Letter: Hope and Commitment

To the Editor:

Hope and Commitment
I am outraged. I am stunned. I am sickened by the anonymous leaflet that was left in my mailbox.

But I am also heartened by the vast majority of our town’s response: yes, the world is changing, must change, and we must all change for the better. We owe it to our children — all of our children, especially those whose parents might support the xenophobia and fear in the leaflet — to open their eyes to the richness that inclusivity can provide.

My daughter’s eyes were opened when she was 11, at Staples, and was derisively dared to pick up some pennies from the floor. That’s a vile act of anti-Semitism. In addition, her twin brother, who is developmentally delayed, was spit on while riding the bus. My daughter reported it to me, and after some conversations with the principal, we set up a play date for the offenders and my son, to see him as a person. Little children amplifying prejudice, bigotry, and ignorance. In elementary school, no less.

Now, she and her peers are in their 20s. Our future leaders. Parents of the next generation. As Dr. Harrison said in his bold, honest repudiation of the January 6th Capitol insurrection, “Our young people need each one of us to do better. DECENCY must be the first step towards being GREAT.” (Emphasis in original post.)

The anonymous leaflet labeled that deadly riot as “white citizens vandalizing the Capitol building.” Just vandalism? As Fox News described in an article on 2/13/21, during the riot “…pro-Trump supporters stormed the Capitol, beat police officers, chanted ‘Hang Mike Pence’ and forced lawmakers to take shelter.” I couldn’t find any examples of “BLM/Antifa” events whose goal was to disrupt the U.S. government; if anyone has a reference, please send it my way.

May I define Antifa for those who used it in such a scornful manner: the word “Antifa” is shorthand for Anti-Fascist. For example, Hitler and the Nazis were fascists. That makes our WWII veterans Antifa, because they fought against fascism. Every one of those boys killed on the beaches at Normandy was Antifa. The 2,403 Americans who were killed at Pearl Harbor were Antifa. So why sneer at them? Is there an alternate definition of Antifa?

Obviously, there are divisions among our residents. They will not be solved by stuffing mailboxes with inflammatory, unsigned writing. They can be solved with the outpouring of hope and commitment expressed by so many fellow Eastonites in letters to the Courier, EDIT, and town officials. I’m proud to live among local leaders who quickly mobilize in the face of brazen racism and hate. And I’m proud to sign my name:

Debbi Barer
19-year Easton resident

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