I was angered and perplexed when I read the October 4, 2021 article in the Daily Hampshire Gazette on the self-serving actions of Amherst Forward to endorse a candidate who did not want their endorsement. The very notion that a group feels entitled to endorse a candidate who has explicitly asked not to be endorsed, strikes me as white privilege in the extreme, even if there are BIPOC people involved with Amherst Forward. In the very broadest sense, it suggests that this group believes that this BIPOC candidate cannot win unless supported by the elite of Amherst. In a narrow sense, it suggests that this BIPOC candidate does not know what is really good for herself. As a BIPOC person myself, I would hate to think that my decisions and my future rest in the hands of those who seem to think that they are my better. Such thinking is as close to a plantation mentality has I have witnessed in Amherst in recent years. I would suggest that Amherst Forward rethink their position on their candidate endorsement policy and not move “forward” until they do so. To Ellisha Walker, move ahead with your political independence. The voters will respond as they see fit. To Amherst Forward, I suggest that you do not look at Amherst’s BIPOC candidates as a group that needs to be led, but a group that is perfectly capable of leading themselves.
Gaylord Saulsberry has been a resident of Amherst For 38 years