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Saturday, October 23, 2010

Saturday Night Card Game ("Pure Vermont" Implies Vermont is a Place Reserved for White Christians)

This is the latest in a series on the use of the race card for political gain:

This also is the latest in the "these people are nuts in the head" series.

Via Volokh Conspiracy, comes the controversy in Vermont over the slogan "Pure Vermont."

First some background.  Using the word "Vermont" in connection with a product actually increases the product's worth in the eyes of consumers, so much so that the Vermont legislature has looked into various ways to market and certify the Vermont brand.  Think Vermont, and think of Ben & Jerry's, Cabot Cheese, Vermont Teddy Bears, the Green Mountains, maple syrup, cows grazing on hillsides, etc. 

Vermont = Good.

It is not surprising that many Vermont businesses use the marketing term "Pure Vermont" (or sometimes "Vermont Pure") to emphasize that the product actually was made in Vermont.  There is a Pure Vermont Building Company, and plenty of maple syrup producers touting their "Pure Vermont" product.

Brian Dubie, the Republican candidate for Governor in Vermont, decided to launch a train tour of Vermont, calling it the "Pure Vermont Train Tour."

The reaction from political opponents was ... wait for it ... Racist!

Mike McCarthy, a Democratic candidate for state Senate, appears to be the first to make the charge:
When I first saw that a "Pure Vermont" tour was coming to St. Albans as part of Brian Dubie's campaign I thought of white supremacists, the Spanish Inquisition and a host of other unsavory associations. Then I started to think about it some more and things really got scary.
But the theme really was elevated two days ago through a column in the Brattleboro Reformer (emphasis mine):
Brian Dubie's "Pure Vermont" brand is another example of cross-cultural blundering. Presumably, the slogan refers to Vermont's agricultural products and environmental legacy. But for many Vermonters, these words denote racial, religious and cultural oppression. They imply that Vermont is a place reserved for white Christians.
By using the "Vermont Pure" slogan, according to the columnist, Dubie was honoring Nazi eugenics theory, racial segregation, and contributing to LGBT suicides (emphasis mine):
Dubie's brand resurrects the horror of the Eugenics Survey and the 1931 passage of An Act for Human Betterment by Voluntary Sterilization. This measure codified the practice of racism, harassment, and the sterilization of the Abenaki people. "Pure Vermont" raises the specter of Hilter's Aryan Nation and the Khmer Rouge where the purifying agent was genocide.

And the slogan is a bitter reminder of the bigotry and racial segregation experienced by blacks under slavery and Jim Crow. The precipitous drop of Vermont's black population in the early 20th century was no doubt partially due to the Klan's efforts to keep Vermont pure.

More than a remnant of our recent past, racism and bias are stubborn problems in our schools. The brand turns a deaf ear to the sensitivities of students of color and LGBT students. Too often the target of brutal bullying, suicide attempts among these student populations are three to eight times higher than those of white or heterosexual students.
Now it would be easy to laugh this off.

But the author of the column quoted above was Curtiss Reed Jr., who from 2004-2010 served on the 17 member Vermont Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights (from 2008-2010, Reed was Chair).  In that capacity, Reed was responsible, among other things, for submitting a 2008 report on Racial Profiling in Vermont.

Reed also is Executive Director of The Vermont Partnership for Fairness and Diversity (formerly called ALANA Community Organization) which strives to be " the most respected and successful guardian of social justice in the state of Vermont." 

The Vermont Partnership received a $75,000 grant from Ben & Jerry's which it used to facilitate presentations to Vermont school children "to help all students rethink their attitudes about the significant roles that ethnic and racial minorities play in Vermont today." 

The Vermont Department of Education also authorizes The Vermont Partnership to provide programming in schools on work related issues, including "how to recruit, hire and retain a diverse workforce and how to create and sustain an inclusive and equitable workplace."

In case you think Reed has gone rogue, The Vermont Partnership features the column quoted above on its Facebook page.

This is no rogue author.  This is mainstream racial demagoguery masquerading as social justice activism used against a Republican to implicitly make a charge of racism on the eve of an election.

As for Reed's assertion that "Pure Vermont" invokes images of Klansmen, ethnic cleansing, eugenics, and persecution of "people of color" and gays ... I say, that's ...

Pure Bull$&@#

Time to Rejigger The Race Card
"Jew Hear The One About The Black Ho?"
Black Friday

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  1. Truly frightening. We can only pray Vermont's Lebensraum doesn't expand to New Hampshire. God knows what the race carders would do with the "Live free or die" motto.

  2. "Ivory Soap: 99 and 44/100 percent pure."


    Trouble is, there are plenty of sandal-wearers in Vermont that'll be swayed by blatant appeals to their White Guilt. Unless Vermont nips this in the bud, their de facto brand motto is going to be: Made in Vermont, the Nation's Largest Open Air Mental Asylum.

  3. Have you thought of compiling the Saturday Night Card Game series into a book? Everybody notices these kinds of crazy attacks once in a while but having it all laid out in one place would make for powerful ammunition to show it for the garbage it is.

  4. So everything bad that "Vermont Pure" reminds the idiot Reed about, were committed by democraps and socialists, yet I bet the idiot Reed is both a democrap and socialist.Insight thy name is not Reed.

  5. "Pure Vermont" is racist?

    As of 2009, 96.2% of Vermont's 621,760 residents were white. So considering that the state is populated with almost nothing but white people, what's the point? One candidate claims to be whiter than the other? Talk about obtuse!

