Racism in Brentwood - Dissection of The Letter Submitted by Selectman Jon Morgan - Granite Grok

Racism in Brentwood – Dissection of The Letter Submitted by Selectman Jon Morgan

Brentwood Newsletter

Morgan: This week our country was rocked by yet another mass murder motivated by hatred when eight innocent people, six of them women of Asian descent, were killed by a radicalized young white man. …

We’d like to thank Jim Berlo and Jim Johnson for this op-ed. If you have an Op-Ed or Letter
you want us to consider please submit it to Skip@GraniteGrok or Steve@GraniteGrok.com.

These hate crimes are fueled in part by racist rhetoric that has become all too familiar in our country’s dialogue. Words can have deadly consequences and this week is a stark reminder of that.

Us: Just, like every disingenuous politician Brentwood Selectman Jon Morgan could not wait to wrongly lay the blame of another horrendous shooting on a “radicalized white man”. There is No evidence to support any radicalization or racist motivation at this point!

Morgan: In my community, we saw the ugly head of racism surface in the March 2021 edition of the taxpayer-funded Brentwood Town Newsletter, which included an editorial titled “Racism: From a White Man’s Perspective.”

Us: We have read this letter multiple times and cannot find any injurious, defamatory, or hateful language which would constitute any Racist intent.

Morgan: I’ve heard from a cross-section of community members who were extraordinarily upset and embarrassed by the publication of this editorial in our town newsletter – and I share their concerns. No counterpoints or differing views were published alongside this author’s insular, inward-looking justification for dismissing calls demanding racial justice. Our community newsletter, established in March of 1977 to address a lack of communication in our town, provides summaries of various town committee reports and issues facing Brentwood, and “give citizens a common basis from which community-wide discussions can emerge.”

Us: We find it extraordinary you complain that “no counterpoints” or “differing views” accompanied the non-racist letter. Creating controversy where none exists is a deplorable assault on the BNL Editors. The newsletter is a monthly publication any response would not be published until April!!! Furthermore, Mr. Morgan’s bullying rhetoric of two female editors of the BNL is machinated and may be construed as sexual harassment from a self-proclaimed white man, politician.

Morgan: Racism is an issue facing Brentwood, our state, and our country. Our community should be talking about it. But the editors of the newsletter failed to provide that necessary common basis. Instead, they chose to propagate the controversial ideas of one person. One demographic.

Us: So, say you, we disagree, the facts that appear in the article are all legitimate beyond any reasonable reproach. The Seacoast News chose to publish your letter, Mr. Morgan!  One man’s unfounded divisive complaints about an article we contend is free of any racist connotations.

Morgan: This is representative of what we see largely in public discourse today; those with power – statistically, white men – have the biggest microphones and are able to reach the biggest audience. Meanwhile, those with differing perspectives are often silenced. It is my job as a leader – as someone with a big microphone – to use that privilege to lift up the voices of others. It is my job to pass the mic.

Us: A second meeting is forthcoming, the purpose to allow the voices silenced due to server overload to be heard, you were aware of this fact, yet you exposed yourself as a political opportunist whose insincerity is unbecoming a Brentwood Select board member. Utilizing the old white democrat playbook ‘never let a good crisis go to waste”! People of conscience do not believe any catastrophic event should be exploited for personal political or otherwise advantage. 

Morgan: Recently, I attended my first Select Board meeting as an elected member, at which this editorial controversy constituted a large discussion. Given the concerns raised by community members, it was incredibly concerning that not one ounce of contrition, apology, or humility was offered by the editors of our community newsletter. Disappointingly, they chose instead to do what many do when confronted with an inconvenient truth – they became defensive. They claimed their First Amendment rights. But, this is a town-funded publication – not an independent newspaper – and as such is not subject to “freedom of press” protections. And while the author of this editorial has the free speech rights to share his perspective – however flawed and toxic I may personally feel it is – there is no correlating right to have it published in a town-funded publication with a charter to inform the taxpayers of Brentwood.

Us: One does not express remorse for a letter that contains no injurious, defamatory, hateful, or racist language. Mr. Morgan, you are wrong again, the BNL is a public/private entity. Morgan has shamelessly prejudged the guilt of the BNL before all voices have been heard hence the following from Mr. Morgan “however flawed and toxic I may personally feel …” disqualifies him from sitting in judgement of the BNL. Freedom of speech is the bedrock of our open society apparently you and your comrades only like language that support your point of view. You are not the arbiter of an individual’s God-given right to freely submit their publications.

Morgan: When I ran for the Select Board, I told my town that I recognize the cavernous divisions in our community right now and I would work to remind us that we are neighbors, friends, and a community. Unfortunately, while the staff of the Brentwood Newsletter say they hoped to spark a debate in Brentwood, they only deepened the divide in our town by publishing this controversial editorial.

Us: Morgan sees cavernous racial divisions everywhere. He needed a trigger, so he exploited the eight murders in Georgia recognizing the murder of six Asian Americans while omitting two white American individuals also murdered. Then, the truth that the “young white man” was not “radicalized” destroyed Morgan’s contrived narrative that racism was the culprit.  

