Credit: George Danby / BDN

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Racism is violent

On the front page of the Feb. 6-7 weekend edition, the Bangor Daily News ran a story by Judy Harrison about Kyle Fitzsimons, who has been arrested for participating in the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. According to the story, Fitzsimons has been described as “racist but not violent.” That was the blaring headline on the front page. What, I would like to ask, is non-violent about racism?

Fitzsimons complains about immigrants moving into Maine and “killing off yankee New England culture.” Were not Fitzsimons’s ancesters immigrants? And what did they contribute to New England “culture”? Before Fitzsimons’s own immigrant ancestors arrived on this continent, how was the racism of the early “white” settlers that the original inhabitants of this place experienced “not violent”? Before Fitzsimons’s immigrant ancestors arrived on these shores, what part of the racist enslavement of people kidnapped from Africa by white slavers was “not violent”? What part of the KKK’s racist campaign against Catholics and French-Canadians in Maine was non-violent?

I despair when I hear of people moving to Maine because my home state, where I was born, is the whitest state in the union. Shame on them. I am ashamed of them, and I do not want them here. And I am ashamed of the State of Maine for putting up with these racist, violent, bigotted “immigrants.” May they go elsewhere or learn a lesson or two about history and their own violent racism. There is nothing “not violent” about racism.

Mary Louise Dietrich


Appreciate Collins, don’t censure her

I have been a registered Republican ever since I could vote. Now I am 90 years old. I was nearly prepared to change my registration to the party of Democrats. However, the fact that seven Republicans voted against Donald Trump, gave me hope. I decided to “stick with” the Republican Party now that a few have demonstrated thinking in the right direction.

Many Republicans do feel like Sen. Susan Collins voted the right way. I just finished a phone conversation with a long-time Republican, and a generous donor to the party, who feels the same way about Collins’ vote. Because Collins voted to convict Trump, we do not want her to be censured by members of our party.

Susan Collins continues to benefit the state of Maine considerably. Her party needs to exhibit some intelligent leanings toward appreciating her.

Fran Trefts


Refocusing health care

I agree with Peter Hayes when he wrote in a Feb. 16 BDN OpEd that, “We are only going to be successful by starting in our communities and creating a movement among local purchasers and other stakeholders that drives health care value.”

Health care is a determining factor of whether someone receives treatment or not. We as a country and society need to work on our priorities as it concerns health care. Whether it is businesses offering insurance coverage, insurance companies in charge of guarding against financial loss, or health care providers who make the decision to accept insurance or not. It should be no surprise that currently these entities have lost touch with the most salient aspect of the insurance process, the person.

We as a country need to reorient to focus on the care of the person seeking these services. No person should be stopped at the door or turned away because they cannot afford a lifesaving operation. Too often do business owners, insurance, and health care providers see people as dollars and cents instead of mothers, fathers, children, community members, and more. Can we really afford to deny treatment to those who most need it?

If someone believes so then a follow-up question would be: How would they convey to a family member that their loved one passed away because a procedure could not be performed since they did not have the right coverage?

Benjamin W. Bucklin