In an effort to discredit those who dare challenge critical race theory, VTDigger’s Bill Schubart in a July 4 article (“Conservative Hysteria”) claimed that my article in True North Reports challenging CRT was “heavy on political whining but light on understanding and facts.”
I’m delighted that Mr. Schubart is engaging in this conversation. Let’s discuss some facts.
Bill Schubart’s article actually displays critical race theory in action, including “enlightened” dismissal of anyone who dares challenge it. Mr. Schubart writes:
The far right’s invectives against a sincere effort to confront the implicit bias and racism of the past at a deeper level seems to me sound and fury signifying nothing. … Klar’s impassioned screed against historians, academics and politicians open to the idea of exploring what is called ‘critical race theory’ as an ongoing part of historical inquiry. … Many Republicans and conservatives have seized on the term and weaponized it in their fight against academics, elites and liberals whom they perceive to be denigrating not only them but their vision of America. This is white racial anxiety and grievance in its bluntest form.
Actually, what you just read was Bill Schubart dismissing as a racist right-winger anyone who dares challenge this toxic, hateful ideology (portrayed here, quite laughably, as “a sincere effort to confront the implicit bias and racism of the past”). Bill has previously disparaged Vermonters and their past when he had “recently learned” what gender he was.
Bill references scientific truth while seeking to implement a deservedly controversial theory. But instead of truth he invokes deceptions, such as that CRT is “an ongoing part of historical inquiry.” No, it is a re-writing of our known history, and it is an affront to the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. and the liberal values it seeks to eliminate. I have a law degree and studied social justice extensively in law school. I study Thomas Sowell as well, a black conservative Harvard economist who demonstrates repeatedly that not all racial disparities are caused by racism. Sowell compares CRT to the eugenics and Nazi movements, both of which also arose from elitist academia, and both of which also invoked a single-issue determinism to then ideologically subdue anyone who dared disagree. (Perhaps Bill Schubart would also care to discuss the writings of John Rawls.)
Here’s why I am a threat to Bill Schubart. Readers should learn what he is hiding. My grandparents are being slandered as white supremacists based on lies about history. Mr. Schubart dismisses my justified outrage as “white racial anxiety.” Yet I’m the guy who openly voted for Obama. I ask you to read my article and judge for yourselves — does it raise valid questions? Is it an “impassioned screed against historians and academics,” or an accurate critique based in academic rigor? Judge for yourselves.
Here are some facts for Vermonters to understand:
We are told racial disparities prove racism in Vermont. Why then do progressives manipulate statistics? Arrests of nonresident black drug dealers are measured against Vermont’s resident black demographic to allege our police are targeting people of color. This is an abuse of statistics to support a patently false narrative.
Similarly, median black incomes have dropped precipitously in the last few years, and progressives allege this was caused by white supremacy. That is simply a lie, and a distortion of statistics to further an ideological agenda.
Racially hateful poetry is being taught in Vermont classrooms in the name of “equity.” Fantasizing about hacking white people to death with machetes as recompense for past wrongs is apparently “exploring historical inquiry.”
My articles and speeches repeatedly invoke Martin Luther King, Jr. and existing laws that are being violated right now. Separating children by skin color is already in the Vermont CRT curriculum, but violates federal law. This is a fact that maybe Bill doesn’t understand. But parents must.
CRT holds that all white people are innately racist and must atone for this sin. It says Vermont is a white supremacist state because it is majority white.
Vermonters who “examine” not only Vermont’s past sins but its virtues, are silenced. Articles pointing out that Vermont was prominent in the abolitionist movement, that it was the first state to ban slavery, the first to graduate a black man from college, and the only state to elect a black man to its legislature pre-Civil War, have been consistently banned from publication.
Opposition to CRT is by no means a “right wing” phenomenon. CRT states that the First and 14th Amendments, as well the Constitution, are tools of white supremacy that must be dismantled. Please learn from psychology professor Aaron Kindsvatter about how harmful this “theory” is to the human psyche.
There are different kinds of extremism. There are Holocaust deniers (I’ve never met one in Vermont). Then there are abolitionism deniers, of which we are witnessing many in this CRT extremism. A sane view of history allows for analysis of both good and bad, of the yin and the yang. CRT does not tolerate such dissension — if you are white, your ancestors have sinned and you must pay now. It is an endless cycle of hate and retribution, couched in language of “equity.” And it is not about helping people of color — it is about weaponizing racial friction against white people (who are called racist if they exhibit “white racial anxiety” in response).
As Thomas Sowell explains, equity comes at the expense of equality, the goal toward which America and Vermont have aspired for 245 years. Before we tear all that down, let us have an open conversation. We are told “white silence is violence,” yet if we say anything that demurs from the ideological stranglehold, we are condemned as racists. I stand with MLK and ask Bill to do so also.
Critical race theory is explicitly racist, and claims that only present discrimination against white people can heal past discrimination against black people. That’s not an exploration of history: that’s a dark prescription for our future.
I’m not the Joe McCarthy here — I’m not the one raising hysteria about phantom Nazis with Confederate flags dominating black lives in Vermont’s Green Mountains. I’m not the one screaming during Legislative devotionals, or declaring racism a Vermont emergency during COVID (while opioid overdoses have tripled). I’m not the one breaking existing laws to dole out money and opportunity based solely on skin color and a dubious theory.
I thank Bill for engaging in this important discussion. My response here ensures Vermonters enjoy a diverse, inclusive and equitable discussion of critical race theory — including the voice of an attorney well-studied in the subject of CRT and constitutional law.
John Klar is an attorney and farmer residing in Brookfield, and the former pastor of the First Congregational Church of Westfield. © Copyright True North Reports 2021. All rights reserved.