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My Turn: HB 544 is a horrible, racist bill

For the Monitor
Published: 4/5/2021 10:00:21 AM

This New Hampshire legislation is closely modeled on a racist executive order by Donald Trump last September. It severely punished federal agencies, employees and contractors for offering any teaching or training to suggest America is or has ever been a racist country, or that whites still enjoy a racial privilege. That federal order called such instruction “divisive, un-American propaganda training.”

Trump had already vowed to make Mexico build a 500-mile-wall to keep racial minorities from taking asylum in this country. He tried to deport 12 million minority immigrants. He scapegoated all Muslims. He called the still-resurgent pandemic the “Chinese flu.”

On Jan. 6 he loosed on Congress a mob of racist Proud Boys, Three-Percenters, Oath Keepers, members of QAnon, Klansmen and Nazis to somehow overturn the fair and accurately counted election of Joe Biden, and assassinate Mike Pence and Nancy Pelosi. Trump was still trying to invalidate millions of Black votes against him in 63 losing court cases. Millions of Republicans still believe his 25,000 lies.

He once took out full-page ads in all the New York dailies demanding the death penalty for the five Black teenagers who were later falsely convicted of raping the Central Park jogger. Trump refuses to accept their subsequent innocent verdicts and their multi-million-dollar wrongful imprisonment awards.

Like the now-rescinded executive order, HB 544 would severely punish any state, college, school or town employee or subcontractor for teaching the true history of racism in America in all its past and modern forms. We were unspeakably cruel to slaves. We have made war against freed slaves and their children’s great, great, great grandchildren through Reconstruction, the five thousand Jim Crow lynchings, the murders and rapes of hundreds of Black people in the burning of Tulsa, the mass incarceration of Black people since the 1980s, the Congressional shunning of the first Black president, and the rise of white supremacy under the former president who still panders to it. Even the pandemic especially imperils Black, Indian and Hispanic people.

HB 544 would stop our citizens from learning the ugly truth about all that under-reported history. Every white citizen of New Hampshire has immensely benefited from racism, including Don Bolduc, who praises HB 544 in hopes of becoming our next U.S. senator.


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