Right to an opinion

To the editor:

I read with interest the comments about hate mail and tolerance in New Ulm. I have lived in New Ulm nearly 43 years, after living at various other cities in the state, including the Metro area. Each community has its own distinct beauty, personality, and opportunity for all.

Over the years, I have written around ten letters to the editor regarding community issues and endorsements of candidates that I particularly felt deserved backing. I have received many positive comments and support for the most part. On two of those letters I have received very negative responses, one in person and the other by mail. I was told in person that I am an “auslander” and since I am not from here, I don’t know how things are done here, the inference being that I am not entitled to an opinion, I guess, or that if I do have an opinion I should keep it to myself. The other response received in regard to an endorsement letter for a county attorney candidate was a hate letter sounding somewhat the same as the letter received by Alma Marin, with vulgarity and personal criticism, but not sent anonymously.

Perhaps we need to have community education teaching tolerance and proper rebuttals to differences of opinion. Then again, I would expect that the people who already know better would attend and those who lack knowledge of proper boundaries and means of expression would stay away. Please think before you speak or write. And above all, be kind to one another.

Patricia Dittrich

New Ulm

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