Vermont dairy farms have suffered dramatically during COVID-19, exposing longstanding market weaknesses. At least 40 more farms (of 677) have closed since COVID, and most currently operate at a loss — farmers work very long hours at a negative wage, depleting equity and increasing debt. Vermont officials focused on the sole measuring stick of race allege that Vermont’s farming economy “depends” on immigrant farm labor. In fact, immigrant farm laborers (who get paid a wage, and get time off) are dependent on the farm families who have striven for generations to create viable businesses.
Xusana Davis, Vermont’s executive director of racial equity, has led the wolfpack of farmer-haters. In a year when the Vermont Legislature is weighing slanderous legislation (H.273) that alleges that white Vermont farmers used Jim Crow and sharecropping laws to eject blacks from Vermont farmland, or that Vermonters committed genocide against native peoples, Xusana Davis has repeatedly sneered at Vermonters and Vermont dairy:
“White people … can stop assuming that Latino people are undocumented. And even if they are, recognize your reliance on them and on their labor in this state. Vermont is so proud of its dairy. But who do you think is breaking their backs producing it?” she said.
Ms. Davis was recently hired for a base pay of more than $96,000 annually — plus benefits, weekends and other concepts alien to dairy farmers. Ms. Davis’ studies of race appear to have excluded any comprehension of agriculture or Vermont’s cultural history — but then, if you are a race-bashing hammer you must find things to hit, even if it is bashing struggling dairy farmers who create jobs for the (often) undocumented workers now used to vilify them.
This isn’t about black versus white: it’s about elite urbanites, utterly ignorant and thus contemptuous of rural life and rural farming, who lord it over the “natives” as backward, unenlightened, and toxic. The opposite is the case.
Wendell Berry, who has written passionately for decades about this contempt for farmers, points out the following:
But in helping us to confront, understand, and oppose the principles of the global economy, the old political alignments become virtually useless. Communists and capitalists are alike in their contempt for country people, country life, and country places. They have exploited the countryside with equal greed and disregard. They are alike even in their plea that it is right to damage the present in order to make a better future. (“Conserving Communities”)
Xusana Davis and the pseudo-enlightened farmer-haters in the Vermont Legislature propose to “create a better future” for illegal immigrants while agitating against the white community and white farmers who hold the knowledge and experience to ensure that future. Xusana likes to say Vermont is “unceded” land, owned by long-dead Abenakis, but what agricultural methods does she recommend that will employ Latino immigrants? From what culture will she and others derive their new utopian foundations? Certainly as to agriculture, Xusana Davis and the social planners are clueless as to the good use of land — their standard is racist ownership, not knowledgeable stewardship.
There was great fuss about granting COVID relief checks to undocumented Vermont workers last year. But what of our Vermont farmers? While Xusana was preaching indignantly about a ludicrous “dependency” of Vermont farmers on brown people, those human farmers who hire brown people were losing tens of thousands of dollars a month.
Oh, but the poor immigrants:
Without paid sick leave, it’s hard for farmworkers to get tested for the virus, and to isolate when they’ve been exposed or are ill, she said. Farmworkers are also ineligible for unemployment insurance.
“A lot of people were left without a job,” said Abel Luna from the Vermont farmworker advocacy group Migrant Justice. And because many workers get housing with their jobs, farm closures left workers without places to live. Even on farms that stayed open, workers saw their hours cut… Ruth Hardy, a Democrat [said] “Our dairy farms, especially our larger and medium-sized dairy farms, would not be able to milk their cows without migrant farm labor,” Hardy said…. “These are people who contribute to the social fabric of our communities, certainly to the economy of the state. They’re Vermonters, and they were left behind by the federal government,” [Xusana] Davis said.
Imagine if the dairy farmers were “left behind” by Vermont and its government. Who will hire the illegal visitors? Are the farms part of the “social fabric of our communities”? Here’s a news flash for the Legislators and race warriors who are utterly ignorant of agriculture: farm owners don’t get workers’ compensation, unemployment income, paid sick leave, or any other modern government securities — while they go to work at a loss of thousands per week. (Will Xusana Davis pay $10,000 per month to lecture Vermonters on how racist and hateful they are? Then she would be experientially qualified to comprehend what dairy farmers are experiencing now.)
Dairy and other farms are declining: Vermont’s culture is declining with it. Black and white and brown people will all starve equally when the farming culture and food quality decline. To the extent this is an adversarial process, it is not between black and white people, and never has been. It is a battle between industrial corporatism and local community. As Vandana Shiva has so adroitly summarized:
What we are seeing is the emergence of food totalitarianism, in which a handful of corporations control the entire food chain and destroy alternatives so that people do not have access to diverse, safe foods produced ecologically. Local markets are being deliberately destroyed to establish monopolies over seed and food systems. … The right of corporations to force-feed citizens of the world with culturally inappropriate and hazardous foods has been made absolute. … This food totalitarianism can only be stopped through major citizen mobilization for democratization of the food system. (Stolen Harvest, pp. 17-18).
