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The time to show tolerance is now

Reader Input
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In his spiteful letter of May 16 (Reader Input), Bill Harder, Sr., missed an important point. He wonders why our schools teach respect for rights of gays and disabled and not for a “directionally impaired” Dutch-Englishman like him (and myself). Mr. Harder, when I was in school kids didn’t tell cruel jokes about Dutch-English. The jokes and prejudice were directed at “queers” and “gimps.” When insecure young toughs go cruising to find someone to beat up on, they don’t go looking for Dutch-English. It’s known as gay-bashing. Young Mathew Shepherd was not tortured and killed in Wyoming because he was Anglo, but because he was (gay). I’ll bet “directionally impaired” folks (whatever that is) have little trouble ascending curbs without cuts and climbing stairs. But people in wheelchairs and with walkers sure do. Having lived your entire life as a member of a privileged class, apparently you have no understanding or compassion for those who daily suffer from discrimination and prejudice. But someday you or I may well wind up in a wheelchair or a walker. And if population projections are correct, it won’t be long before Anglo-Saxons like us will be in the minority. For our sake, I?hope the majority then will be more tolerant and open-minded than you are. William Smythe, Auburn