Hey, remember when a couple of QAnon-ish Trumpers ran for Barre City Council because they were upset over the flying of the “Black Lives Matter” flag? Well, we got us another BLM hater.
Meet Liz Cady, candidate for Essex Westford School Board (election 4/13). Her brand of fringe politics is more subtle than the Barre Boys, but it’s pretty out there. Since the Essex Reporter’s bland ‘n boring candidate profile didn’t dig into her anti-BLM advocacy, it falls to this here blog to fill the gap.
Cady is running against two-term incumbent Liz Subin. And if you carefully read the above campaign mailer, you’ll see quite a few plausibly deniable conservative dog whistles. But let’s get to a couple of telling details first.
Cady doesn’t say so on the flyer, but both of her children are in private school. She tries to elide this inconvenient fact on the flip side of her mailer, which starts “Like all parents, I want my two school-age children to receive the best education possible.”
She’s a district resident and (presumably) a taxpayer, so there’s nothing wrong with her running for school board. But if I were a district voter, I’d think twice about electing someone who has pulled her kids out of the schools.
But the bigger deal is her antipathy toward Black Lives Matter. Last year, after more than 100 students signed a petition to fly the BLM flag, the school board voted to do so. Last September, Cady spoke to the school board during public comment time and unleashed an often ungrammatical screed that, I am not kidding, called BLM a carbon copy of the Nazi movement. (Meeting is archived online; her comments start at about the 18:50 mark.)
“The idea that those who are opposed to the BLM flag are racist is incredibly wrong,” she began. “You can’t put people in such black and white areas.” (Said, somehow, with a straight face.) “Because there is so much gray. Lots of people fall in the middle of the road here.”
And then she makes it clear that she’s entirely on the white, I mean right, side of the road, declaring her opposition to “the BLM organization flag” because “It’s something I don’t believe our community can get behind because this is a nationally recognized flag. We have a lot of violence associated with it, and we are trying to change it for a local meaning.”
More word salad:
Perhaps my perspective of this is a little bit more, we are a former military family. We’ve moved around a lot and there’s a lot of places we’ve gone where we’ve been face-to-fade with the world is not always as it seems. And the same here goes for the BLM organization flag.
Does… not… compute.
Then she got to the Nazi stuff, and I quote:
An example one woman used while writing to the board about her opposition to the BLM organization flag was that if her child had decided to raise the Nazi flag because he thought it looked cool, it would be her job to tell him no, and here are the reasons why the Nazi flag is a very wrong symbol.
Well, that could be an analogy rather than a direct comparison. But then she made it crystal-clear.
…chaos does not happen in one drastic move overnight. It happens gradually as people stand aside and say, “Well, it doesn’t really affect me so I won’t say anything.” But eventually it will affect you. The Nazis’ rise to power happened slowly. It began in 1930 with riots, burning of stores, and violent acts. And that sounds very similar. Very similar of the early tactics of National Socialism in Germany, and the tactics employed by the BLM organization. It’s striking.
Actually, something else is even more striking: Cady’s extreme views. It’s one thing to argue that BLM is controversial and doesn’t belong on an official flagpole. It’s another to directly equate BLM with Nazism. Again, she has every right to run, and I have every right to lay out this information for the voters.
Now, back to her dog-whistley campaign flyer.
First, she prioritizes “taxpayers” first and “children” last in her view of the school board’s role. Her call for “transparency” is rooted in her opposition to the BLM flag. “Accountability” to the community is posited in opposition to “outside influences.” Like, say, bad, dirty, radical ol’ Burlington? Or the imaginary BLM Nazis bent on overthrowing our nation?
Then we get to “recovery,” where she declares her opposition to the closing the schools during the pandemic. And finally, “school choice,” the favored buzzword of the right, meaning “tuition vouchers” that would bleed the public schools of resources.
So, a clumsily-disguised right-winger with a BLM bee in her bonnet wants a seat on the school board. Vote for her if you like. But you should know what you’re getting.