Editor’s note: This letter by John Klar was mailed to the town of Putney and its legal counsel on Sept. 21, 2021.
Dear Putney Town:
I have watched with amazement the May 12th, 2021 meeting of the Putney “Equity and Inclusion Subcommittee.” What has been inequitably excluded from this government entity’s absurd gatherings is the United States Constitution. I hereby demand and request that this ridiculous, narcissistic “Subcommittee” be immediately denounced and disbanded.
Aside from the slanders (whether ignorant or malicious) against me personally in this meeting, the very discussion by a government body is outlandish. These are pseudo-government officials discussing banning specific political affiliations and flags that are protected under existing federal and state law. Your “Subcommittee” appears to have appropriated itself the authority to dream up a new Putneytopia where it eliminates whatever makes its members “feel unpleasant.”
Jaime Contois is grotesquely ignorant of Constitutional law, and painfully oblivious of the ironies of her speech. As she persecutes people whose protected expressions she finds intolerable, she intones about being “a member of a certain group and you’re not welcome” (she means World War 2 veterans, right?) and needing to “create space to exist as a whole human being in our society.” (she means local Christian farmers, yes?) That space already exists, protected by the United States Constitution These unhinged ideologues wish to inflict social justice in Putneytopia, and so they call to do as a government body that which Antifa (Jaimie vocally supports them) endorses as “anti-racist” work — target and confront people who display images or political symbols they unilaterally determine must be eliminated (along with all constitutional protections thereof). That is, they seek to establish Putneytopia as anti-racist fascists.
Contois has decided that Confederate flags (though very much protected, and not subject to the sole interpretation of white supremacy that tyrant Jaime commands) must not be tolerated in Putneytopia because they are (like my campaign signs: at 31:08) “an act of aggression” and because of “the impact a Klar sign had on me as a gay person.” This deluded blather includes the statement (at 35:06) “I said I think there’s white supremacy organizing in our community, which I stand by, which is confederate flags and other things that were happening in the community.” At about 38:00 she discusses how such signs mustn’t be permitted, and implies First Amendment protections are in the way because “we need to use techniques to challenge them.” The Constitution protects citizens from abuses like this: that is why it is in the way of “social justice work.”
Contois is constitutionally, if not psychologically, challenged. An overt BLM advocate (an extremist organization that advocates dismantling the First Amendment and other civil rights) who claims she is “doing anti-racist work,” this woman and her similarly-inclined extremists are violating the law. No government body in America has the right or power to ban particular “party affiliations,” political signs, or even Confederate flags. Contois and the real-life Town of Putney must awake from dreamy revelry, and consider the real-life accountability for such public calls for agitation against citizens, especially following the efforts by Contois and others to harass and violate the rights of numerous citizens last fall for the crime of expressing their political speech (the “work” and “techniques” of “woke” anti-racists).
Then we have the Subcommittee’s June 9, 2021 meeting, in which there is extensive discussion of “vetting” conservatives from the Committee, and a policy is implemented to do exactly that. Josh Laughlin leads the way with this laughably illegal contemplation (at 45:00):
A real right-winger comes to the Selectboard and says “I gotta be on this Committee. I wanna be here,” and Swift hasn’t even met them or talked to them or whatever might be the sitting chair at the time. I don’t think the Selectboard should go ahead and appoint somebody without at least having the recommendation of the Chair of the Committee.
Putneytopia is a one-party political system. But Real Putney remains in the world of Constitutional law and democratic representation. Real Putney must wake up and realize that it is in for a slew of lawsuits — that are extremely well earned. This is far beyond incompetence or negligence: this is ideological zealotry and grotesque elitism, on the public record.
Then there’s this gem (May 12, at 59:50) by her royal highness Meg Mott:
As somebody who’s lived around here for a while, there’s a lot of sense of insecurity. Much of it I believe has to do with the difference between the educated classes and people who went into working jobs. And that class difference hits us around our language. And so efforts for some groups to feel safer other groups then start to feel like “Well you’re saying I’m not smart again or or I didn’t have a liberal arts education and you’re using words like intersectionality and I don’t even know what you’re talking about and that’s kind of increasing the polarization. So if I were to make a recommendation I think we are so blessed in Putney people are interested in self-government. I know it won’t solve some of these key difficult issues around hiring, around contracts…. But to this other issue about people not feeling safe around each other, I feel like we need a Special Town Meeting about a very concrete issue.
Ms. Mott suggests focusing an actual issue — like “access for everybody” at the Putney town swimming pool or park (it’s terrible they deny BIPOC people access to swimming privileges in Putney!). Then later they can return to what they call “the really important issue” — school choice!!
