Letter: Oppose the petition to establish a Diversity committee

Posted 1/15/21

A group of citizens has petitioned the BristolTown Council to establish a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee, DEI. The committee will “advise” the Town Council on issues and …

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Letter: Oppose the petition to establish a Diversity committee

Posted

A group of citizens has petitioned the BristolTown Council to establish a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee, DEI. The committee will “advise” the Town Council on issues and behavior (that they believe exist systemically in our country) and reflect bias or racism. These beliefs are solely through the lens of their political views, and here in Bristol are unsubstantiated by facts and data.

This group aligns with those who believe in identity politics, and they see the world through that filter. Bristol is not a racist or biased town, period. 

I strongly oppose any attempt to create an ad hoc committee to provide “suggestions” to the Town Council regarding DEI for the following reasons.

  1. The petitioner has produced no data or evidence of incidents of racism or bias in our town. Their belief is that it exists in every person and every institution.
  2. We have duly elected Town Council members sworn to uphold the laws, statutes, and regulations of this town. Let them do their job. If individuals believe they have encountered discrimination in any form, they have the right to voice their concern to these elected officials or other governmental institutions.
  3. We see a growing trend in our country of a cancel culture whose goal is to impose their thoughts and values on education, government, private businesses, and individuals. Allowing the formation of this committee will provide a platform and legitimize the thoughts and values of a narrowly constructed group. Groups like this seek to divide not unite.
  4. Once established, the committee will self-select its members and be void of diverse thought and opinion, allowing it to self-determine what equity looks, feels, sounds, and acts like. 
  5. And last, if the Town Council sets precedent by allowing the formation of the committee then there will be a parade of others who will request the formation of additional committees to advise the council on their grievances. Remember the flag-flying controversy? This is a slippery slope.

I believe that this petition will be on the agenda of the next council meeting scheduled for Jan 20. I encourage all residents to reach out to our elected council members and express your opposition and/or voice your concerns on the zoom Town Council meeting next week.

David Scarpino
Bristol

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