Guest Post: Statement to the New Gloucester Select Board, by Beth Ellingson
Statement To the New Gloucester Select Board Regarding the DEI Agenda June 5, 2023
Manager Kerbin, Chair Larrivee, Vice Chair Hawthorne, and members of the New Gloucester Select Board:
Thank you all for your great service to our town, and for the unique skill sets each of you brings.
I’ve lived in New Gloucester for 26 years and served as a member of the DEI Committee. I’m here to address concerns I have about the Board’s direction with DEI. I learned a lot while serving on the committee. (Please refer to my handout describing how I arrived at my draft DEI statement). One recurring obstacle was the definition of and applications of DEI principles. Early on in my research I learned there are different definitions, interpretations and applications of DEI, some that actually REVERSE the tremendous progress made through the Civil Rights movement of the 1960’s and ‘70’s and Constitutional law. For example, in the U.S. we are guaranteed equal protection under the law, but some interpretations of “Equity” by paid social justice activists are pushing for equality of outcomes under the law. Can you think of any countries that enforce equality of outcomes under law? Cuba, China, North Korea and Vietnam come to mind, all of them Socialist or Communist countries where human rights are egregiously violated. In the name of equity, biological women are bumped out of athletic championships, students in school restrooms and locker rooms feel uncomfortable and unsafe, academic standards are being lowered and parental rights are being violated…the list goes on and on. This societal deconstruction and reconstruction has lost sight of Constitutional rights and freedoms many fought and died for and undermines the inherent worth of individuals by creating identity groups, often leading to greater division in our society.
Here in New Gloucester, while having the privilege of serving on the DEI Committee and speaking about the potential pitfalls of DEI, I used the suppression of free speech as an example. That segment was captured and published on a local social media platform, then shared by Officer Ward expressing his disgust and calling it harmful. The irony of his public post is that I was discussing the right to free speech and to this day, I honor and uphold Select Board Ward’s right to free speech as I uphold all our rights to free speech. I do thank you for making a public apology for that statement as a board member to a standing committee member, but I don’t condemn you for it. We want all citizens and leaders of New Gloucester to have the freedom to speak according to the dictates of their consciences and not feel fear of reprisal from townspeople or the media. As Voltaire said, “I may not agree with what you have to say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”
I’m opposed to mandatory DEI training for Municipal Officers, staff and volunteers, in part because we don’t even require training in the Constitution in order to serve. And most take an oath to uphold the Constitution and laws of the United States and the state of Maine.
I encourage you to research the Marxist roots of Critical Race Theory which have hijacked the virtuous principles of Civil Rights and DEI.
*For more background, please read the following post: How I Arrived at My DEI Statement
*This is a guest post by Beth Ellingson. The views expressed are those of Beth Ellingson, and not endorsed by the New Gloucester GOP. The New Gloucester GOP supports the right of individuals to submit guest blog posts freely, and without censorship. If you are interested in sharing an article, or post please send all submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org