Saturday, October 30, 2021

Voices of Franklin: Arielle Shearer - the word is 'complicity'

As Alan Earls appears to be a friend and supporter of Dashe Videira, his statement in Voices of Franklin on October 28, 2021 (, attempting to shift blame to a righteous voice in our community, is preposterous. He states "Free speech, and all that, it still seemed to be in poor taste and stingingly calculated to burn whatever social bridges remain on our street. And just when I was hoping we could heal."

I know several families on that street. I can't imagine ANY of his neighbors that I personally know being okay with inviting a bigot into their home, or attending an event where one was invited to speak, or even continuing to enjoy and defend an association with the bigot promoter.

I can't imagine ANY of the people that I know on Mr. Earls’ street supporting or accepting a public demonstration such as the one on October 8th, 2021 on Route 140 near the Honey Dew Donuts.  This demonstration was described by Mr. Earls ( as “A group of adults and children bearing flags and signs with patriotic-themed messages.” The photographs in his post show School Committee candidates Dashe Videira and Mark Bisson amidst signs stating “In God We Trust,” “Vote 2021” and “We Are A Christian Nation.” Excluding non-Christians is not patriotic. A public demonstration marginalizing and excluding Franklin residents of other religions from the demonstrators’ nation should not be applauded by being labeled patriotic. It not only hurts people but directly contradicts the United States Constitution, in which the First Amendment prohibits the establishment of a national religion. 

There's a word for Mr. Earls' statement in Voices of Franklin and his “reporting” of the October 8th demonstration. There’s a word that describes his willingness to continue to speak well of people permitting and promoting hate and exclusion. It's "complicity." Attempting to smooth over the natural consequences - sadness, discord, anger, activism, and any other appropriate response - of bigoted and exclusionary acts, writing an opinion such as the one in Voices of Franklin, blaming the person pointing out the hateful choices, at no point indicating or recognizing wrongdoing on the part of the candidates referenced, this pushes it way past being a vocal bystander.

Dashe Videira invited a man into her home as an honored guest speaker. The man is an unapologetic bigot, as anyone who Googles him can determine on their own in less than a minute. Dashe Videira and Mark Bisson participated in a "stand-out" in which they marginalized and excluded non-Christians by promoting the message "We Are A Christian Nation." These are things that happened; no one is contesting that. Aaron Gouveia's post brought these things to light. Rejecting hate does not, as Mr. Earl states, "burn social bridges." Promoting and validating hate speech and exclusion "burns social bridges."

Mr. Earls states "To behave as if a young mother of four children, brimming with energy and kindness, is an existential threat to society, is at best a gross exaggeration." It's one thing to turn your head away and ignore prejudice. That’s bad enough, but that is not what Mr. Earls has done. By looking straight at it and willingly telling a fairytale, by reporting an exclusionary event as patriotic, by attempting to redirect blame onto someone doing the right thing, Mr. Earls has made it very clear that he is okay with what has transpired in recent weeks, and equally clear that he is part of the problem.

Arielle Shearer
Franklin Resident

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Voices of Franklin: Arielle Shearer - the word is  'complicity'
Voices of Franklin: Arielle Shearer - the word is  'complicity'


  1. Bravo Arielle!! I stand in complete agreement here and in my early vote!

  2. Bravao Arielle!! You said it well. Thank you for calling him out on this. It is not ok to remain silent.

  3. Thank you Arielle- without this post I would not have known. Any candidate who supports bigotry isn't getting my vote, period.