First of all, before you continue reading, please consider the location that this disturbing news stems from: Greenfield, Massachusetts. Greenfield, while located in a state that includes Harvard University and MIT, is not blessed with great educational demographics. Greenfield, Massachusetts still acts primarily as a farmers' community, and I go with the German proverb "What the farmer doesn't know, he won't eat." And, as far as my experience of living here goes, there is a lot that the typical Greenfielder doesn't know.
Let me add a few more facts about life in Greenfield, Massachusetts: We have a right-wing columnist writing for the local newspaper, The Recorder, who declares women as acceptable as long as they can cook and change diapers. He writes, it has to do with "gender equity." I kid you not, he wrote it, and I have the clips to prove it. The Recorder used to have an image of being liberal, and I suspect that the editor hired the man to prove a hard-core Republican's incompetence. However, that is pure speculation on my part.
Add to the picture our local KKK rep (well, not really, but he should be) whose letters to the editor are being published on a regular basis. His writings are also evidence that the concept of fair sampling of opinions went down the toilet. This person hates our Governor Duval Patrick (who happens to be African-American), football star Michael Vick (who happens to be African-American), our President (who happens to be African-American), and "our uppity First Lady" (who happens to be African-American). And yes, he wrote (and The Recorder published) the phrase "our uppity First Lady," and, yet again, I have the clip to prove it. As a side information, the word "uppity" was used in Southern States in combination with the "N" word.
Sometimes I wish a large meteor would hit Greenfield, Massachusetts (while my family and I are out of town) and, yet again, rid us of the dinosaurs.
Now, in time for the 4th of July weekend, there was another letter to the editor by Ernest B. LaPlante of Greenfield, Massachusetts. He had received a "disturbing" email from "a friend," but he is not sure whether this "friend" is male or female.
I have just received an email from a friend and while I cannot guarantee the veracity of the email, I am deeply disturbed if the subject of the email is true . The author of the email tells of the changes that have occurred in the White House since the time of occupancy by our current President. According to him or her, the Oval Office has been redecorated and stripped of the traditional red, white and blue and replaced with middle east wallpaper, drapes and decor. The hallway where the President meets with the press now contains middle east furniture and drapes and when he speaks from the White House the only thing behind him is a yellow drape with Arabic symbols.
If this were in his private home, I would believe he [h]as the right to hang anything that pleased him. However, it is my firm belief the White House belongs to America. That's you and me and millions like us and as such should display things that show our history, philosophy and ideology, things that say loud and clear THIS IS AMERICA. I can't believe that our forefathers fought and died for our freedom so that someone could hang anything other than things representative of America in the White House.
Now I would think that Mr. Obama should be given the opportunity to remove all material from the White House that is not American and be allowed to place it in or on his personal property and then if not removed, the material should be placed on the front lawn of the White House and burned. And our President should decide whether he wishes to be Christian American or middle east Muslim.
Ernest B. LaPlante, Greenfield - Letter to the Editor, The Recorder, July 2, 2011
The letter was followed by an editor's note. stating that the information contained in the e-mail - one of a long series of anti-Obama propaganda pieces created by his political enemies - is wrong. The President has not changed the decor of the Oval Office. Nor was it red, white, and blue under George W. Bush, or, in fact, the "traditional" color scheme. The drapes in his office were there previously and contain no "Arabic" symbols.
While I applaud the editor's effort, The Recorder should have applied some dignity and compassion and spare Mr. LaPlante the embarrassment by not publishing the letter.
My turn on the matter is: There is a great number of residents in this country who were not born with the privilege of US citizenship. They need to apply for it. In order to deserve US citizenship they must, among other requirements, pass a test to prove their knowledge not only of US history but also current events and circumstances. I, personally, doubt that Mr. LaPLante would stand a chance to pass that test.
The fact remains, US citizenship is a privilege. Every US citizen has the indisputable right to be proud of being an American. However, American citizenship also includes a responsibility, and that responsibility is to know what you are proud of. Familiarize yourself with the facts. Read books. Read newspapers. Watch the news on TV. Ignorance is poison to everything that the forefathers fought and died for.
A Happy 4th of July To All Of You!
Wilfried F. Voss is the editor of FrogenYozurt.Com and a Greenfield, Massachusetts resident. The opinions stated here are of mere personal nature and may not necessarily be shared by others.