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Comment Archives: Stories: News + Opinion: Opinion

Re: “Opinion: Upset About Trump? Don’t Psychologize — Organize

Here's an idea: Instead of telling people how they're currently doing things wrong in managing their post-election feelings, why not suggest things they can do in addition to what they're already doing? Suggesting that students who are feeling isolated and concerned for their personal welfare should not engage with professional counselors is pretty asinine, no matter how cutesy the word play.

Posted by stellaquarta on 11/18/2016 at 4:46 PM

Re: “Opinion: Upset About Trump? Don’t Psychologize — Organize

Perhaps most important, organize to reclaim the Democratic Party and the DNC, which has lost its way and themselves brought about the Trump presidency.

5 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Laura Wilson on 11/14/2016 at 4:13 PM

Re: “Opinion: Judge Rainville’s Soft Racism

I could easily imagine this exchange between any individual before the court under these circumstances, especially if they were white and privileged. This is a horrible critique.

8 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by Michael Monte on 08/19/2016 at 3:11 PM

Re: “Opinion: Judge Rainville’s Soft Racism

It's interesting that, apparently, Ms. Levine hasn't spent a lot of time in courtrooms. That type of exchange between the judge and public defender is routine among defendants of all races, as other commenters have noted. What I find interesting though is that Ms. Levine doesn't seem to realize that criminal law is typically far more focused on deeds and facts than intentions and motives. Ironic then that she sees fit to judge Mr. Collins's and the judge's motivations. What was her intent and through what subjective measure did she use? I won't guess.

14 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Jason Smith on 08/18/2016 at 8:38 PM

Re: “Opinion: Judge Rainville’s Soft Racism

It is always disappointing when someone who has no idea what goes on in criminal courtrooms on a daily basis tries to use a single exchange in one criminal case to extrapolate commentary on some larger social issue. Spend a little time at the courthouse, Ms. Levine, and you would see that a defendant's behavior during an arrest, regardless of their race, is regularly discussed as a factor in bail arguments and plea agreements. Systematic and personal racism in the justice system is certainly a real problem, even here in Vermont, but Mr. Collins, making the kind of argument he would make for any client on these facts, is not an example of it. You should do more research and be better informed about your subject matter before making these kinds of accusations.

19 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by GreenMtnLf on 08/17/2016 at 1:03 PM

Re: “Opinion: Judge Rainville’s Soft Racism

And I suppose that Ms. Levine will tell us that she is opposed to affirmative action because of the "soft bigotry of low expectations"? Somehow I doubt it.

I find it absurd that someone born with white privilege seems to believe that she is the ultimate arbiter of what is best for African-Americans.

21 likes, 14 dislikes
Posted by NEKVTer on 08/16/2016 at 11:33 AM

Re: “Opinion: Judge Rainville’s Soft Racism

This is a really strange column from Judith Levine. She ignores the fact that the initiating call was a false report intended as revenge. No erratic driving occurred, as Louard was likely aware.

Yes, he was driving under a suspended license - a fact that would not have been discovered, incidentally, without a false report. Nor would Louard have been caught "driving under the influence" with a BAC that 10 minutes later would have been under the legal limit and likely did not impair his driving even at .09.

It's not outrageous for Rainville to complement Louard for reacting well after being stopped under effectively false pretenses. Many others, white or black or Christmas red and green, might not have.

21 likes, 11 dislikes
Posted by Nate Awrich on 08/16/2016 at 11:20 AM

Re: “Opinion: Judge Rainville’s Soft Racism

Sooooo Judge Rainville was softly racist when he decided to buck the trend of disproportionally incarcerating and levying fines on individuals that are non-White (i.e. black - or is that a softly racist word now?). By focusing on paralanguage (which I might add, your interpretation is just that, an interpretation) you completely overlook the disproportionate representation African Americans hold in Vermont jails or the fact that African Americans are pulled over at higher rates and have fines levied against them at higher rates.

18 likes, 18 dislikes
Posted by Thommy Taber on 08/16/2016 at 9:39 AM

Re: “Opinion: Judge Rainville’s Soft Racism

The comments made by the Public Defender Lucas Collins in this case are common and consistent with what would be said in any case to argue a reduced sentence. To assign some other motive is ludicrous.

52 likes, 7 dislikes
Posted by Matthew Valerio, VT Defender General on 08/16/2016 at 9:26 AM

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