Sunday, November 28, 2021


Even in Guilford

Dave Roberts is confused again, which should surprise nobody [Oct. 7 letter “Confess to be Confused”]. His style is familiar, albeit formulaic (almost Seussian). He picks a position with which he disagrees, constructs a tortured deduction, then wonders what he’s missing. Here’s how it works: State “Some Board of Education candidates recently fabricated a political/racial issue. Now they promise they’ll stop Critical Race Theory (CRT) and politics in our schools. By not supporting them, I’m a Marxist, right?” Fun game. Anyone can play.

The CRT contretemps wasn’t on Roberts’s radar on Oct. 7. He was too confused by “virtue-signaling lawn signs,” but desires explication. I’ll try: Whether inspirational, aspirational, welcoming, or threatening, lawn signs are mere symbols. They assume a basic degree of common sense. No, a “Peace” sign doesn’t end all conflict. No, equity doesn’t mean everyone gets A’s. Yes, Caucasians can welcome diverse neighbors, even in Guilford.

I mostly ignore the silliness, but the Oct. 7 display of cynicism was breathtaking. Roberts proclaimed that if we welcome neighbors with signs containing different languages/colors, we’re hypocrites: “This,” he wrote, “from people who for some reason have chosen to live in a town as non-diverse as Guilford.” Wow, busted. We chose Guilford to avoid those others. We thought a virtue-signaling sign might fool people. Roberts saw through our charade.

As Roberts wrote his latest letter, we attended our neighborhood block party, sharing food, drink, and fellowship with neighbors of diverse backgrounds, skin tones, and orientations. We have neighbors of Italian, Spanish, Ecuadorian, Colombian, Jamaican, Portuguese, and Asian descent—and more. The symphony of laughter and accents was comforting. On Oct. 3, two new neighbors, in a beautiful email, offered that they’d lived in 10 places (six countries) and had never felt more welcomed. Imagine that? In Guilford, no less!

Greg Kinsella