Bucknam: ‘Time for Vermonters to stop this racist indoctrination’

Editor’s note: This commentary is by Deborah Bucknam, a St. Johnsbury-based attorney.

In 1857, Justice Taney, in the notorious Dred Scott case, opined that Black Americans were “considered as a subordinate and inferior class of beings, who had been subjugated by the dominant race.” In 2021, State of Vermont employees, in mandated trainings as part of state wide indoctrination, were told the following: “White supremacist ideology really infiltrates in every nook and cranny of our society. …The ideology of white supremacy … is the belief system that rationalizes, reproduces, and normalizes white racial advantage. … There’s a definite sense of subjugation … whether or not it’s in the fabric of a workplace, [or] a government institution.”

Bucknam Law

St. Johnsbury Attorney Deborah Bucknam

This message was intended to shame and denigrate white Vermonters. It did the opposite. It was based on the same belief as Justice Taney’s: that Black Americans are incapable of taking on the full rights and responsibilities of citizenship, and of living successful lives, because of subjugation by the all-powerful white “race.” It is a monstrous, barbaric belief based on the endemic racism of the progressive left.

This message permeated the entire trainings. In the 15 hours of training, the only Black Americans the trainer exemplified were Black Americans who were “murdered” in encounters with police. 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 HUD Secretary and pediatric brain surgeon Dr. Ben Carson, or any of the tens of millions of Black Americans whose intelligence, talent, courage, compassion and perseverance have enriched our nation. The trainer also made clear that Black Americans must never think independently. According to the trainer, Black Americans who dissent from the progressive orthodoxy that they are powerless victims of white supremacy are guilty of “internalized racism.” The trainer also made clear that, according to her, Black Americans are exceedingly fragile. White Americans must, according to the trainer, refrain from remarks she termed “micro-aggressions,” which, according to her, include compliments. Whites need to monitor their speech when speaking with Black Americans, like adults do with small children.

The trainer also did not mention Martin Luther King, Jr. Instead, she said that King’s dream that his children would be judged not by the color of their skin, but the content of their character was “racist.” She said that “colorblindness perpetuates and keeps cycling racism into our lives.”

Worse, the trainings emphasized that for Black Americans, hard work and perseverance are futile; that “pulling up by the bootstraps” and stable marriages are white supremacist, and that advice to maintain a healthy weight is a form of “eugenics” imposed by the medical profession. If there is a sure way to keep Black Americans “in their place,” these conclusions fit the bill.

Justice Taney and other white supremacists would approve these messages.

These 2021 trainings are not the only indoctrination imposed on Vermont State employees. Similar trainings and messaging constantly permeate throughout state government. Our children are also hearing comparable racist messages in our public schools.

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

State employees have been informed that they must accept this racist doctrine or risk adverse employment actions. Such requirements violate employees’ First Amendment rights. As the U.S. Supreme Court has said: “If there is any fixed star in our constitutional constellation, it is that no official, high or petty, can prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion, or other matters of opinion or force citizens to confess by word or act their faith therein. If there are any circumstances which permit an exception, they do not now occur to us.”

It is 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 gain inspiration from our Black American compatriots, who have endured far worse, making “good trouble” to achieve their rightful place in American society.

Images courtesy of Wikimedia Commons/Ardfern and Bucknam Law

9 thoughts on “Bucknam: ‘Time for Vermonters to stop this racist indoctrination’

  1. Thanks Deb…CRT is a Maoist Cultural Revolution import from Chinese Communist Party to faculty lounges to bring down our great nation now flooding public schools and surreptitiously poured out on our youth.

    By attacking admittedly flawed sectors of our nation, fail to highlight the happy ending – we ended slavery, while still rampant in the Middle East and Africa.

    And all nations share a sordid history because humans inhabit them all. Just as the Good King/Bad King history of our biblical ancestors it is our evil leaders who cause or allow evil emergence of those coming to power who overcome it. It’s the nature of the beast and all we can do is fight it to the bitter end.

  2. CRT has some valid arguments– no one who knows about the UVM Kake Walk, that only ended in 1969, can say that it doesn’t and that Vermont didn’t/doesn’t have elements of unconscious/systemic racism.

    But the doctrinaire quality and the intolerance for dissent are what makes CRT wholly unappealing.

    I think CRT is part of an all-out assault on America designed to make us lose faith and trust in ourselves: to see ourselves as following a “systemically racist” political system that should be discarded. It, like the theory of catastrophic CO2 warming, lends support to the idea that we all need a “reset” into a better and brighter future wherein justice, equality, “stay safe,” and saving the planet take precedent. However, we should recognize these theories for what they are: attempts to break down our faith in ourselves and herd us into a Great Reset whose end– make no mistake about this– is to monitor and manage us all. We’ll be told what we can spend and on what; this will be “necessary” to save the planet, etc. We’ll be part of a system of central bank digital currency through which funds can be distributed and withheld at the turn of an algorithm and our spending completely monitored and controlled, all “for the greater good” (and all of this depends on digital vaccine passports, which is why Trudeau, a student of Klaus Schwab, so far refuses to drop Covid restrictions in the face of massive protests.)

    What’s the real solution to unconscious racism? It’d be the idea that we should treat all people with respect, and that we should acknowledge the painful history of racism. So yes, I do believe that we should teach about slavery and black oppression in the schools, and every Vermont high school student should know that the UVM Kake Walk happened. But the doctrine of CRT is a horse of a different color whose extreme intolerance should, at the very least, be moderated.

    What’s the real solution to CO2 warming? There isn’t one: the theory is almost 100% bogus. The real problem isn’t CO2, it’s CO2 science, and the solution to that problem is to examine the science carefully and to question it, something that isn’t permitted in the orthodoxy.

    What do the theory of CO2 warming and CRT have in common? They are both allegedly beyond debate. They both require absolute obedience to the scientific or social theory or else one becomes a denier. I don’t think this characteristic is accidental.

    • Wrong Mr Freitag…looks like ya forgot which of the conjoined twins you’re writing under lol…there is zero legitimacy bc it is in our past and already in history lessons for all to see…CRT pits two races against each other and is a platform to create reverse racism policy by picking the winners and losers of our nation and creating class warfare…MAGA for everyone is the answer sir

  3. Hey Deb,

    Don’t take the bait put out by the Uniparty for division. We need to rally with the Canadian truckers. They are taking over countries while we fight the orchestrated arguments of CRT and racism.

    There an ideological battle going on, it’s pretty significant one too.

    Hopefully you guys get in the game here pretty soon.


  4. Why do they now play 2 anthems at football and basketball games, The National Anthem and The Black National Anthem? Does this mean we have a policy of Apartheid?

  5. I repeat here a portion of my response to John Klar’s recent post as it applies here as well:
    “We all need to remember that, no matter the color of our skin, we all bleed red. There is only one “race”, the HUMAN race. The left continues to cultivate the Marxist principles that give birth to fear, division, hatred, lust for power and godlessness. If we all stopped focusing on our differences and started treating others with the respect and dignity that each of us desires, this world would become a much better place to live.” …and work.

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