The schoolboard’s decision to fly the Black Lives Matter flag and hold BLM assemblies is lamentable and must be reversed. BLM, through “ideological and political intervention,” seeks “radical transformation.” BLM and its supporters have every right to advocate for its agenda, but it is not the board’s place — speaking for all community members — to endorse political organizations and impose their ideology. 

BLM supports destroying Israel, the Middle East’s only liberal democracy and the world’s only safe-haven for Jews, including Black Jews. BLM’s singling out Israel reveals its anti-Semitism.  That doesn’t bother me. What does is that the South Burlington School District, supported by my taxes and which my child attends, endorses this anti-Semitic organization. 

BLM not only advocates for odious political causes, it also calls for violence, especially against police. BLM glorifies convicted cop-killer Joanne Chesimard and its demonstrators chant “pigs-in-a-blanket [officers in body-bags] fry-‘em-like-bacon” and “What-do-we-want? Dead-Cops.  When-do-we-want-them? Now.” While it’s BLM’s right to express hateful ideas, the FBI says BLM has inspired a spike in attacks on officers, including assassinations of officers in several cities. The board’s BLM support is a slap in the face to all cops and the families of these innocent murdered officers, including Chesimard’s victim.

BLM-inspired anti-police violence has led to the “Ferguson Effect” — officers backing off of policing out of fear that they will be targeted or their actions will be questioned after the fact.  Blacks are responsible for 93 percent of all black murder victims. If black lives matter, South Burlington School District should not endorse BLM.

BLM’s premise — systematic unjustified police violence against blacks — lacks evidence.  Anecdotally, in publicized cases, some officers have been convicted and some exonerated, the latter often supported by FBI investigations. No procedural defects have been identified.  Statistically, a (black) Harvard researcher found no racial differences — police are no more likely to shoot non-whites than whites. 

Regardless of the board’s own personal views or those of individuals or segments of the South Burlington School District community, it is not South Burlington School District’s role to endorse political organizations. The BLM flag display and assemblies must be cancelled.

Claudia Berger

South Burlington

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