Vermont doesn't need the foolishness. Vermont outlawed slavery before for anyone else, and wasn't a state at the time; fought under the flag of the Grand Armies of the Republic; lost more people and spent more money per capita than anyone else; built 20% of the Underground Railroad to help get folks to Canada; graduated the first Black scholar, Alexander Twilight, who founded the first free Black school, Twilight Academy in St. Johnsbury; hosted and still hosts many Fresh Air Fund children to come to Vermont and many of these relationships are lifelong.

Vermont is home to The All Species Day Parade, Bread and Puppet Theatre, The One World, One Heart Music Festival, and The Vermont Reggae Festival, which has promoted one heart, one world, one people for many years. It is noteworthy that Vermont Reggae Fest had crowds of more than 50,000 attendees from all over the planet, held on family farms all over Vermont, policed by the sheriff's departments and never had an arrest or an injury.

I believe we should treat each human we meet with the same respect we want to be treated with, and I believe that we are entitled to be held accountable for our actions 24/7 and our actions alone. Vermont has done a pretty great job of helping and incorporating folks of a lot of creeds and colors into our sanctuary state and does not need to be involved in the reactionary divisive politics of any group that excludes everyone's interest but their own.

Left to their own devices, Vermonters will generally do what's right which has led us to be the most livable state in the country. First state to legalize gay marriage and outlaw GMO food and spend more on education than the other 49.

Let's still be Vermont and respect all lives and not involve ourselves with the current insanity that's so prevalent in America today. Live and let live and respect that all lives matter.

I am a seventh-generation Vermonter and the great-granddaughter of a freed slave, and I would never live anywhere but the 802. Let's be Vermont Strong together.

Kate Kennedy lives in Florence.

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