Stop looking for lame reasons to divide us

To the Editor:

The Altamont Enterprise newspaper is an extremely valuable community resource for information about what is happening in our local area and beyond. The efforts of this newspaper’s owners, editor, reporters, contributors, photographers, illustrator, and production staff is outright commendable.

This newspaper fills a void of current events and information that all other local journalistic entities do not cover! I know of so many people in our communities who anxiously await the arrival of your publication each week.

I want to discuss the inclusion of what I always referred to as swear words in recent news that the newspaper has boldly put in print. I think that the embodiment of these swear words as quoted by the offenders does justice to the accuracy of the news.

There is no need to dash out letters of the swear words since both children and adults know exactly what the swear words are anyway! The newspaper’s detractors will always find their moral authority to moan and decrie the printing of swear words for one reason or another.

In this letter, I will not use the words in their entirety because I do not want unreasonably sensitive people to have cause for more uncalled-for complaints. For instance, most swear words have acceptable words that by definition mean the same thing.

It’s the inflection and tone with which swear words are used that contribute to their offensive implications. Look at the C-word, which to my knowledge equals the acceptable word “vagina.” Or the F-word, which equates to the acceptable word “fornication.”

It’s amazing the power words have to make people angry and appalled. The newspaper, in my opinion, only conveyed the swear words as they were said, to accurately describe the malice that the user intended toward the person under attack. I applaud this newspaper’s full-blown literal use of these swear words.

The readers should not condemn the newspaper; they should always condemn the user that was reported especially when they have read the context of the story and how the swear words were used.

Let’s talk about the news article that the swear words appeared in, “Silence is Violence,” on July 23. The use of the drippy C-word was reportedly directed at Sarah Gordon because she was promoting the movement Black Lives Matter.

You know, it’s atrocious to me how many white people can’t seem to stand for the phrase “Black Lives Matter.” They get all upset and want to counter that phrase with “All Lives Matter.” Of course, who doesn’t know all lives matter? 

So what!

That’s not the point of the Black Lives Matter movement. I will repeat what I read in the article about Sarah Gordon: “Black Lives Matter is not meant to exclude all other groups but to highlight one that is often marginalized.” Only readers with poor comprehension skills will miss this point and continue with their ignorant and divisive statements.

Another comparable example is this: I don’t see whites getting upset when the Irish singularly push that Ireland is best on St. Patrick’s Day or when the Italians singularly push that they are proud to be Italian Americans or when the Polish, Germans, or Greeks, etc. and other ethnic groups and minority groups singularly push their heritage and agendas during the year.

Oh yeah, but the difference may be whether most of those people are white or not. It’s like during World War II when the American government stole the property of Japanese Americans and put them in internment camps because they looked different but German Americans who looked typically (white) caucasian were allowed to move freely among us.

Both Japanese and German Americans should have been free and equal! Racism is systemic and is still rampant in our community. Racists mostly don’t know what the word “systemic” means and they hide their racism because they know it’s wrong and don’t want to expose their stupidity.

So they only expose themselves in circles of stupid people like themselves. It’s a sad situation because they manifest it in their children without just cause.

So I ask you white people, why are you so negative if a Black person says “Black Lives Matter?” If you were Black, wouldn’t you say that? I would! Why are you getting so upset over that statement? Grow up and stop looking for lame reasons to divide us.

Speaking of people acting like grown-ups, the criticism of this newspaper publishing profanity that adults and children will read here lacks validity. Adults should make an effort to know what their children are reading so that they can discuss the content with them and help with comprehension.

The point was made by some that, if children read the swear words in the newspaper, they will go ahead and use them. This depends on what they are taught at home. Children are aware of many things that exist around them that they are not allowed to use. For instance: swear words, alcohol, guns, some games and movies, automobiles, rudeness, etc.

Don’t for a second think your children are oblivious to swear words. They hear them used by adults, relatives, friends, older kids, and read them on bathroom and locker-room walls. I don’t condone that type of exposure to children but let’s face up to reality. The children know about these swear words.

The newspaper did a great job of reporting why people who use swear words in the way they were used against Ms. Gordon were wrong and should be held accountable. I do approve of accurate news reporting with full transparency that includes swear words exactly as they were said.

The reader does not feel the offense with its full weight if the swear words are obscured by using dashes. Children who read swear words will not react negatively if they have good parental role models.

Americans have been tagged by European society as being uptight with regard to sexuality and cultural practices. I have to agree. This issue over swear words printed in the newspaper, given the context in which they were used, proves my point.

A similar experience proves my point. I’ve visited my sister in the Mediterranean where 30 percent of women at the beach were topless. This is normal and nobody made a scene or got weird. Here in America, it’s embarrassing to be seen in your underwear but there’s nothing left to the imagination when looking at some women at the beach and they don’t seem to mind.

The hypocrisy and double standards in our society are loaded with foolishness. How about lightening up on how offended you are about the use of swear words in the newspaper when it is part of reporting. Be offended by the people who would use those words to condemn women who are trying to accomplish good deeds!

You should be discussing and responding to why some Americans are so stupid they have nothing constructive to contribute to society except bad language and negativity. Why are some people pushing misogyny, racism, hatred for immigrants, etc. and supporting a president who does the same.

Remember, your children probably saw President Trump on the television news prior to his being elected, saying he grabs pussy anytime he wants! And what’s amazing is Republican women voted for Trump knowing about his background. Do you think a president like Trump deserves the respect of your children?

So if you want to criticize this newspaper for its reporting of bad people using swear words you’re exercising a double standard of what’s acceptable if you voted for Trump! Trump has repeatedly degraded the office of the United States president. That’s a fact that well known former staff in his administration have given testimony to.

Timothy J. Albright

New Scotland

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