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Letter for Thursday, January 21, 2021

Time for civil conversations

I recently sent a letter to the editor encouraging ALL Americans, of every color, race, gender and party to use the NON violent means of voting, communication and economic power to resist the erosion of our free speech rights. To stand up to the silicon valley oligarchs that run face book, twitter, Amazon and the media moguls. To assure that we defend our freedom to express our opinion, what it they may be, without being harassed, slandered, and abused, and to return to the days of CIVIL discussion.

While I have rarely responded to the on line comments, I felt that in this situation, it was appropriate. There were many responses, both positive and negative to the letter. To all that did respond, thank you for using that very right of freedom of speech to voice your opinion. To some of those that responded negatively, thank you for proving my point ! Two responders called me a “racist” (which could not be further from the truth), one claimed I was making a threat, and several simply responded with nasty name calling, the hallmark of the intolerant. One writer claimed that I was idolizing the rioters that attacked the Capital. I detest violence and decry the attack, but that was not even a subject of the letter!! As well, the letter of Jan. 20 ranting against me for things I never even said or spoke about, telling me to “get my facts straight” relating to the election, may be the most puzzling response of all, since I never once mentioned or referenced the election!

My point is proven. If we, as a people can not view others ideas and respond with civil conversations, not name calling and hatred, our freedom of speech, the hallmark of our Democratic Republic is in dire jeopardy! There was a reason that the very first Amendment to the Bill of Rights was “freedom of speech.” Until this culture of uncivilized attacks, no matter what side of the political aisle, on those we do not agree with ends, this country will never heal and become united. To quote Abraham Lincoln, “A house divided against itself can not stand.”

Barry Dittler, Wailua
Source: The Garden Island

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