Deborah Bucknam: Stop racist training in Vermont

This commentary is from Deborah T. Bucknam, an attorney who lives in Walden. She is the former Vice President of the Vermont Republican Party and was the Republican nominee for Attorney General in 2016.

In 1857, Judge Taney, in the famous Dred Scott case, held that black Americans were “regarded as a subordinate and inferior class of beings, who had been subjugated by the dominant race.”

In 2021, Vermont state employees, through mandatory trainings as part of statewide indoctrination, learned the following: “The ideology of white supremacy is really seeps into every nook and cranny of our society.” (Transcript from Whiteness and Anti-Racism presented by Mirna Valerio. Electronically recorded; Transcript produced by the Transcription Service.)

“The ideology of white supremacy…is the belief system that rationalizes, reproduces and normalizes white racial advantage. … There is a definite sense of subjugation … whether or not it is in the fabric of a workplace, (or) a government institution. (Introductory transcript to Identity and Social Justice, presented by Mirna Valerio on March 30, 2021.)

This message was intended to shame and denigrate white Vermonters. He did the opposite. It was based on the same belief as Justice Taney: that black Americans are unable to fully assume the rights and responsibilities of citizenship and lead successful lives, due to subjugation to the all-powerful “race”. ” White. It is a monstrous and barbaric belief, based on the endemic racism of the progressive left.

This message permeated all of the training. During the 15 hours of training, the only black Americans shown by the trainer were black Americans who were “murdered” in encounters with police. (from the transcripts cited above). No mention was made of Justice Clarence Thomas, Justice Thurgood Marshall, President Barack Obama, Secretaries of State Condoleezza Rice and Colin Powell, black intellectuals like Dr Thomas Sowell, Dr Glenn Loury, Dr John McWhorter or the Secretary of HUD and Pediatric Brain. surgeon Dr. Ben Carson, or one of the tens of millions of black Americans whose intelligence, talent, courage, compassion and perseverance have enriched our nation. You can do a search, and none of those names will come up.

The trainer also clarified that black Americans should never think independently. According to the trainer, black Americans who disagree with progressive orthodoxy that they are helpless victims of white supremacy are guilty of “internalized racism.” (Introduction to Identity and Social Justice.)

The trainer also clarified that, in her opinion, black Americans are extremely fragile. White Americans should, according to the trainer, refrain from what she calls “microaggressions,” which she says include compliments. White people need to watch their speech when talking with black Americans, just as adults do with young children.

The coach also didn’t mention Martin Luther King Jr. Instead, she said King’s dream that his children would be judged not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character , was “racist”. She said “colorblindness perpetuates and maintains bicycle racism in our lives”. (Introduction to Identity and Social Justice.)

Worse, the trainings emphasized that for black Americans, hard work and perseverance are wasted. In another state training I reviewed, the trainer specifically said that pulling by the bootstraps is racist and that stable marriages are white supremacist, and that counseling for maintaining a healthy weight is a form of eugenics” imposed by the medical profession.

Judge Taney and other white supremacists would approve of these messages.

These 2021 trainings aren’t the only indoctrination imposed on Vermont state employees. Similar formations and messages constantly permeate throughout the state government. Our children also hear comparable racist messages in our public schools.

Just as troubling as the racism delivered during the trainings is the violation of the First Amendment rights of Vermont state employees. dr. David Moshman, an expert on the nature and development of human reasoning and rationality, after reviewing the transcript of the trainings, concluded that they constituted classic indoctrination. He said: “Training is curricular indoctrination in that much of it is highly ideological and cannot be justified academically. The training is also pedagogical indoctrination in that the mode of presentation suppresses critical discussion and dissent.

State employees have been told they must accept this racist doctrine or face job-damaging actions. Such requirements violate employees’ First Amendment rights. As the United States Supreme Court has said: “If there is a fixed star in our constitutional constellation, it is that no official, high or low, can prescribe what must be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion or other matters of opinion or force citizens to avow in word or deed their faith in it If there are circumstances which permit an exception, they do not come to mind now.

It’s time for Vermonters to stop this racist indoctrination. It will take courage and perseverance, including voting, running for office and petitioning our elected representatives.

But we can take inspiration from our fellow black Americans, who have endured far worse, doing “good trouble” to secure their rightful place in American society.

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