But Xusana Davis wants to invite “corporations who are in the state who helped to shape the state’s culture” to “do the work” of racial equity in Vermont. Perhaps she will recruit Monsanto and Cargill, or Ben & Jerry’s — they are all corporations that exploit local food production while chanting social justice. They are also enemies of the local culture and food production created and perpetuated by native white farmers, not new arrivals of any color.
Wielding the race sword in Vermont is a toxic farce. Our Vermont dairy farmers are not guilty offenders to be curtailed and subdued. They are not the enemies of the poor immigrant workers they gratefully hire for lack of labor (that, too, is a sign of the decline of agriculture, not an ascendancy of racist exploitation).
Race warriors must get a little education about the people they denigrate and contemptuously condemn. I spoke with a farmer recently who milks 1,600 cows, producing approximately 120,000 pounds of milk daily (that is, 1,200 “hundredweight”). There are no federal subsidies presently for dairy farmers. Farmers are currently paid about $17 per hundredweight: but the cost of production exceeds $21. This means that farmer is losing over $4,800 per day, or $144,000 monthly.
This white farmer has been dairying his whole life — I know his father, and I knew his grandfather, both of whom did the same. I know his son, who has joined him on the farm as his career choice. This family never owned slaves, and has paid a fair wage to workers regardless of color. The price of milk in 1999 was about $17 per hundredweight (same as now). But cornmeal was $95 per ton in 1999: now it is $260/ton. Electricity, taxes, and equipment costs have all escalated, as have real estate taxes. Farm wages have spiked under COVID, as many would-be workers stay home collecting a check rather than milk cows that will quickly sicken and die if neglected.
Vermont’s “director of racial equity” exhibits in every sphere this “race-only” deterministic lens. Not only are Hispanics due all credit for milking Vermont cows, they are responsible for our rights in America:
“Mr Miranda is a Latino man whose name people know because he’s the reason that when you get arrested, you’re read your Miranda rights,” Davis said. “So there are so many, many things that we enjoy as Americans, as Vermonters, that are directly the result of gains made that at the time were considered for Brown people, or for People of Color.”
Correction: Mr. Miranda took advantage of laws written by white men who were highly educated and aspired toward constitutional protections for all — not racists enforcing systemic oppression. The “right to a fair arrest” was not “given to us by a Latino man” any more than the productive use of Vermont farmland — those were white backs that “broke their backs” in poverty clearing this land, learning animal husbandry, and establishing city markets. It was never “all about race” until the new breed of elitist carpetbagger moved north.
Similarly, Rosa Parks would have achieved nothing without white judges implementing a white-drafted constitution that still aspires toward “color-blind” equality even as race-baiters tell us that this aspiration is an illusion and we must center everything on race identity. Yet, Critical Race Theory proponents (such as Xusana Davis) wish to dismantle the Constitution — is Xusana praising the Miranda decision while trying to erase the document that gave rise to it? Yes, she is: hypocrisy in race theory is as prolific as quackgrass.
Crediting a hardcore criminal for creating the principles of the American Constitution is like crediting COVID-19 for creating a wonderful vaccine. Glorifying rapists may be typical of the “decarceration”-obsessed, “criminals-are-victims” mentality of the New Fascist Left, but let’s not paint Ernesto Miranda as a jurisprudential hero, OK? After his case was dismissed because he had given an extorted confession, Mr. Miranda was retried without it, and convicted of kidnapping and rape. Yet Vermont’s director of racial equity praised a convicted rapist for fashioning modern Constitutional values … solely because of his race.
Perhaps Xusana Davis and the other farmer-haters don’t care about white farmers “privileged” to work 16-hour days at a loss of $1,200 daily. Industrial bureaucrats like Xusana Davis and Ruth Hardy should drink in a dose of humility when considering the plight of honest, hardworking, white Vermont farmers. But that has not happened previously toward our food producers, so we won’t hold our breaths now.
When all the farms close, Xusana and company will need a new target — and a new employer for the unending stream of victims they exploit to perpetuate their own elitist power and wealth. And when the hyperinflation of profligate COVID spending hits food supplies, there will be few farmers to feed Xusana, or Ruth Hardy, or the poor suffering immigrant victims.
Let them eat (Hostess) cake, or powdered milk from China. Vermont farmers are tiring of being the whipping boys for so much denigrating defecation from government sadsacks, clueless about reality. Maybe Xusana Davis and Ruth Hardy should get real jobs, and work on a farm — no one will ask their race or immigration status.
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.
