Diversity of opinion is one of our strengths

Published 6:40 pm Saturday, June 2, 2018

One of Vicksburg’s greatest assets is its diversity.

That diversity has served this community well for many years.

Because of our diversity, we have avoided much of the division and conflict that have torn other communities apart.

However, some here would like to squelch or silence those whose opinions differ from theirs.

How very un-American. How unpatriotic.

A letter to the editor, published this week in our newspaper, suggested such. The writer told us our newspaper should only publish conservative opinions, because doing otherwise offends the conservative, America-first citizens of Vicksburg.

What an amazingly narrow-minded thing to think. Why does he think his opinion should count for more than any other Vicksburg citizen? He may be shocked to learn, it doesn’t.

Thank goodness those people, who have been emboldened to spew their hatred by our nation’s current administration, are in the minority. Even here.

No, sir, not everyone thinks like you. Some people understand others have different opinions and they don’t mind reading those or debating them in a civil way.

It’s interesting the irony at work in the political landscape in our country today.

Some complain a football player who exercises his American right to peaceful protest by taking a knee during the national anthem is a vile traitor to our nation; all the while that person flies the confederate battle flag.

The football player’s peaceful protest doesn’t mean he loves our nation any less. In fact, it could be argued the protester may love it even more because he has the courage to take a stand to point out grave injustice.

Our newspaper publishes opinions of all kinds. Our syndicated columnists cover the gamut of political opinion, from the far right of Patrick Buchanan and John Stossel, to the center of the road Mark Shields, to the left-leaning Connie Schultz.

What may surprise some, we don’t have to agree with everything we read. However, learning about the opinions of others broadens our knowledge and can bring about greater understanding among reasonable people.

We don’t have to hate everyone who thinks differently about things than we do.

That’s why newspapers, like ours, take seriously our job to print the opinions of everyone — as long as those opinions are presented in a civil way. If the letters you send are vile, contain profane language, are threatening or are libelous, you should save yourself the effort.

We publish political and social commentary that represents all of our citizens, not just those who mistakenly think their opinions are superior to others.

Seeking to silence those who think differently from you is the real traitorous act.

Our newspaper will continue to be a forum for all of the citizens of our community.

Jan Griffey is general manager of The Vicksburg Post. You may reach her at jan.griffey@vicksburgpost.com.