Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. conceived of the Poor People’s Campaign as a way to bring the voices of the poor to Washington. D.C. It was one of those radical ideas conveniently memory-holed by conservatives in their annual one-day co-opting of Dr. King, but it was central to his efforts to bring a measure of economic justice to America. He never got there in person, thanks to an assassin’s bullet.
The debate over extending Vermont’s motel voucher program has made it clear we need a Poor People’s Campaign right here in Vermont, because it’s obvious that the voices of the poor need to be heard as loudly as any other in the halls of the Statehouse.
Well, to be fully accurate, one part of the debate has made that clear. It’s the part provided by Brenda Siegel, who’s been bringing the stories of voucher clients to our attention and, in so doing, forcing The Comfortable to feel a wee bit less comfy.
So, modest proposal: A lobbying organization which, for placeholder purposes, I’m calling “Dignity.” Anyone who does the actual work gets to take as little or as much of this idea as they want.
We are once again heading into Town Meeting season and all the local elections that come with it. And once again, far-right conservatives are targeting school boards with the goal of banning critical race theory, Black Lives Matter, gender education, and all the other stuff that’s paving the way for a Communist America by producing a generation of brainwashed kiddies.
I’ll be on the lookout for specific candidates, especially where the conservatives put together “tickets’ of like-minded hopefuls. Tips appreciated.
Our first entry may or may not run for her school board, but she’s encouraging like-minded folks to run by waving the bloody shirt of “woke-ism” as fervently as she can.
He name is Martha Hafner, a resident of Randolph Center and a retired educator who’s up to her neck in conservative conspiratorialism. She’s also the brains behind Save Our Schoolchildren and its truly terrible website that will remind you of the bad old days of GeoCities or AngelFire.
The screenshot above is from a brief and wretched YouTube video urging people to run. Bad graphics, stock images, and a soundtrack that must be experienced to be believed.
SOS’ website and Facebook page are a shrine of conspiracy theory’s greatest hits.
Update! Canaan Superintendent Nathan Freeman sent me an email saying that the “Civil Rights Day’ designation was a mistake that’s now been corrected. His full explanation can be found below.
Hey, everybody! Three-day weekend! Monday is Civil Rights Day!
Uhhh… what’s that again?
Yeah, “Civil Rights Day,” the preferred appellation among those who aren’t quite sure about that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. guy. Kind of a commie, wasn’t he? Definitely a troublemaker. I guess we have to give “them” a holiday, though.
The above image is from the calendar of the Canaan School District, which apparently cannot abide Dr. King’s name. Yes, Canaan, the former employer of Education Secretary Dan French and, lest we forget, the only district in Vermont that never adopted a mask mandate, even during the worst of the pandemic.