Racism rears its head in our community

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This week's news that two packets of hate mail made it into our school system may not initially draw that many concerns, but let's think about things a little more carefully. What do we have that

many communities do not? We have that sense of community, strong

community values, respect for our fellow residents, respect not determined by skin color

or ethnic heritage, but because they deserve that respect.

Some may say it's a First Amendment right to distribute such vulgar

material, maybe even going so far as to compare it to this newspaper or other

types of printed materials. Wrong ... The values of this newspaper and

respected printed materials are that they support a value system that teaches respect

and a strong promotion of community.

It's pretty obvious that this material came from outside the Valley. It

also doesn't take a lot of creativity to create images of racism that have been

around for centuries. But why send it here? Hey, we have a good thing going and

there are likely many individuals, blaming others for their own failures, that just

love to rock the boat in a "together" community like this.

So let's learn from this, talk about respect in our schools, churches,

homes. Let's use this poor excuse at creating ill feelings to instigate stronger

bonds with our neighbors, regardless of skin color, ethnic heritage, education level

or beliefs.

To whomever may have sent this our direction, thanks for the wake-up

call to bolster values that are important to us, not the negative, remedial

thought patterns you would like us to think.

Jim McKiernan

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