Dissent welcomed in United States
Wednesday, August 7, 2013 - 1:56 pm

To the Editor:

Not much surprises me anymore, but I was indeed surprised by the malevolent letter written by a churlish man or woman who states that if someone does not like Potsdam, they should pack up and leave. This reminds me of the few (fortunately not many) folk, who, during one war or another in which the US was involved, had stickers on their cars and in their windows that stated, as did the letter writer, that they should “Love it or leave it.”

My parents, both immigrants, knew that not only did this country allow for dissent, but encouraged it if the occasion arose to do so. For the writer of this letter, who is obviously not well educated, that’s why we have a Congress, a Senate, a President, governors, judges, any number of officials to whom we can and are indeed expected to express our beliefs and concerns.

And lastly, to this Potsdam person, I would say that I, too, as do many, complain that Potsdam needs many changes: there are hundreds of hungry people, abused people and animals, lonely and isolated, that go unnoticed. There is no public transit. There are no jobs; my son, a graphic computer artist of 20 years, who came here to help me when he learned I had cancer, could only find a minimum wage job that is only part time. So, should we love this? Leave it if we don’t?

I am amazed at your lack of empathy for those in need, of jobs, of love, intervention, transit. I leaned from my parents that if something is wrong, one does not pack up and run. To be American means to participate, to speak out, to help your fellow man. I am not religious, nor were my parents, but they taught me to be my brother’s keeper and that means to speak up, not get out.

I do hope you will get your hands on a few books of American History, so that you will someday perhaps learn what we stand for and must continue to work for all our lives.

Kit Hastings,

Potsdam