11 thoughts on “John Klar: Racist agenda reveals contempt for Vermont farmers”
Her position is a part of “Racism Incorporated” as we call it. She’s there as a virtue signal from the Dems that run VT. Every large corporation and public school system have fallen in line to create the same position and most have entire departments to fight the evil whites and their constant racist/white supremacist style of doing literally everything. Racism Inc. costs tax payers millions upon millions of dollars just here in Vermont, forget about the rest of the nation. These racists are paid exorbitant salaries and benefits for no measurable outcome. If racism isn’t there, they have no “work”. They produce nothing except cries of racism for without that, they aren’t needed. In school districts they travel the globe on the school’s (taxpayers’) credit card looking for new, diverse, employees, while staying in expensive places, nice hotels, all meals etc. No cost is too high because as everyone knows, diversity makes everything better, by a lot.
Damn, John, that was a home run. Every single word. Ms Davis is just another AOC-type that somehow figured out that they have no skills other than their ability to bray incessantly. So far, it’s the ultimate racket. So to think that she would actually do any “work” is wistful. She’s just making racist hay until the truth catches up to her. You know what? She should be able to do that for free. Fire her.
The odd thing is that there are actual VT residents that actually hired her to castigate them. How much self-loathing does one need to require this, anyway.
Suzie dear is just a whitey hater who gets triggered off seeing all those
mostly white Holsteins. She like all the other race baiters are in it for the money which is pretty good by Vter’s standards. Using lies to promote her worth use to be a crime now apparently not so much. The more government tries to fix non problems the more it’s killing off traditional Vermont. Soon we’ll just be another leftist pit of manure.
Excellent video John… and yes Doc we can thank our Progressive RINO Scott for another mess we have to live with.
Almost forgot. Who put Oh Susanna Davis in her spot? Or at least acquiesced to her being put in her spot?
Ol’ Phil “Jellyfish Spine” Scott. That limp wrist folds faster than a cheap card table.
Assuming his mom’s still alive, she probably wipes his big rosy nose before his cute little press conferences with Ichabod Crane. Sorry, I meant to say Dr. Levine.
Speaking to the Climate Council members Xusanna Davis said regarding CO2 emissions reduction goals “That’s the most polite way that I can put it. Because other folks will phrase it as follows: other folks will phrase it as, deadlines are a tool of white supremacy. I don’t usually refer to deadlines as the tools of white supremacy, but deadlines often do reinforce a white supremacy culture that prizes itself more on the process than equitable outcome.
In fact the “other folks” Xusanna Davis are mentioning are “The Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture” which under pressure” had to remove a “whiteness” graphic that ascribed traits such as “hard work,” “self-reliance,” “delayed gratification,” being on time, and politeness to “white culture.”… because certain content in the ‘Talking About Race’ portal has been the subject of “questions that we have taken seriously,” said the museum in a Thursday statement. “We have listened to public sentiment and have removed a chart that does not contribute to the productive discussion we had intended.”
Like the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Xusanna should start to take seriously the questions made about her endless racialisation of her new state .
Unless Xusanna Davis came 2 years ago from New York to Vermont with a predetermined conviction of Vermont’s racism , she ought to do a better job at working at stepping out of her anecdotal modus operandi and deliver solid data basis arguments for her assertions .
So true. But if Ms. Davis did her research and expressed the truth about Vermont she would lose her $96,000 per/year. It is the governor who agreed to this. He is from Vermont and should know otherwise but he has caved to the woke crowd. Blame him and the carpetbaggers who currently run Vermont with intimidation and the fear of their never ending passion to control us know nothing natives.
Oh Susanna Davis always has this look on her face like she just smelled a really terrible fart.
That old saw about not judging a book by a cover is BS in my experience. You can usually tell what kind of a miserable person someone is more often than not just by their default expression.
She’s a clueless, perpetually angry little snot just like most of the other functionaries in Montpelier that hold made-up, useless (yet lucrative) positions.
Remember the “milk is racist” campaign from about 20 years back? Lets not forget to blame the dairy farmers for providing and promoting a product that 2/3 of the world’s population cannot properly digest due to lactose intolerance. Part of the “white-people-must -learn-to-hate-yourself” culture being promoted by Critical Race Theory is that any production, purchase or consumption of dairy products is an act of racism. As virtue signaling has become a popular competitive sport in Vermont, we approach the point where “if everything is racist, then nothing is racist”. You hear that Xusana?
The Vermont Non-Game Wildlife Fund is filled up with voluntary contributions paid via VT income tax form IN 111, line 23d. Why don’t we add line 23e “Racial Justice Promotion” and dedicate contributions received to support Ms Davis and her expenses? What she gets, she can spend, after paying rent on State office space, health care and retirement assessments, and other such? Then nobody will have anything to complain about.
Because this is not about voluntary contributions to a cause — almost none of these people actually DO anything to help the poor. They want to seize others’ money under pretense, not actually help anyone with their own assets.
$96,000 for doing what? Denigrating the very fabric of the Sabra Fields Vermont myth that pays her unconscionable state salary? It is the Vermont farmland and those industrious, hard-working farmers that keep the myth alive and, not insignificant, property that recently were snapped up by 3,700 out-staters! Her state position should be eliminated until there is a real justification for it. And it is not now!
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