Last session we passed a historic bill that (H.308, Act 54) that directed additional analysis on an issue that most all of us already knew existed. We spoke of it in terms in which people are generally more comfortable. Racial disparities. The truth is that instead of discussing the product of this national sin, we must move to discussing and addressing it at its root. Systemic racism.
Here is the report that was directed by Act 54, released last month by the Attorney General and Human Rights Commission. The Disparities Panel Report is forthcoming.
Systemic racism is not simply about racism. It has also historically been used to create wealth and power..and poverty, the vast majority which in number has been assigned to white people. It has also been used to justify and sustain war.
S.281 will establish a commission that has the responsibility of managing an ongoing mitigation program! After the bill is taken up, we will have an opportunity to offer amendments. Go here to see what the Coalition has drafted as proposed language for the bill.
You might ask how you can help. Here are some ways:
1) Communicate this call to action to your organizational network
2) Send note to Senate Government Operations Committee requesting that they take up the bill: vermont-senate-
3) Call state house and ask them to pass a message to Senators, White, Balint and Ashe, asking them to take this important bill up now. Here is the number: 828.2228.
“I must confess that over the past few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen’s Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to “order” than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: “I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods… of direct action”; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man’s freedom; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait for a “more convenient season.” Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.”
Dr King, Letter from Birmingham