There’s been a cluster of news items this week that point in the same direction: Vermonters are really uncomfortable with racial issues. To wit:
- Rutland Aldermen split on a resolution condemning the attempted insurrection at the U.S. Capitol
- Barre Council puts divisive flag measure on Town Meeting ballot
- Business owners of color feel unwelcome in the Chamber of Commerce
- House Republicans introduce a bill that would prohibit public schools from flying the “Black Lives Matter” flag
- The Vermont Senate’s first woman of color says Vermont has a retention problem with people of color rather than a recruitment problem.
First, we go to Rutland, a city with a habit of shooting itself in the foot. This week, Aldermen worked themselves into a tizzy — and ultimately held a tie vote — on a measure condemning the events of January 6 and blaming President Trump for triggering the riot. A couple of racist or racist-adjacent Aldermen led the charge against it.
Tom DePoy offered a substitute resolution to condemn the Capitol riot, but also the Black Lives Matter movement. Apparently he thought of this as a way to unify the community. It was voted down by the panel. Paul Clifford, who has a history of racist social media posts, voted against the original resolution. Sam Gerusso courageously walked away from his computer before the vote, saying “I shut off my camera and volume and went and used the restroom, got the mail, checked on my wife.”
He forgot washing his hair and walking the dog.Continue reading