A Slur That We Cannot Let Stand

To the Editor

Because of my deep Southern heritage, and knowing the significance behind the term “a Jim Crow,” I was shaking in anger upon reading Bill Stevens’ letter [“Jim Crow Comes To Newtown,” Letter Hive, 8/30/13] regarding our town.

And I was going to sit back and let his choice of words speak for themselves; I was going to let him call us a slur name and walk away…let his attempt at bullying and intimidation speak for itself.

But I cannot sit aside and let that happen, because that is exactly what he wants, and Mr Stevens crossed the line of civility.

Does Mr Stevens really understand the significance behind what he called us? Does he truly understand that in the deep, deep South where I come from, that is considered hate speech?

I don’t believe he does. Because if so, surely he would have never called our beloved, recovering town such a hateful name.

And to compare “Gunsense” with the sort of racism that was occurring during that time…and our politicians that are standing up for us to the sort of people that were called “a Jim Crow”? What a dredging up of such a terrible time in our country’s history to align us with! Is using common sense to ensure gun safety the same as enslaving and abusing thousands of human beings to death because of their skin color?

I think not!  Awful, just awful…beyond comprehension.

Here’s the simple answer for all those residents of Newtown and Connecticut that are so viciously angry with “Gunsense” in our state and our precious town (because after what we have been through, we are precious!).  In fact, it is parallel to the answer they gave those of us who are upset about Starbuck’s policy of allowing guns in their restaurant: “If you don’t like it, just leave”.

But don’t call us a slur name just because you disagree.

Mr Stevens’ hate speech letter bespoke volumes about his character. But he can go ahead and keep banging his head against the wall using his hate speech, because those here in Newtown, where we believe in the Right to Life first, we are never backing down.

Liz Sortino

13 Turkey Roost Road, Sandy Hook             September 4, 2013

More stories like this: guns, Starbucks, Jom Crow




I did not grow up in the deep south. Would you mind explaining why you consider his letter to be hate speech? It's controversial, for sure... but I don't see how you can call it hate speech.

It's not necessarily surprising that you reject Bill Steven's analogy when you disagree with him on the issue. But I question whether you would be so shaken if he was supporting your opinion. Or if it were a different topic entirely. The fact is that our elected representatives used their position in office to demand and threaten a business along with insulting and villainizing anyone who chooses to legally carry a firearm. Did you read the letter? Here are a couple quotes:

"we are very concerned that your policy undermines the safety and well being of our citizens"

"For the sake of your company, customers and employees across this country, please help us foster a culture of peace and ban guns from your stores."

"Your core customers are not such people; your core customers are people like us who have come to understand how guns jeopardize the stability of any environment."

Threaten: "For the sake of your company".

Villainize: "guns jeopardize the stability of any environment".

Segregate: "ban guns from your stores" "Your core customers ARE NOT SUCH PEOPLE" "PEOPLE LIKE US".

That's wrong!!! Undermining the law by coercing business to refuse service to those who oppose them is wrong. This isn't about protecting or keeping anyone safe. NAA and those who signed it are playing a political game. They publicly smeared Starbucks name in an effort to further their political agenda. If you disagree with me on that let me ask you; why is Starbucks different? Why shouldn't every business refuse service to anyone carrying a firearm, even if it is concealed. Are they going to target businesses one by one?

It's obvious that this letter and other actions taken by gun control advocates aren't anywhere near the level of the evil and intolerance that Jim Crow Laws represented. And maybe Bill used a radical example in order to draw some attention to his opinion... I don't know. But you should be angry. When good citizens are looked down on, yelled at, called terrible names, blamed publicly for the terrible actions of evil individuals, and now an attempt to refuse them service: we should all be shaking in anger. We should all stand up for each other's rights and beliefs. Whether or not we choose to exercise that right or not.

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