John Klar: Rage against the racist machine – Part 2

Assisted by Vermont’s “executive director” of Racial Equity, Lake Champlain Chamber offered a webinar titled after heavy rock band Rage Against the Machine. The common theme in this race-based, “equity-sword” ideology is cultural contempt, imported to Vermont by culturally nihilistic, confused Vermont-haters. This “progressive” social justice ideology is not kind and uniting — it is destructive and divisive.

Co-facilitating this thinly-veiled rage against Vermont culture  was Dr. Jude Smith Rachele (pronounced “RaKELLY”), who studied psychology and business management but has now set up in Vermont to instruct Vermonters how to “address systemic racism and achieve better racial equity.” Dr. Rachelle is from New Jersey but lived in the United Kingdom for 28 years, and so identifies as “culturally British and speaks with a slight English accent.” She has been an adjunct professor of cross-cultural psychology and is cofounder and CEO of Abundant Sun, a Burlington-based global consulting firm that sees itself as a “cultural transformation agency.” In another “course” she proposes to “delve into anti-racism, business resiliency, and climate crisis in one comprehensive learning experience.”

Wikimedia Commons/Ardfern

Is the binary reductionism of Xusana Davis and Dr. Jude Smith Rachele about race, wealth or culture? What is clear is that their ultimate shared reductionism is an old one: personal power and profit. Xusana Davis gets paid far more than twice the median Vermonter’s income to condemn poor white people as racists.

Apparently Vermont’s culture requires transforming. “Anti-racism” refers to ferreting out white people to target for hate — this new racial activism is the precise opposite of Martin Luther King’s prescription of responding with love toward hate. But the target of these social justice warriors is culture. The rage of urban America, Rajnii Eddins, and others constantly invokes asphalt urbanism and blistering cotton plantations as Vermont’s sins, transposing both cultures onto the Green Mountains, that have not conspired in the creation of either. Why is having gang symbols sprayed on covered bridges a good thing? Why is it “equitable” to denigrate and destroy the meager remnants of Vermont’s humble farming culture? How is it “teaching true history” to obliterate acknowledgement of Vermont’s leading role in eliminating slavery, which was never legal here?

Dr. Rachele’s cross-cultural specialization, like her climate expertise, appears to have been garnered in psychology studies of some bizarre tradition. Her own cultural identity is quite dubious, given she is American and fled her supposed UK culture when she didn’t like its political winds. In a VPR commentary she writes:

For most of my adult life, I lived as an immigrant – as an American transplant in the United Kingdom. Culturally, I’m British, despite having been born in Jersey, New Jersey, and never legally having secured British citizenship.

When it was determined that the UK curriculum wasn’t ‘British’ enough, study of American classics like To Kill a Mocking Bird and Of Mice and Men was eliminated. And I was deeply offended. It was a sign of how detached the UK has become from its own oppressively colonizing, racist British-American heritage that both defines and plagues the US today. My family chose to leave the UK pre-Brexit, but I’m sure if we’d stayed, we’d be packing our bags today – because our right to remain in the UK as a European family would be in grave jeopardy under Brexit.

Sounds like cross-cultural confusion. Was it Brexit, or the removal of “To Kill A Mockingbird,” that caused the good doctor to flee her adopted culture? After three decades in England, Dr. Jude came home to roost — and condemn. In a 2016 commentary she writes:

Poverty and social injustice are big concerns. Like Bernie says, ‘economic inequality and institutional racism exist in parallel’.

The U.S. hasn’t been a social justice leader for a long time now because of its inability to reduce poverty. As a result, according to the Economic Co-operation and Development ‘s Social Justice Index, it ranks 27th out of 31 developed nations. Countries such as Norway, Denmark, Hungary, Poland, Italy and France are far superior. The only countries worse off than the U.S. are What I call our national compulsive obsessive racial disorder has created counter-productive social justice outcomes. And this is what happens when we disregard the fact that poverty knows no color.

