Vermont’s House of Representatives opens each session with a “daily devotion.” Tuesday morning’s presentation (February 16) by Representative Harold “Hal” Colston was an outrageous condemnation of Vermont’s history and culture as racist. This abused the very concept of devotion, and Vermonters.
The Vermont House Clerk’s “Guidelines for Devotions” provide that
A devotional is an inclusive homily, life lesson, song, poem, prayer, reading, or musical piece appropriate to the setting…. The devotional helps to set the tone and allows a few moments for reflection and contemplation. The person… offering the devotional shall…. refrain from discussing individual political positions….
Referencing the 1619 Project, Representative “Hal” launched into an overtly anti-white tirade. Quoting James Baldwin, who Colston “ regard[s] as one of Black America’s most prolific prophets,” Colston proclaimed (in a state where slavery was never legal, and very few blacks ever resided):
What if the Negro was not invented? How would our country have worked without chattel slavery, the exploitation of black and brown people who became the backbone of our capitalistic system? Who would you be? Who would we be?…. Structural racism is the normalization of many dynamics that are historical, cultural, institutional and interpersonal and routinely advantages White people while producing chronic, adverse outcomes for people of color.
Not all Vermont Legislators — let alone citizens — would view this rant to be “inclusive” of the Vermonters who died in the Civil War freeing blacks from slavery — this “historical and cultural omission” is suspicious.
What if a GOP Legislator took the floor, asking “Where would black people be without the white man?” He or she could then quote Thomas Sowell:
The people made worse off by slavery were those who were enslaved. Their descendants would have been worse off today if born in Africa instead of America. Put differently, the terrible fate of their ancestors benefitted them.
The black family survived centuries of slavery and generations of Jim Crow, but it has disintegrated in the wake of the liberals’ expansion of the welfare state.
That would set a different (non-racist) tone for the Vermont House….
Importing Brown’s Depression-era suffering in New York City to 2021 Vermont is more than anachronistic — it is alien; dishonest. If Colston is to so reverently employ Baldwin, a prophet of doom and hate, is he also calling for violence against white people as Baldwin did? Is he endorsing Baldwin’s blatant racism and anti-semitism?
Rep Colston should relate Baldwin’s words for Vermont’s Jews at a future devotional. In his 1967 New York Times editorial “Negroes Are Anti-Semitic Because They Are Anti-White,” Baldwin spews out a laundry list of those he hates that shows an intense devotion indeed:
In the American context, the most ironical thing about Negro anti-Semitism is that the Negro is really condemning the Jew for having become an American white man–for having become, in effect, a Christian. The Jew profits from his status in America, and he must expect Negroes to distrust him for it.
In the course of this raging justification for his racism, Baldwin condemns Jews for using the slaughter of 6,000,000 “as proof they cannot be bigots,” while suggesting that his invocation of slavery exempts him from bigotry. But the hate is seething — against Jewish landlords, storekeepers, butchers, pawnbrokers, and shoe salesmen; against welfare workers, postal workers, policemen, unions, teachers, “all his bosses in the Army” — the list is long….
The crisis taking place in the world, and in the minds and hearts of black men everywhere, is not produced by the star of David, but by the old, rugged Roman cross on which Christendom’s most celebrated Jew was murdered. And not by Jews.
Vermont’s Constitution (Section 3) provides (in part):
….every sect or denomination of christians ought to observe the sabbath or Lord’s day, and keep up some sort of religious worship, which to them shall seem most agreeable to the revealed will of God.
This language is quite at odds with Baldwin’s hateful rhetoric, just as Colston’s hateful shaming of his own constituents is completely at odds with the House Rules for Devotionals (and Vermont’s well-established Abolitionist history).
But Vermont’s Progressives run a tight, if oppressive, ship. In February 3rd’s House devotional, a virtue-signalling Democrat perverted an MLK sermon into a hateful condemnation conveying the opposite of King’s message to inveigh against Vermonters:
So whether we agree or are aware or not, we are all, myself included, a part of a system of white supremacy that was fundamental to the birth of our constitutional government. If we were born in this country we were born into white supremacy. We have all been acculturated in it.
Two years ago, a Vermont pastor was banned from delivering devotionals in the Vermont Senate because he referenced a “right to life.” Preaching hate and racist strife goes unchallenged; referencing the miracle of life is silenced.
These Circus Devotionals are the ultimate bully pulpit on display. Vermont’s thuggish Progressive supermajority religiously slanders its own constituents as white supremacist beneficiaries of “systemic racism.” Is this the future of America?
Someone should take a knee….