Let’s take a look at the remarks of Rep. Doug Gage on the House floor last week regarding the drug culture in our state and see just which ones were deemed to be “racially insensitive” by some of his colleagues, shall we?
Was it “racially insensitive” to relay that a “person of color” was upset over some drug dealers who were giving his community a bad name?
Was it “racially insensitive” to discuss the “white girls” who enable the pushers because they have become addicts themselves?
Was it “racially insensitive” to state that African-American men make up a disproportionate population in our prisons, much of it due to drug-related crime?
For those who expressed “shock” at Gage’s comments, one has to wonder if they were actually listening to the remarks they were critiquing, or were they simply guilty of selective hearing?
Rep. Kesha Ram accused Gage of using insulting remarks and generalizing about a group of people on the House floor. So is it Ram’s position that the “people of color” whose remarks Gage referred to are not permitted to express their opinion regarding what is happening in their own community?
Rep. Kate Webb found it “embarrassing to hear someone speak with an incredible lack of awareness” regarding the pervasive drug culture in this state. So just who are those who have their heads buried in the sand? The real embarrassment is that we have members of the Legislature who can listen to a cry for help from the black community and turn a blind eye to the problem, longing only for soft-spoken words. Wake up — we have a huge heroin problem in Vermont. Open your eyes and look around you at the deterioration of what were once proud blue-collar neighborhoods and at the pathetic tale of young Vermonters becoming drug addicts. There are none so blind as those who will not see.
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