Living just above, at, or below the poverty line cannot be taken as a reliable indicator of status; nor should any class of people be seen as either ‘privileged’ ‘or ‘superior’ simply because of the color of their skin. To make such assumptions results in a dangerous and unfair kind of branding that fuels confusion, animosity and group polarization.

This is again confused — isn’t “institutional racism” defined now by labeling all white people privileged regardless of their poverty level? It is also confused because it measures status or happiness solely by economics, yet ignores economic realities: the OECD’s “median disposable income per person” for the United States is $42,800 (#2 in the world). The other countries Dr. Jude the psychologist lists as better to live than America are Hungary (#34 at $14,759); Italy (#21 at $25,319); France (#16 at $28,571); Mexico (#41 at $6,354); Greece (#33 at $15,681); Chile (#38 at $10,058); Turkey (#37 at $11,128); and Poland (#27 at $19,110). If money is the measure, America’s population is much wealthier than all the nations Dr. Jude cites as proof of America’s ills.

Yet Dr. Rachele is from Maplewood, New Jersey, which is 52.5% white, median value of owner-occupied housing units is $527,900, and median income is $139,081. Vermont is 94.2% white, median value of owner-occupied housing units is $227,700, and median income is $61,973. Dr. Jude has two degrees, including one from London — and condemns Vermonters whose incomes are less than half of her native New Jerseyans.

Xusana Davis plays the same bizarre game: “Well, it’s 2020, and we live in a state that is 94 percent White, then it’s subjectively true that we’re not doing great on diversity,” Davis said.

So being white is a problem, and being diverse and multicultural is the solution. As with Zimbabwe and South Africa, the institution of race-based inequities as “social justice” will reduce median incomes for the entire society — removing merit undermines productivity and rewards identity over ability.

Dr. Jude also claims we Vermonters mustn’t be binary:

And since physicists now think we live in a time-space continuum that has at least 10 dimensions, I have to wonder why we imprison ourselves in identity politics that are strictly binary. Zeros and ones are not exactly the building blocks of an elegant universe.

The tapestry of our human existence is multi-textured and binary language is limiting — even offensively simplistic. So to overcome cultural divisiveness we might be better off trying to understand and apply a unified theory of everything than codifying and enforcing binary based concepts like Equal Employment Opportunity laws.

But Xusana and Jude see diversity, race, and multiculturalism in binary code: “diversity is good; homogeneity is bad.”  But isn’t there a huge difference in what cultures are imported to Vermont? Is diversity good without also considering good character?

According to Dr. Jude:

she “has designed programs to help professionals display inclusive behaviors and to understand and respond respectfully to various cultural traditions.” Where does this New Jersey transplant offer respect to Vermont’s culture? If all cultures blend into diversity and multiculturalism, there will be no rural culture, or any distinct cultures to blend multi-culturally.

The absurdity gets particularly embarrassing when the transplants then call themselves “Vermonters” as Dr. Jude does here, and classify Vermonters based solely on skin color.

Vermonters recall the eugenicist visitors of 100 years ago who told them how backward they were, and the steady stream of transplants bent on transforming Vermont into their Martha’s Vineyard playground. Vermonters don’t seek to mimic foreign cultures, or hop around the planet condemning others for profit — they live here knowing there is a unique and precious culture worth preserving and valuing. As Malcolm X declared:

A race of people is like an individual man; until it uses its own talent, takes pride in its own history, expresses its own culture, affirms its own selfhood, it can never fulfill itself.

Is the binary reductionism of Xusana Davis and Dr. Jude Smith Rachele about race, wealth or culture? What is clear is that their ultimate shared reductionism is an old one: personal power and profit. Xusana Davis gets paid far more than twice the median Vermonter’s income to condemn poor white people as racists.

Vermont is being acculturated by acultural people. Mao’s Cultural Revolution was bent on destroying culture, not preserving it. So too is “social justice theory” focused on control and destruction, not healing or preservation. Vermonters must rage against this racist machine.

John Klar is an attorney and farmer residing in Brookfield. © Copyright True North Reports 2022. All rights reserved.

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons/Ardfern
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