I missed this story the other day, in which Loudoun County’s Board of Supervisors “voted 6-3 along party lines Tuesday night to support a local law that will set the county government up to recognize and bargain with union representatives, the stronger of the two options up for consideration.” See below for video of the discussion leading up to the vote, including some pretty intense pushback by Supervisor Koran Saines (D) and (particularly) Chair Phyllis Randall (D) on their fellow Board member, Juli Briskman (D). Here’s how it went:
- Briskman: “The reason the sky is falling for some people in Loudoun County right now is because this is going to potentially give the little people power, this is potentially going to give women power, this is potentially going to give women more pay, this is potentially going to give minorities more pay, and the sky is falling for certain people who want to keep our society ruled by white supremacy.“
- Saines: “Let’s all take a deep breath…some of the stuff that’s being thrown around is just a little… a little extreme, I’ll just say that.”
- Randall: “Ms. Briskman, I will always be in some ways…so proud of you and
and so happy on the Board with you. But I got to tell you, this is not this has nothing to do with white supremacy. And..it is the epitome of white privilege to not know what white supremacy actually is. This is not about white supremacy. I’m sorry, but we have an incredibly diverse staff and we have a very incredibly diverse senior staff. We have probably more women than any senior staff you will ever find to be quite honest. And the head of our HR department is a Black woman. This is not a white supremacy...there is white supremacy in this world and in this county. And there is white supremacy that we deal with all the time. But not everything is a white supremacy issue. And you’re right, little people will have a chance to say what they want to say, but that’s all little people – little Brown people, little Black people little White people, whoever wants to talk. So…if you make everything about race then nothing is about race. So I support this because I support the county staff having the right to choose, and they will have the right to choose when they vote one way or another.”
The thing is, there really IS such a thing as white supremacy in this country (Donald Trump and his supporters, for instance), and it’s crucial that we not only call it out when we see it, but fight HARD against it. But that also means not “crying wolf” in the sense of labeling all kinds of things as white supremacy which really aren’t about that (or not mostly about that). In this case, for instance, you can be against collective bargaining for county employees for any number of reasons, such as being anti-labor, anti-union, anti-working-people, etc. Or maybe you honestly think it’s bad policy, for whatever (flawed) reasons – financial, business or whatever. But to leap right to “it must be white supremacy” seems…yeah, “just a little… a little extreme,” as Supervisor Saines put it. With that, kudos to Chair Randall for making the points she did, forcefully and in public.