Letter: Sanity – Is it out of reach in our beautiful town?

Posted 7/30/20

If one were lucky enough to be enjoying a fresh morning cup of coffee while on vacation in our beautiful, waterfront  town of Bristol, Rhode Island, and you turned to the Opinion section of the …

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Letter: Sanity – Is it out of reach in our beautiful town?

Posted

If one were lucky enough to be enjoying a fresh morning cup of coffee while on vacation in our beautiful, waterfront  town of Bristol, Rhode Island, and you turned to the Opinion section of the local weekly newspaper, you might think that you missed some major local atrocity. Perhaps there was some horrible civil rights incident committed by local authorities.

Perhaps the Yellow Shirts had come to town to organize a rally in support of the 2nd Amendment? How dare they?

Perhaps there was some outrageous discussion about giving parents who could not afford a private education the option of selecting an alternative educational choice? Why in the world would a struggling working-class parent with children in a failing public school want to have that option?

If you searched through previous editions of this newspaper you would find numerous allegations of racism, sexism, hatred and other ugly misguided pejoratives in various letters to the editor.

I was surprised and disappointed that some local and district politicians hesitated to openly support and attend the first-responders flag-raising event at Independence Park, while at the same time indirectly attacking those who did as having ulterior motives for doing so.

It is also disappointing that these politicians seem reluctant to acknowledge the ongoing national epidemic of riots, looting, arson and other acts of anarchy currently plaguing our nation’s major cities. Our first-responders — police officers, firefighters, EMTs, doctors and nurses — are richly deserving of every citizen’s unreserved appreciation and total support.

Seriously, is anyone else tired of the same misguided, often hostile narrative? Attack, attack, attack your neighbors and fellow Bristolians simply because they do not agree hook line and sinker with your values and initiatives? Scream “racist” with the intent of intimidating any attempt to engage in a conversation about the real issues affecting Bristolians, while viciously attacking the motives and character of anyone who dares to disagree Threatening to boycott any venue that dares to disagree or tolerate differing opinions?

Is this the way ahead for our Bristol? Are these the leaders you want running our town?

Am I the only one who recognizes that it is dead wrong and at best misguided to conflate the tragic death of George Floyd at the hands of a rogue police officer with our own local, professional and dedicated police department? Is it too hard to make that distinction?

Is it so unreasonable to assert that all lives matter, including black lives, and distinguish that patently worthy assertion from the deeply flawed BLM movement as a political organization? I think not.

The upcoming elections are important. They will have serious consequences for the nation and our town. Please do your homework. Know the candidates and their positions on the issues that concern you.

We need to return to sanity and civility.

Peter Hewett
Bristol

Editor’s note: We are not accepting letters from candidates during the 2020 election season, but we published this letter because Mr. Hewett formally withdrew from the Bristol Warren Regional School Committee race earlier this week.

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