VT State Fair Ban the Sale of Racist Objects by Vendors

VT State Fair Ban the Sale of Racist Objects by Vendors

August 16, 2022
Signatures: 1,296Next Goal: 1,500
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Why this petition matters

A vendor at the NEACA Gun Show held in Rutland City, Vermont on August 13 and 14, 2022 at the Vermont State Fairgrounds was permitted to sell shackles with connections to or made to appear connected to slavery. We have sent a letter to the executive board and trustees DEMANDING that they prohibit the sale of this and all racist objects at the fairgrounds. 

Sign the petition to support the message of the RUTLAND AREA NAACP, as stated in the below letter sent.





Robert Congdon Jr.


Vice Presidents

Randy Bettis

Cash Ruane



Sharon McNeil



Christy Davis



Melanie Aguiar

Terry Bruce

Charlie Hemenway

Lonna Kantorski

Richard McKirryher

Ted Sheloski


RE: NEACA Gun Show Vermont State Fairgrounds,August 13 &14,2022


It has come to the attention of the Rutland Area NAACP that a vendor at the NEACA Gun Show held in Rutland City, Vermont on August 13 and 14, 2022 at the Vermont State Fairgrounds was permitted to sell shackles with connections to or made to appear connected to the United States’ original sin of slavery.

As defenders of freedom and teaching the truth about the history of the United States and racism, The Rutland NAACP does not condone the selling and profiting of artifacts that represent the repugnance of the enslavement of Black people. We encourage you to take immediate action with your concession vendors by reviewing and discussing with them your current policies to prevent similar or same occurrences at the Vermont State Fair hosted at your facilities this week, beginning immediately.

While we recognize that items like the ones shown may be considered as antique collectibles, careful consideration must be taken when displaying tools and weapons used in the oppression, torture and captivity of Black peoples. We understand the importance of their historical preservation, but we admonish such artifacts being treated as novelty items publicly displayed in harmful ways. Loosely displaying the items in question undermines their historical significance and perpetuates racial harm to Black community members and attendees. 

It is important to learn about and recognize the horrors of the legacy of slavery, and so we must not perpetuate profiting from the relics.   Instead these should be properly kept in places where educating can occur.  Appropriate museums and institutions poised to accurately educate are the only place where these historical objects belong.

One of the ways that racism continues to infiltrate our everyday life is by not being conscientious of history in a way that is productive.  We recognize that it's not against the law to sell these items and we also know that change starts from individuals and organizations that are willing to stop the harm. One of the ways that we can move forward as a nation, a state and a city is to ensure that we are intentional about where the history of hate is displayed.

Historically we have had this conversation with the Vermont State Fairgrounds regarding the sale of confederate flags, and no action was taken.  We are appealing once again to your organization in hopes that you will make the necessary organizational shifts and prohibit ANY vendor from selling artifacts connected to slavery or the history of racism in this country including confederate flags.   

Your current Concessionaire Rules and Regulations 2022 states:

13. We have a family fair policy that disallows weapons, illegal drug related items, obscene, vulgar, hateful or distasteful items from being offered for sale or put on display. Our Family Fair Policy also includes a zero tolerance for obscene, vulgar, hateful or distasteful actions from any concessionaire. Selling or giving away as prizes, smoke bombs, sparklers, canned string, laser pointers or other items considered annoying or a nuisance is strictly prohibited. Gun Raffles are allowed with rules. 

The selling of these deleterious artifacts connected to slavery, including the confederate flag, fall within that guideline.  We implore you to make clarification in your rules as such and be clear and consistent in communicating these rules to concessionaires.

The Rutland Area NAACP knows that we share a common interest with your organization to ensure that Rutland and Vermont is safe and welcoming to all of its residents. Should you need assistance in crafting this language in your policy, we are able to assist or provide examples from other community organizations that have done the same. 

This is a courtesy letter to the executive team of your organization as well as the trustees, however please note, based on the previous experience with this entity we are also alerting interested parties such as the community at large and press.  This is to affirm that we are not the only ones who hold the above values.  We know that sometimes the best persuasion and demonstration of shared morals must come from a collective.  

Moving Forward,

Mia Schultz (she/her)





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Signatures: 1,296Next Goal: 1,500
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