Monday, February 6, 2023

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Left-wing, socialist rhetoric plentiful locally – at county’s health department

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Rarely have we, the public, or local elected officials been subjected to as much left-wing tripe as we observed Monday night during Mebane’s city council meeting.

Somehow, the council agreed to hear from Arlinda Ellison, who is the supposed health education supervisor at the Alamance County Health Department. While that may be her official title, her role was, quite clearly, to be the chief propagandist for the most incredibly biased, rhetorically excessive, and practically useless report issued by someone (we’re not quite sure who) at the local health department.

She spent no less than 22 minutes hitting what she considered “highlights” from a publication, entitled Alamance County Health Assessment from 2021 – yes, two years old in the first place.

We heard more liberal, politically-charged rhetoric, thinly veiled as “health-related,” in those minutes than anything we can recall locally in recent memory.

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Those who think that liberal, socialist, policies and influence are far away in Washington, D.C. need only look up this 191-page diatribe, which is little more than a litany of every stereotypical issue on the liberal agenda, right there in something ostensibly about Alamance County.

The report and her remarks were replete with all of the favorite left-wing buzz words: inserting vague concepts of “equity” at every opportunity; viewing everything possible through a racial prism (including, of course, multiple diagnoses of “systematic racism”); disparaging capitalism; and even including hazy calls for “environmental justice. “  In a health assessment?

 

Where did this come from?

According to the study’s own authors, participants who were “interviewed” for the study sat in on charrettes (that’s lipstick-on-a-pig-speak for invitation-only meetings with “stakeholders”) between 2020 and 2021.

Participants, who, by the way were paid about $40 each, came primarily from two groups, even according to the fine print in the report: black and “Latinx” residents – an allegedly gender-neutral reference to Latinos, which, incidentally, is eschewed by the majority of that population.

Given the timing when much of this information was gathered – at the height of the coronavirus pandemic – we can safely speculate that not only was most of the county’s citizenry excluded from this process, they had no idea it was even going on – and most likely much of it took place in private, Zoom enclaves.

For starters, this “assessment” of the county’s health reflects an astounding example of Critical Race Theory in action, which in this case aims to demonstrate how “racism and discrimination” have shaped the quality of life for “people of color” in Alamance County, in essence,  since its inception.

Indeed, the study’s authors tell us, the goal was to select only a subset of the county’s population – “historically marginalized and excluded communities” from four locations: Morrowtown, the Dream Center in Burlington, Pleasant Grove, and the Crump Village Community in the Burlington Housing Authority.

Oh, well, we’re quite sure that’s not a representative sample of the county.

Ironically, the authors reported that “participants perceived a lack of unity in their community and its effect on the health of the community”; and how “systemic racism” has predetermined everything from poverty to transportation and health care, causing “chronic stress, depression, trauma, and disease in black and brown communities.”

Well, enough about the propaganda.

The flaming and militant leftist tone of this “assessment” really underscores a larger problem: the makeup of the “health board” that ostensibly oversees the department that could produce such leftist gobbledygook at the expense of Alamance County taxpayers.

Alamance County’s commissioners need to move up to a much higher priority their responsibility to appoint reasonable people, who are truly representative of the county, to the 11 seats on this board and who will be willing to oversee the department more closely.

According to state law, the health board is supposed to be “the policy-making, rule-making and adjudicatory body for a county health department.” And, indeed, the commissioners may also need to establish their own written policies regarding the health department, as is allowed by state law.

Clearly, the current members (there are at least three vacancies and some members should be nearing the completion of their three-year terms) have not done enough to rein in these radical tendencies, as evidenced by having allowed to be produced these 191 pages of such disinformation and allowing Ellison to take the show on the road to Mebane – and who knows where else.

Alamance County citizens deserve a health board that reflects their values, their commitment to actually caring about and wanting to improve the overall community’s health, and otherwise redirecting its energies, and taxpayer dollars, more appropriately.

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