar’s February 20 piece, “The BIPOC Crusade Hits Vermont,” was the real winner, though. He begins by again painting white folks as the real victims. He points out the audacity of POC activists in Burlington for holding a listening session that excluded whites. Now, if I have to explain why a minority group might occasionally want to exclude others in order to have an honest exchange, you’re probably not listening to me anyway. Well, to Klar, it was “blatantly illegal.” As a source, he cited [checks notes] the Allan Bakke case??!?

That’s the original challenge to affirmative action in college admissions, from all the way back in 1978. I don’t know why he thinks the ruling applies to a non-governmental community meeting, but whatevs.

Klar makes the case that “the BIPOC Crusade” and Black Lives Matter are purely outsider phenomena that had to be imported to Vermont. In fact, he used a racist dog-whistle in doing so: “Activist blacks who have suffered urban oppression are in short supply in Vermont, so they are bussed in.” Later, he calls the imported activists “carpetbaggers,” a notorious epithet of the post-Civil War South.

He specifically names as “carpetbaggers” Tyeastia Green, Burlington’s director of Racial Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging, and UVM student/activist “Skylar Nash” (his name is “Skyler,” Jon boy.)

This piece features a quote from another European extremist, Ryszard Legutko, last seen having a scheduled lecture at Middlebury College canceled due to safety concerns. Campus activists had depicted Legutko, quite fairly it would seem, as “homophobic, racist, xenophobic, misogynistic.” Like the notorious Charles Murray experience at Middlebury, Legutko’s invitation came from the Alexander Hamilton Forum, a right-wing campus organization that gets at least some of its money from the Koch Brothers family of right-wing nonprofits.

Legutko, like Douglas Murray, sees intolerance and totalitarianism as a purely left-wing phenomenon.

Klar follows up with an Animal Farm reference, and depicts Green and Nash as “ideological elites, slurping at Vermont’s unguarded trough!”

Yep, they’re pigs. Nice.

The cherry on this shit sundae: Klar calls Green and Nash and their like “insensitive, deaf-eared bigots” who “insult and malign the indigenous population of rural Vermont.”

Pardon me?

Did somebody pull a 180 on the definition of “indigenous population” when I wasn’t looking? Shall we ask the Abenaki about Vermont’s “indigenous population”?

The charitable explanation for John Klar is that he lives so far in the boonies, and his experience is so shuttered, that he doesn’t know any better. Unfortunately, he’s clearly got a brain. Also unfortunately, his own campaign biography says he has lived in many places and “traveled much” to “many countries.” So he’s not some blinkered dirt-road pure Vermonter.

So he’s got no excuse. He’s a racist, nativist xenophobe who tries to provoke fears of “the other”. By his rhetoric, he would seemingly like to build walls around Vermont and keep out those with different or uncomfortable ideas — or differently-colored skin.

Again, nearly 13,000 Vermonters thought this guy would make a great governor. That’s one measure of our state’s intolerance problem.


14 thoughts on “Let’s Check In With Vermont’s #1 Nativist

    1. Gingah milbes

      You may not know that BLM was started over George Floyd who qas overdosed on fentanyl so that wsy before the police had to take him down his lungs were already blown up and he was saying i can’t breathe..before he escaped the police car and they tried to hold him down. The media never told the whole story

  1. H. Jay Eshelman

    Again, I always find it curious when certain privileged white people question the existence of racism, while others use their elite status to announce, for example, that ‘Black Lives Matter’, as if their presumptive pronouncements are sufficient to assuage the privilege of their whiteness. One can only hope and pray that those privileged whites, arguing amongst themselves as to who is more or less the racist, will one day only judge people by the content of their character.

      1. H. Jay Eshelman

        That’s the curious point, Mr. Walters. That you would assume I was asking for your help in the first place, let alone that you, of all people, would presume to speak for millions of Black Americans.

    1. John Lyddy

      Black and woke society don’t want to hear about the content of our character Jay. I spent 22 years in D.C.. Owned two businesses and ran another. Managed a roster of 1200 employees for a fortune 500 corp. Had a great time. They can take their dog whistle of the “privilege of whiteness and shove it where the sun don’t shine. Oh there is racism in this society all right but it isn’t white driven. I can list almost every official organization and it isn’t character or ability they are looking for first. Want to be a fireman Jay. Blacks first. How about a policeman? Blacks first. Harvard? Blacks first there to. Advancement? in the military, same thing. Oh Jay you think most white Americans don’t know what the score is now? We aren’t paying any attention to their bullshit any more. We don’t care about their whining any more either. The time is coming when the government will break down. Then we will see about the content of ones character.

  2. Stuart Nelson Lindberg

    Malcolm X, a true American statesmen, told the truth long ago about John Walters, Chuck Gregory, Walter Carpenter and all the white liberals. “The worst enemy that the Negro have is this white man that runs around here drooling at the mouth professing to love Negros, and calling himself a liberal, and it is following these white liberals that has perpetuated problems that Negros have. If the Negro wasn’t taken, tricked, or deceived by the white liberal then Negros would get together and solve our own problems. I only cite these things to show you that in America the history of the white liberal has been nothing but a series of trickery designed to make Negros think that the white liberal was going to solve our problems. Our problems will never be solved by the white man. The only way that our problem will be solved is when the black man wakes up, clean himself up, stand on his own feet and stop begging the white man, and take immediate steps to do for ourselves the things that we have been waiting on the white man to do for us. Once we do for self then we will be able to solve our own problems” Malcolm X

  3. Mark Milnes

    Floyd had been in prison5 times and held a gun to a pregnant woman’s stomach. He was no hero. The media only told a small part of the story and caused great chaos in our country

      1. Stu Lindberg

        The murder of George Floyd was completely avoidable, regardless of his troubled past. I think almost every good person agrees that his death didn’t have to happen.

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