By John Klar
Last year, Xusana Davis was appointed by Vermont governor Phil Scott as the state’s “first Racial Equity Executive Director.” Davis, formerly of New York City’s Department of Mental Health and Hygiene, applied for the job “on a whim” and was installed to “identify and address systemic racism in Vermont.”
The law labeling Vermont as systemically racist was also a whim, backed by no evidence aside from bald assertions that racial disparities in prison, land ownership, or school disciplinary actions reflect a disparity in treatment of people of color. The dangers of this false assumption are demonstrated in Xusana’s latest gambit: to “codify community engagement” by “considering racial and environmental justice in land use.”
Davis has been commissioned by recent Vermont law to “develop a strategy to address racial disparities within the State systems of education, labor and employment, access to housing and health care, and economic development.” Racism is presupposed by this legislation, and the solution is also presupposed: minorities must be incarcerated at rates which reflect the underlying population regardless of guilt; white people are all privileged; schools must discipline students based on race, not behavior.
Xusana burst out the gate to use government regulations to institute racist wealth reallocation, in the form of transferring land and economic opportunities from whites to minorities, without evidence of wrongdoing:
“Housing is a means of transferring generational wealth, and people of color have been shut out,” she said[.] … “The future of Vermont is going to be a lot more diverse. Our towns will be denser and more colorful.” Considering racial and environmental justice in land use, she asserted, will set the stage for a more diverse and more prosperous Vermont[.] … Too often, she said, people of color and the economically disadvantaged are shut out of “the quiet closed rooms where decisions are made.”
There is no proof that such closed-room meetings actually occur. But no proof is required for social and environmental warriors. As a liberal reporter intoned of Davis’s orations:
The all-white membership of House Natural Resources was, at times, a bit taken aback by Davis’ testimony. That’s the thing about implicit bias: It’s implicit, which means you aren’t even aware of it, so it’s a surprise when it comes to light.
Thomas Sowell cautioned about precisely such consequences in his 1999 book, The Quest for Cosmic Justice:
[W]hat is called “social justice” might more accurately be called anti-social justice, since what consistently gets ignored or dismissed are precisely the costs to society[.] … Not only does cosmic justice differ from traditional justice, and conflict with it, more momentously cosmic justice is irreconcilable with personal freedom based on the rule of law[.] … Merely the power to select beneficiaries is an enormous power, for it is also the power to select victims — and to reduce both to the role of supplicants of those who hold this power.
How are Vermont’s white people to respond to such attacks? They are allegedly guilty of implicit bias, which means they don’t even know what they did wrong. They are to be retrained by the benevolent government:
“[I]mplicit bias training” means training designed to help individuals identify and address unconscious associations, biases, and stereotypes that they hold about certain groups of people.
A society that puts equality — in the sense of equality of outcome — ahead of freedom will end up with neither equality nor freedom. The use of force to achieve equality will destroy freedom, and the force, introduced for good purposes, will end up in the hands of people who use it to promote their own interests.
Slavery was never legal in Vermont. Most whites here have suffered hundreds of years of poverty, and most family farms were sold long ago. Vermonters tried to hold on to farmland for their children. This, we are now told, was a preferential “transfer of intergenerational wealth.”
Xusana is quite proficient in “promoting the interests” of one group over another based solely on race. She employs Native Americans against white people, to provide black people with societally imposed preference:
This includes Vermont’s indigenous people. “We have a responsibility to be humble about the fact that we’re using land that wasn’t ours,” she said.
We are losing both equality and freedom in Vermont, through social engineering laws. My family has farmed here (and paid taxes) for 200 years, and I am of Abenaki Indian heritage. I don’t require a black person relocated a year ago from NYC to reallocate my land on my behalf to black people whom our Vermont ancestors died to free in the Civil War.
Oh Xusana, don’t you cry for me.
John Klar is an attorney and farmer residing in Brookfield, and former pastor of the First Congregational Church of Westfield. He is running for governor in 2020.