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“I Know That Place, It Sounds Like Vermont.”

posted by Jason Kottke   Oct 01, 2018

Adam Driver hosted the premiere episode of the newest season of Saturday Night Live this weekend and one of the sketches featured a Neo-Confederate meeting where a group of white nationalists debated setting up a “Caucasian paradise” free from minorities and immigrants. They settled on Vermont.

This place sounds nice! Pancakes on the porch, spiced apple compote, the leaves change colors but the people never do.

As the saying goes, it’s funny cause it’s true. Although famously liberal — Trump’s support in VT was even lower than in California in the 2016 election — Vermont is also the second whitest state in the US (more than 94% white according to a 2017 estimate) and it shows.

Earlier this week, I drove past a house with the Confederate flag hanging on a flagpole in the front yard, right below the American flag. It’s not something you see super-often, but you do see it, along with Blue Lives Matter bumper stickers, Take Back Vermont signs painted on barns, and the perhaps well-intentioned older white couple holding up “We Believe Black Lives Matter Because All Lives Matter” signs on a small town sidewalk after the white supremacist demonstration in Charlottesville. Last year at the Champlain Valley Fair, there were multiple vendors selling Confederate flags, shirts, bandanas, and the like.

Last week, Kiah Morris resigned from her seat in the VT State House of Representatives due to racial harassment and threats.

Kiah Morris, the only African-American woman in the Vermont House of Representatives, announced her resignation on Tuesday, a month after she ended her re-election bid because of what she described as a yearslong campaign of racially motivated harassment and threats.

The harassment happened on social media and offline:

“There was vandalism within our home,” she said. “We found there were swastikas painted on the trees in the woods near where we live. We had home invasions.”

“It has come and gone and in different waves, but then it picked back up again and of course we are back in an election season so there’s always more,” she said.