Editor’s note: This letter is by Martha Hafner, of Randolph Center.
Thank you. Not only have you been on the front lines with Covid-19, but now rallies want to dismantle you. Black Lives Do Matter. Police Lives Matter. Our own liberty and justice matters, too.
Our nation aspires to liberty and justice for all, and that comes with a price. It needs muscle to uphold this. Dismantling the police is a rally cry that should make everyone take note of who wants to strip us of our freedoms. Who would protect us from crimes and seek to bring the unlawful to justice on our behalf? Agreed, in some settings there are places that need some cleaning. Thankfully, there’s not much of that in Vermont. We should toot our horns.
Do you know that 247wallst.com, which monitors statistics yearly, portrays Vermont as having the following:
Percent black residents: 0.9% (3rd lowest)
Black homeownership rate: 24.6% (9th lowest)
Black incarceration rate: 2,214 per 100,000 (19th lowest)
This means only two states have a lower percentage of black residents, only eight states have a higher rate of black home ownership, and only 18 states have lower incarceration rates.
Vermont is the only state with a larger share of African American adults having graduated from college than white adults. Of African American adults, 37% have at least a bachelor’s degree — the highest share of any state — higher than the 35.1% of white residents with similar attainments.
The difference in incomes between white and black residents is the smallest in the country. In Vermont, African American families earn $50,933 annually, the third most of any state — about $4,000 less than the state’s typical white household. Nationally the income gap between white and black Americans is roughly $24,000.
Vermont is one of two states that allows citizens incarcerated on a felony charge to vote while in prison. Vermont therefore effectively has no legally disenfranchised black Americans; nationwide, 1 in every 13 African Americans is disenfranchised.
Black Lives do Matter. My father was at the Martin Luther King Jr. “I Have a Dream” speech in a time when these needs were much greater. There’s not a lot of need to fund inquiries into injustices here in Vermont. Perhaps Vermont should channel some BLM funding to promote awareness of our ethnic diversity and give honor to great civic leaders of all races that have sought to promote Freedom and Unity, Liberty and Justice.
Thank you Vermont police and sheriffs for being our front lines for Covid-19, for monitoring peaceful BLM rallies, and for protecting our freedom. May you know our united support and gratitude.