Wow, what a concept! Focus on actual issues, rather than vague ideas — like those stupid working-class people “interested in self-government” (how quaint!) have done for 200 years before this idiotic troupe descended upon Putneytopia. Let’s see if we can take this a step further, and help “wake” these elitists to some reality that is biting them in their corpulent asses: those people who “work for a living” know exactlywhat intersectionality means: the intersection of arrogance, prejudices, narcissistic hate, and a horrid ideology concocted to divide and oppress people all converge in the Putney Subcommittee on Equity and Inclusion. They understand how terms like “Equity and Inclusion” actually mean the Orwellian opposite — they mean elitism and exclusion; pomposity and disdain. Wake up, little Putney Town — you have betrayed those citizens who will continue to stand for self-government even as these clueless thugs seek to create one-party committees that thwart that very thing. Are you waking up yet? Do you even begin to fathom what national public ridicule Real PutneyTown deserves, for failing its citizens so utterly?
Here’s another shocker: those dumb locals that Meg understands so little after living there “a while” are not beguiled by virtue-signalling words from a hateful ideology: they fully know what “Judge people by the content of their character, not the color of their skin” means. They know that they are surrounded by tens of thousands of white Vermonters who struggled against their white poverty (privilege?) for a hundred years before the intersection of stupid flatlanders arrived to plant its Conquistadore carpetbag flag in Putneytopia. They know the elitists who think they are smarter than everyone are the biggest bigots, fake victims, and wealthy cads that have ever polluted the Green Mountains. They know this putrid ideology is more vile than PFOAS. The only question is — can the cult members realize that they can’t compel everyone into their pathetic new-age religion by usurping locals’ traditions, liberties, and levers of power? Can they comprehend how their snobbery toward the stupid working class is going to (rightly) blow up in their virtue-signalling faces? How much do the citizens of Putney wish to set aside as a reserve for legal fees to defend the indefensible?
Meg Mott actually has it right — in reverse. It’s time the thugs listened to the people they judge as beneath them. It is time those claiming Putney is systemically racist proved it, rather than manipulated lies for personal political power. This joke of a Subcommittee was putatively commissioned to review existing Putney ordinances to eliminate anything racist: did they find anything? It appears they have decided they are now absolute monarchs, free to wield their “social justice” “anti-racist work” against the citizens they are supposed to serve. THEY are the racists, splintering people into groups, stereotyping Vermonters based on their skin color, education, political views, or culture.
Putneytopia’s mob rule reveals thugs in power who gaslight and torment anyone of a different political view. This is the Canary in the Coal Mine of this toxic ideology. Your cult and its stupid acolytes are now choking deservedly on the fumes of their “anti-racist” work. Do you actually perceive that government can reprogram the subconscious racism of Putney’s residents, when Putney’s leadership exhibits such profound prejudices? If citizens wish to oppose discrimination and hate, they must begin with this Subcommittee and the vile hate it displays. When Putney has a special town meeting to “discuss actual issues,” this Subcommittee and its activities must top the list.
We Vermonters who challenge this thuggery are gaslighted as McCarthyites. All citizens must watch these videos, and see where the McCarthyism really is. “Oh, but the Nazis are everywhere and making us uncomfortable.” Look in the mirror, fascists: you have much bigger problems in Putney than Confederate flags.
The agitation that this Committee reflects in its tormented nonsense is a sort of fragile, self-masturbatory insanity. It is embarrassing to sit through this video. Nothing is accomplished but a group psycho-massage: can’t that be accomplished in private, maybe in Jaimie’s living room, where she can “create space to exist as a whole bunch of deranged cult members”? The “safe space” of public preservation of constitutional protections for ALL has been profoundly abused and violated by this perverse joke of a “sub-committee.”
The Town of Putney must affirm the Bill of Rights for all citizens, not create power for gay people to demand their feelings be paramount to the political expression of their neighbors “because they’re gay” or “because they’re black.” The Constitution and interpretations thereof are for all Vermonters: these people have fled the bounds of mental and legal normalcy, and seek to use their positions to inflict a novel, toxic ideology on citizens.
Putney should be ashamed of these videos and what they reveal. Combined with past agitation against peaceable Putney citizens for merely displaying a sign, this video reveals that social justice activists are creating the problem, then aggravating it further by seeking to use government to further those same behaviors. They are completely divorced from legal and sociological reality (you don’t change racists by hating on them, let alone by hating on people who are not racists!). There will be increased community tension, increased distrust of town governance, and increased likelihood of legal action against the Town of Putney if this childish Subcommittee is not immediately terminated.
Very, very sincerely,