Vermont’s Shelburne Farms has exploded in wokism, trading the venerable goodwill and history of that establishment for a newfangled quasi-religious ideology. This is more than a betrayal of public trust — it is a slanderous denigration of Vermont, and a betrayal of the supposed farming education purposes for which this nonprofit was created.
Shelburne Farms, a 501(c)(3), now offers race-based curricula and materials. While pretending to be an organization advancing farming, in actuality it has become a center for ideological profusion. This raises the issue of using public funds through tax subsidization in a way that may run afoul of constitutional law.
This would, of course, include overt racist policies: the Equal Protection Clause applies to all people of all races. Yet Shelburne Farms is now offering a series of workshops for BIPOC people only: “Healing the Roots of Racism in Ourselves for BIPOC” is closed off to “people of no color.”
As stated on its calendar page:
This series is for the BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) community. This series creates space for healing from white supremacy culture and transforming anti-Blackness within ourselves, toward healing our webs of relationships, organizations and societal structures. In this series participants will practice a creative combination of healing practices ranging from embodied awareness to movement, reflection and writing. Join this series to rediscover, relearn, and reimagine in our current crisis-driven reality.
Shelburne Farms further states the series, which runs monthly February through July, centers on “the reclamation of, and reconnection with, our bodies, our places, our ancestors, our beyond-human kin, our cosmologies, and each other through the mirror of natures.”
Shelburne Farms is only interested in “reconnection” with Abenaki ancestors — it has devoted its full resources to denigrating Vermont and its history. This farm’s true history, and how the current Shelburne Farms board of directors has re-written that history to fit an ideological narrative that is patently false, is a betrayal and abuse to be addressed in a subsequent commentary.
In the course materials offered to BIPOC people only, Vermonters will be taught about race by an “expert,” Richael Faithful. According to a personal website, Faithful — who was born in Washington, D.C., and raised in Virginia — “is a multi-disciplinary folk healing artist and healing justice practitioner rooted in the African diasporic tradition of conjure. … Faithful supports national and local activists of all backgrounds, particularly leaders of Black Liberation movements. They are known for creating spaces to help activist identify and process trauma and invest into healing justice frameworks. ”
This nonprofit is incorporating religious training in its seminar. And note there is no “separate but equal” facility for whites to be enlightened with “conjure.” It’s a BIPOC-only seminar.
The event page directs attendees to first complete a survey as part of registration.
This registration process is your first invitation to reflect on healing from white supremacy culture. Give yourself time to answer the questions during the registration process (link below). If you’re completing the registration form on someone else’s behalf, answer n/a to the questions and we’ll follow up with the registrant.
But neither Shelburne Farms nor any of its social justice ideologues have yet established evidence of present-day white supremacy in Vermont — it is presumed. Moreover, Shelburne Farms is a nonprofit accountable to state and federal law — it is the organization’s burden to prove the truth of what they allege and invest taxpayer money to achieve.
Shelburne Farms doubles down in this race-based “workshop,” which reveals to Vermonters that their tax dollars are being invested to undermine their rights and constitution, while disparaging them falsely.
Shelburne Farms exploits the Vermont name for its sales, while heinously denigrating the culture and people around which its legacy has been built. This is far worse than appropriating a Native American name for a sports team!
There is no “race healing” going on in these workshops, in my view — only new harms being committed by a quasi-governmental entity.
John Klar is an attorney and farmer residing in Brookfield. © Copyright True North Reports 2022. All rights reserved.