Morgan: To be clear, the problems that surfaced in Brentwood run deeper than this one author, editorial, and newsletter.

Us: Morgan’s letter smacks of future self-serving political opportunities to the detriment of Brentwood Citizens. Mr. Morgan are we correct you may be contemplating further political aspirations?

Morgan: There are still far too many people in our community who would never refer to themselves as “racist” but use racist language that contributes to violence like we saw in Georgia recently, hold the same ideologies that deny systemic racism, and refuse to make the necessary changes.

Us: And you know this how??? Connecting the events in Georgia to proclaim the town of Brentwood as racist was a conception based on unsubstantiated inuendo by you Mr. Morgan! Meanwhile, real racist violence sanctioned by the democrat party in Seattle, Portland, Kenosha, Detroit, Chicago, and New York continues, unabated. Let us not forget the five police Officers who were gunned down at a BLM protest in Dallas.

Morgan: Facing our country’s past – and present – is painful. As a white man myself, I have had uncomfortable conversations about how I have benefited from systemic racism. It can be painful and difficult to admit your privilege, but it is a necessary step to changing the tide and dismantling structures that have unfairly and unjustly disadvantaged our Black and Brown neighbors.

Us: Mr. Morgan demolishing Statues, trashing inalienable rights bestowed from above only further divides. Your confession adds insult to injury spewing unfounded claims of racism against the Citizens of Brentwood, State of New Hampshire, and America only further isolating and not unifying.  

Morgan: Over the last several years in public service to Brentwood and New Hampshire, I have aimed at every step to be measured, considerate, respectful, and kind. Countless times, I reflected on the lesson of my father to “leave the woodpile higher than I found it.” I sought to listen, think, sincerely try to understand, and only then speak. That is what I’ve done – and it is what we all must do to move forward.

Us: Yet you deliberately decided to reveal your extremist propaganda and dismiss all dissenting opinions. Your reliance on the fake narrative of Georgia’s anguish tells us all we need to know about your willingness to obfuscate and manufacture a narrative that is steeped in no realism. This whole scenario is reminiscent of last year’s fake attack on the BNL brought forth by democrat chair Eric Turer and Liz McConnell, because BNL had the audacity to publish the actual voting records of Brentwood’s two legislative agents. Liz’s record was abysmal, yet Eric argued the submission was tendered by “anonymous”, neither ever attempted to defend Liz’s votes. We would learn later several Brentwood residents asked for anonymity out of fear of backlash which says it all.

Morgan: Instead of listening to respond, it’s time for us all to listen to understand.

Us: Morgan seized the moment to promote an extremist message that current discrimination of white people is justified, “the only remedy to racist discrimination is anti-racist discrimination. The only remedy to past discrimination is present discrimination”. Ibram X. Kendi. Discrimination is wrong. Qualifying present-discrimination as a remedy is just as wrong. The Gestapo tactics, violence, and constant harassing directed by prominent democrats towards innocent Trump Supporters is an example of present discrimination in action as led by such “luminaries” as Maxine Waters, Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi, and Joe Biden to name a few.

Morgan: This really boils down to something that is far more impactful than a simple newsletter that lands in the mailboxes of Brentwood residents once a month. This newsletter represents our town, our values, how we treat each other as friends, neighbors, and a community. A newsletter representing a town has a great responsibility; it has the power to tell the story, recorded in history for future generations to see, of who we are.

Us: BNL editors have been responsible and unbiased in their decisions. Morgan, on the other hand, has branded all white America as racists. What happened to Martin Luther King’s beautiful vision of America? “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” This is a belief we share a lesson our parents reinforced.

Morgan: Maybe this editorial and its publication does paint a portrait of who we are at this moment in time – but it’s certainly not the best version of us or who we should want to be. I’m excited for the opportunity to help lead Brentwood and our state in the conversations and changes necessary to be better.

Us: Racism is an ugly word that carries a stigma that is virtually impossible to repair. Morgan’s deliberate actions have been reckless and unprofessional for a sitting selectman. He has sullied the reputation of all Brentwood Citizens to shame us not with actual evidence mind you but with his unqualified observations. Morgan has recklessly voiced his position publicly condemning the BNL editors with failure “not one ounce of contrition, apology, or humility”. He also laments the absence of any “…counterpoints or differing views…” accompanied the letter. These two charges are misleading and unfair representations, which further incites resentment towards the two female BNL editors. The Newsletter editors accept submissions to be published, they do not solicit for them. Any response to a published letter will not appear until the following month. Mr. Morgan knows this, yet he has besmirched the character of the two women editors.  

Mr. Morgan’s widely pronounced feelings concerning the letter in question reveal a bias towards the BNL editors, that should render any judgement as a sitting Board member for or against the BNL null and void! His seat should be vacant during the meeting. If he wishes to respond he may do so as a citizen, not as a selectman. Morgan has forfeited his seat for this discussion with his overt racism.

Jim Berlo & Jim Johnson                                                                                                                         Brentwood NH