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Letters to the Editor - The Millerton News - 6-25-20

Moved by one woman’s post, troubled by one man’s letter

In response to Ron Murphy’s “We are all human beings” letter to the editor in the June 11th issue of The Millerton News, I would like to share a post I saw on social media recently posted by Tasha Schwikert Moser. Now, I don’t know Tasha, and I don’t know if Tasha wrote the following words or simply re-posted them, but I thought they were important enough to share. They follow below.

“To all the ‘All Lives Matter’ folks,” she posted, “When the Boston Marathon was bombed, everybody’s profile picture on social media went ‘Boston Strong,’ nobody said ‘All Cities Strong!’ 

“When the Las Vegas shooting happened, people changed their social media profiles to ‘I stand with Vegas,’ nobody said ‘Well, what about the people that got shot in my city?’ 

“Have you ever seen someone counter a ‘breast cancer’ post with ‘what about colon cancer?’

“But for some reason [that reason being racism — and these are my words], if someone says, ‘Black Lives Matter,’ it turns into all inclusive ‘All Lives Matter.’ It’s not an either/or proclamation. 

“When there is a crisis we have always rallied around that particular group. It doesn’t discredit or diminish any other group. It just brings awareness and support to the group that needs attention.” 

Now I would like to add to the words Tasha posted, and say that furthermore, Mr. Murphy says, “leave the color aspect out of the statement” and that “matters of color should be left to children drawing pictures and not on any political, racial or public forum.” 

This IS about color and that’s all this is about, specifically the systemic racism against people of color and the white entitlement in this society that needs to be discussed and realized in every political, racial and public forum available. To not see and realize that is racist in and of itself. It’s disconcerting that this even needs to be explained.

Andrew Stayman

Pine Plains


Failed states?

In Larry Conklin’s “Veteran’s Corner” last issue, he describes Millerton (and other local towns) with a term that usually conjures Iran or North Korea. And he seems to blame “over-restrictive zoning” and “over-zealous self-interested individuals” for this cataclysm. I live in Amenia, and Millerton seems pretty thriving to me. This whole region (and much of America) had “vibrant active towns.” Everyone I know wants them to be more so again. 

The situation most rural communities face is the decline of their farm-based economies. Farming’s hard work, so was hard to pass on to next generation. Many farms were lost in the Depression, and after WWII bought up by large owners for industrial agriculture (or residential subdivision). That is still the primary American model. Tourism by rail had helped make ends meet, but autos and airplanes made more exotic destinations available.  

Retail is the same. In 1920 our population was adequate to support a range of mom and pop owned stores (food, clothing, supplies), while anything else could be ordered from a Sears catalogue (Amazon now). What changed was the scale of commerce. Town businesses couldn’t compete with fast food, malls and big-box stores. And corporations demand a certain population density to hit their profit margins. So rural areas are neglected again.

So what you seem to be railing at is history, and maybe capitalism. That does seem to be the dominant political party these days. So I’d suggest we all not only vote, but also shop locally, support area farms, volunteer, work together and build the towns we want. Tri-Town Coalition is a group trying to bring jobs, sewers and workforce housing to Millerton, Amenia and Pine Plains. Join us.

Leo J. Blackman 



Careful who you call ‘stupid’

The editorial page cartoon in last week’s Millerton News and Lakeville Journal was childish and in poor taste.

I would think the local papers would be smart and caring enough not to label American citizens as “stupid.” Apparently not.  

With the caption, “Herd Stupidity,” perhaps the cartoon should have depicted rioters, looters, and the anti-police mob.  

And yes, these people are American citizens as well, but I’m sure we can all agree criminal activity is “stupid.”

Bruce Valentine  


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