“Broadly speaking, the short words are the best, and the old words best of all.” So said Winston Churchill.
Alas, Fairfax officials didn’t follow that sage advice in crafting the so-called “One Fairfax” resolution, designed to bring social and racial equity into government decision-making.
The measure passed the Board of Supervisors last week, and if critics will contend that it’s just more blah-blah-blah from government officials and bureaucrats, at least their hearts apparently are in the right place, we suppose.
Those with a sense of the absurd will enjoy the resolution, and staff report that accompanied it, as being completely over the top with buzzwords, jargon and platitudes in a way that only a committee of wonks could have compiled.
One excerpt from the staff report: The effort to develop policies related to the resolution will include “strategic actions to advance opportunities and achieve equity that includes intentional collective leadership, community engagement, equity tools and infrastructure to support and sustain systemic changes, and shared accountability.”
Is that in English, or Klingon?
Quoting Churchill’s contemporary, the plain-speaking President Harry Truman, of the methods of his opponents: “If you can’t convince ’em, confuse ’em.” Indeed.
County officials are patting themselves on the back for their caring concern for the whole community in passing this muddle. But their lack of ability to explain what the goal is and what the mechanisms to bring it about will be – using simple English – suggests Fairfax residents should be a wee bit concerned about what’s coming down the pike now that this purportedly benign measure is in place.