Dangerous racist draft legislation (disguised as anti-discrimination leglislation) is being submitted this coming Monday and your action is needed.
Bill No. 81-21, AN ORDINANCE concerning: General Provisions – Prohibition against Use of County Funds or Resources to Promote or Require Discrimination” (https://www.aacounty.org/departments/county-council/legislation/bills-and-resolutions/81-21.pdf) is being submitted by Nathan Volke.
Volke has written it to look like a really good anti-discrimination bill. But don’t be fooled, his intent is exactly the opposite.
The bill is about not allowing for training related to or discussions of race and racism that are lead by either County employees or contractors. Essentially, that means no diversity and inclusion training because that may result in the County discriminating against
white people and may make white people feel bad or guilty due to frank and honest discussions of how racism and oppression has been part of the United States since we before we were a United States.
There are multiple problems with this thinking, not the least of which is it prevents the discussion of racism. And the problem with that is you have to talk about things that are unequal and inequitable first before you can fix it. So if you are prohibiting from talking about it, then you are perpetuating the inequity and the inequality, and therefore you’re allowing for the continuance of discrimination and discriminatory practices
Volke’s redefinition of racism (discrimination) is racist in itself. Under his definition of discrimination, any equity program could be targeted. Some examples that others have written about would be: ‘Waiving fees for homeless students “discriminates” against students who have homes. Programs for at risk students “discriminates” against students who aren’t at risk. Providing accommodations to those with learning disabilities “discriminates” against those who do not have learning challenges. Support for ELA students “discriminates” against students who speak English natively.’
Simply put ‘Discrimination is UNFAIRLY treating people differently. Sometimes different treatment is fair. It is always fair to give people what they need. You only give people CPR if they need it. No one who doesn’t need CPR ever says”That’s unfair, I didn’t get CPR”
What is really dangerous about this kind of legislation is that it can establish a precedent for county entities to create their own definitions that prevent any equitable discussions or awareness around previous and current practices. This in effect would only perpetuate discriminatory practices.
Finally, it’s a slap in the face to impacted communities facing discrimination every day, and those submitting and/or supporting the legislation need to be forcefully made aware that there is no space in Anne Arundel County for these disrespectful and disingenuous tactics.
Here is the link to find out how to post testimony or to find out how to testify in person (currently AACo Council meetings are not set up for virtual testimony, but that may change in January).