Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Of black holes and other anomalies: Whither goest Brunswick’s Race and Gender Task Force?

Do you remember this post from December last year?



It contained the above image, along with a letter from Council Chair Sarah Brayman describing her intent to form a Brunswick “Race and Gender Task Force” to address worrisome events in town over the prior months.  We warned that doing so would likely place a monkey on the Council’s back; they would have to DO SOMETHING, DO ANYTHING, even if no systemic issues were uncovered.

We also noted that the general phenomenon of campus unrest on such issues appeared to be an organized movement nationwide, rather than a serendipitous unfolding of concerns unique to Brunswick, America’s perfect little town.  We could be wrong, but it seems to us the story has lost some of its legs locally, given that as best we know, there has been an amazing decline in reports of the kind of incidents that sparked the interest of ‘town leaders’ in the first place.

We followed up with another post: http://othersideofbrunswick.blogspot.com/2015/12/brunswick-bowdoin-race-gender-rape.html

As things unfolded, one member of the council suggested that the Task Force be redesignated a “Human Rights Task Force,” elevating Brunswick, it would seem, to an adjunct of the United Nations.  This reaffirmed our conviction that Brunswick is rife with social justice warriors always ready to bog down municipal government with issues of global politics; issues that are none of their legitimate business in the context of Town Council responsibilities.  (Don’t worry; I’ll get over the bleeding tongue in a day or two.)

A report on the meeting that made disposition of the Task Force plan is here:


Note the public posturing by the usual suspects. A few interesting passages from the article are these:

“I don’t know how much control any (legislative body) has over bonehead-ism,” Councilor Suzan Wilson said.

Councilor Jane Millet, who had originally supported the task force, said she found the direction the motion had taken “bizarre.”

“It’s tough to fix stupid with groups like this (task force),” Councilor Steve Walker said. “But the task force is … an opportunity to learn what tools are out there.”

The task force will report back to the council in June 2016.

Our concern, irrelevant as it is in such matters, is that ‘human rights’ has become a catch-all term for the march to socialism, and justice warriors include such things as these in the mix:

The right not to be responsible for your own support and that of your ‘family.’

Expecting a ‘village’ to raise your child responsibly rather than making that your obligation.

The right to ‘socially construct’ your gender, your biological species, your race, and your sexual experiences.

The right to a free college education, even if you aren’t qualified for college work.

The right to have ‘someone else’ provide whatever it is you’d like to have to live a comfortable middle class existence.

The right to earn a wage well beyond your value to your employer.

The right to be excused from a vast array of criminal behaviors because society made you do it.

The right to have others provide your health care in all forms.

The right to have others pay for your ‘reproductive rights.’

etc, etc, etc…

A few months back we attended one of the Task Force meetings; the discussion focused mostly on the needs of local foodbanks, etc, which seemed well outside the ‘race and gender’ sphere.  Our worst fears were confirmed.  The Task Force had quickly moved beyond its reason for creation, and its charter, and become an open-ended charitable discussion group.

We subsequently inquired when we could exect a wrap-up and report on the group’s work.  Recall the original plan to “report back to the Council” in June.  The answer we got was that reporting out was TBD, and that the group was seeking input from area clergy and others to further explore “community needs.”

We expect any suggestion that they complete their work and report back to the town will be seen as hard-hearted and mean-spirited.  We suggest, therefore, that the easiest way out for those who began the process is to avoid the issue by any means necessary.


All very noble of the principles of course, except for the fact that this has nothing to do with why the group was formed.  We’ll likely be scolded for a lack of compassion, and so be it.

We look for our Town Council to manage the enterprise of Municipal Government, and nothing else.  Their example here does not build confidence in how they manage budgets, town staff, and other pressing issues of town administration.

On the other hand, in most cases we can think of these days, government has become the dominant charity organization at all levels, so why should we expect anything less from our local betters? 

Doing good with OPM can be so satisfying to the soul.

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