Think of your family, become vaccinated

I received a two-week trial subscription for the Watertown Daily Times. I commend your reporters on the excellent comprehensive and informative coverage of local events. Your newspaper has been a valuable resource for north country households for many years.

One thing that hasn’t changed is your continued editorial disdain for “downstate people” and your sophomoric attacks against Democrats. I grew up listening to those attitudes before spending 30 years living and working on Long Island among those “dreaded” people. There I listened to talk about the ignorant, close-minded, stubborn hicks from upstate New York.

I learned that people have their reasons for believing that their way of life is superior to that of others. Northern New York revels in its isolation, feeling entitled to ignore the pressures of social conformity and appreciating the natural beauty that surrounds us. The metropolitan area revels in its access to financial wealth and opportunity along with proximity to a vast array of art, music and cultural activity.

Preference shouldn’t divide us. Nor should the way groups adapt their behavior in relation to population density.

Are downstate people more aggressive and competitive? You betcha. That’s how they survive living in packed high-rise buildings, driving six-lane highways and coping with an ever-changing multicultural world.

Are upstate people more apt to help a neighbor, be relaxed or provincial? You betcha. We have the luxury of time and space to be so inclined.

I have lived in both places and observed the good, the bad and the ugly everywhere. What unites us is that we all treasure stability for our families, a decent living wage, the protection of our military and being healthy. That doesn’t make a person Republican or Democrat, upstate or downstate.

But your newspaper continues to support an editorial stance that perpetuates the upstate vs. downstate political discord. You print editorials by Republican curmudgeons like Washington Post’s George Will with his pompous rehashed drivel, which repeats ad nauseum long-held misunderstandings and easily debunked misinformation.

Jerry Moore’s recent column mocking social justice activists (“When the social justice mob howls,” Aug. 9) stated: “[M]any popular narratives simply will not die, no matter how false they prove to be down the line.” You’re guilty of this yourself. I think Watertown Daily Times should enlighten and expand viewpoints instead of fueling the Northern New York Republican vs. Democrat bias, which is based on outdated and incorrect assumptions.

Martha Hodges


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(3) comments


Yes, but little harm done. How many people read the WDT in NYC? What they dobn't know won't hurt them. The main harm is in the cultivation of untrue attitudes in the North Country population. It doesn't serve us well to be taught prejudices. While few NYC residents read the WDT, many from the North Country will go to New York City or interact with people from downstate, and having assumptions is maladaptive. The audience is being used rather than served.

She's back

This is probably the best letter to the editor that I have read in my 17 years of living in this northern NY area. I grew up in more urban and considerably more diverse areas. We were drawn to the beauty of this area as we approached our "retirement years" and At first I found the attitudes and ideas of the natives to be charmingly quaint. These past five years (the era of Trumpism) have been hard and divisive. The divisiveness has not gone away as I see continued flags and signs up to and including the confederate flag flying inside of a local business. Unfortunately I have almost ceased talking with neighbors. Perhaps our local paper could indeed do more not to perpetuate divisiveness.

Terry de a Vega

Well said.

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