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home : letters : letters December 17, 2017


10/31/2017 12:57:00 PM
Letters to the Editor 11/01/2017

To the Editor:

Diversity is defined by the Merriam-Webster dictionary as "the condition of having or being composed of differing elements: Especially the inclusion of different types of people,"

I find it interesting that Jennifer Hills' letter in the October 11 issue has come under such criticism (I think there may have even been an offer to duel). She mentioned wanting to buy a gun to protect herself and her family rather than relying on someone else to do it - sounds like a reasonable thing to me, not to mention it is a Constitutional right. She also expressed some mistrust in her neighbors' ability or willingness to take care of her in the event of an emergency - again, nothing unreasonable about that as we can see from historical examples that this can be true in the event of disastrous circumstances.

There are numerous people who lend aid and care for their neighbors, but there are also those who take advantage of the opportunity to commit evil. I see nothing alarming about her desire to look out for herself and her family. Some people tend to get nasty when they face the incredible stress and pressure of a disaster.

And of course this brings me to the nasty business itself and the real reason that people are upset... those darn signs that everyone is in such an uproar over. For those who don't know, the "In Our America" signs were created by a group called "Nasty Women get [expletive] done." Their mission, as quoted from their website, is to "actively resist the xenophobia, racism, misogyny, ableism, anti-LGBTQ, anti-Muslim, anti-Semitic, anti-Earth platform and policies of the new administration." Wow! That is a mouthful and I'll be honest, I'm not sure I even know what some of those "isms" and "phobias" are.

Diversity is not actually something that can exist in a like-minded group. By definition, diversity requires opposing and competing viewpoints. So for example, if one agrees with the nasty women's group (that feels really wrong, but they made their name, not me) one would not actually be considered diverse as it relates to their mission. One would have to oppose the group's sentiments and then, in the presence of these competing ideals, we would find diversity. Diversity cannot exist in solidarity; it can only exist in opposition.

The signs in question end with the line "diversity is celebrated." Now for us to truly celebrate diversity we would actually need to celebrate opinions differing from those expressed on the signs. One cannot celebrate diversity by celebrating diversity - this would be a prime example of what I believe Jennifer Hills meant by her phrase "vacuous virtue-signaling."

Jensen Newton

••••

To the Editor:

During the recent Milli Fire I became acquainted with Warren Bielenberg, an information officer on the national fire team that directed control work on that fire. We visited briefly almost every day and have exchanged emails since Warren returned home to Tennessee.

Warren was a career employee with the National Park Service. Since retirement he has been an information officer on wildfires, the Gulf oil spill and Hurricane Sandy. After getting home from Sisters, he spent another 13 days on wildfires in Glacier National Park.

His biggest thrill while being here was seeing the Three Sisters after the smoke had cleared. In addition, he was truly impressed with all the people that he met while in Sisters. He summed it up with this comment: "Sisters was the most knowledgeable, welcoming and understanding community I've been in."

Jim Fisher





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