  6. For 50 years, one pillar of the Liberal justification for a big government and control of business is the need to control pervasive racism, as Liberals see it. They say "You are a racist if you have one bad thought related to the race, gender, etc. of anyone you meet. You are racist if you ever think of such a person as different from anyone else."

    Deliberate misinterpretations of "pure" and "white" even as applied to products, laundry, and sugar, are relentlessly pushed as part of this agenda. The claim is that the use of such terms may be factually correct, but that this use is insensitive to the feelings of the oppressed, and this use is enough to demonstrate racism or (even better) unconscious racism.

    The aim is to convince every person that he is a racist (even subconsciously), and that his employer is a racist, to justify detailed and pervasive government control. The irony is that no one is innocent by that standard, including the Liberals selling this message. The racism that almost everyone deplores has been effective only when implemented by government power (such as in the southern US). Private racism is a problem only when expressed through violent crime.

    A truly racist country would not have empowered the government to block racism.

    When the very prominent, moderate, liberal Juan Williams said that he had some mild, rational fears, Liberal groups reacted strongly and quickly. If William's reactions were tolerated, then all of our similar thoughts would be acceptable. People might look at each other and conclude that we aren't all racists after all. Liberal doctrine would lose a lever of power.

    - -
    Thomas Sowell pointed out that southern streetcar companies before 1900 did not discriminate against blacks, but did separate smokers and non-smokers. Separation by smoking met a market need. Separation by color would have angered customers with no increase in profit.

    Further, streetcar companies resisted state and city laws requiring discrimination and separated seating.

    So, if companies have to pay for their discriminatory intent, they would rather have the money than be discriminatory. Competition opposes discrimination, other than for rational economic reasons.

    Discrimination in the south on streetcars and buses only took hold after the government bought and monopolized those services. Those governments then imposed separate seating regardless of the cost.

    Does this sound familiar? Government imposes a monopoly (rules and regulations), then enforces them regardless of the cost. People forget that oppressive, effective discrimination was only possible through government power.

    Thomas Sowell (search for "When streetcars")


  7. I'm one of those suckers who always imagined clear mountain streams whenever I saw the Vermont label.

    Now that I'm being asked to associate the Aryan Nation and the Khmer Rouge with Vermont-made milk and cheese on the grocery shelf, I don't think I'll be reaching for those products.

    Good job of marketing, Vermont.

  8. There seems to be no limit to the lengths that the left will go to vilify anything, no matter how mundane, to score points, or achieve control over something.

  9. The race-baiting column by Curtis Reed, Jr. that the Professor linked to, prompted a number of comments, some local, some not.

    The best of the bunch, in good Vermont form, was posted by Concerned of Brattleboro, VT, who tellingly noted the following:

    "Curtiss Reed's sole purpose in life is to CREATE racial issues to justify his funding and position. What I find humorous is that Mr. Reed is from St. Louis which has far more racial issues and segregation of communities than Vermont. Apparently working in his own hometown would require real work as opposed to mere words designed to fire up the hate and discontent."

  10. Curtiss Reed, Jr is little more than a toady for the Democrats. He is attempting to stir up non-existent racial issues from his little Civil Rights advisory platform . . . a position that he obviously obtained by virtue of pressure put on the prior Administration by Senator Leahy.

    Here is a link to a short interview with Curtiss Reed, Jr. on VPR (the Vermont NPR affiliate) from a few years back, right after he had been appointed Chair of Vermont State Advisory Committee On Civil Rights obviously at the prompting of his political godfather and hero, Senator Patrick Leahy.

    (WARNING: Pompous ass alert!)

  11. There is a reason why so few people live in Vermont, the opportunities for making a decent living are almost non-existent. No one moves to Vermont unless they have family there. It's a state of natural beauty but the people are either very well off or poor.

    Time has essentially stopped in Vermont because it isn't on the way to anything and it offers nothing to anyone wishing to start a business. Sure, lots of bed and breakfast inns started by yuppies tired of the rat race and depleting their savings.

    It's a state with a large population of aging white hippies who feel guilty that there are no minorities in their communities while they preach to the rest of us about what racists we are (Howard Dean and Bernie Sanders come to mind). Vermont has only 23,000 minorities in the entire state or about what we have here in Pasadena in my neighborhood alone. Who are they to be preaching to anyone?

    Vermonters are nuts. They've allowed their state to become the practice field for white socialists who love mankind but hate people, especially white people.

  12. I tried with all my might not to click on to the Curtiss Reed link. When I did, I closed my eyes and peaked between my fingers to just get a glimps of the face.

    I just knew it, I knew it while I was reading. The new face of racism isn't any less scary than the face of the old version.

  13. I thought the South was the only racist region of the country. Welcome to the world of distortion and lies that we have come to experience down here. Note that Vermont is trying to seceed just as we are, but for different reasons.

  14. I don't recall "Pure Vermont" ever being used to market a person before. I believe that is what unintentionally opened Dubie up to attack. Too bad both sides have used the opportunity only to vilify each other, not to try to reach common ground. I assume that juvenile name calling and in-civility are not what we would like "Pure Vermont" to mean. Rather than respond rationally, we seem to be trapped in our reptilian brains, reacting in kind, assuming bad intent everywhere. Can't we have dissent without giving up on our values? Or do we just care about giving lip-service to our supposed values? I think we all need a good dose of growing up and getting past our self-righteous self-obsessions.