by Kesha Ram, VT Digger, March 17th, 2021.
Weinberger has announced that he will replace Green with Darren Springer, the white male Director of the Burlington Electric Department. Weinberger cited the need for a department head who “has been neutral and separate” from the debates over police staffing levels.
Weinberger’s words eerily echo King’s warning of the white moderate who favors the “absence of tension” over the “presence of justice,” a preference that prioritizes the maintenance of the status quo of institutional racism over the discomfort that is inherent in dismantling oppressive systems.
While Springer is a thoughtful and respected energy leader, this change not only questions Green’s ability to be neutral, it installs someone who has little to no expertise in policing or racial justice. It is insulting to Green and to our community, and it can only leave us to presume that the decision gives comfort to those who are opposed to systemic change.