All good citizens should oppose the board’s decision to fly the Black Lives Matter flag and to hold BLM assemblies at South Burlington School District schools. BLM’s toxic mix of victimhood, white guilt, and entitlement is contrary to the teachings of black luminaries like Frederick Douglass, Booker T. Washington, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Shelby Steele. Steele says that these ideas have damaged black families more than institutional racism ever did.

The data confirm Steel’s observation. Distinguished scholar Thomas Sowell, who is black, compared 1960 data on rates of black single-parentage, crime, marriage, drug use, and labor participation with data several decades later and found that by these measures blacks had become worse off. These findings are remarkable because 1960 predates the full swing of the civil rights era and the tremendous progress since then against the kind of racial discrimination that held blacks back.

The progress has been so great that many of today’s battles are over “reverse discrimination” — preferences for racial minorities. Also, consider the thousands of non-whites — including Africans — who immigrate to the U.S. annually, and the millions more who would like to. If the U.S. is the white racist hotbed BLM suggests, these actual and would-be non-white immigrants would not long to come here.

BLM-style victimhood, white guilt, and entitlement — not racial discrimination — explain the tragic deterioration found by Dr. Sowell. The board’s BLM endorsement encourages BLM’s pernicious ideas, hurting the very minorities it purports to help. The board must cancel the BLM flag display and assemblies and refrain from further endorsements of political groups.

Sheldon Katz

South Burlington

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