Ridicule isn’t as much fun when you’re the target

By Letters to the Editor

To the Editor:

In its coverage of the March 17 Law Board meeting, the Mercury reported that at the mention of my name, “three-fourths of those present snickered.”

Rusty Wilson, it was reported, felt he was singled out for rebuke (a glare) for discourtesy. He explained he was only doing what most others were doing because “Helen is known for being verbal in her many years in town.”

Some reporters might have thought it newsworthy to explain why her name was mentioned at the meeting and what she was “verbal” about. Was she a gossip who liked to cause trouble? Did she bore everyone with her aches and pains? Did she just rattle about foolishness?

I have spent a lifetime speaking up in support of individuals or groups whose integrity I believed in when they were attacked. Medical limitations prevented my attending the Law Board meeting to offer my support of the Riley County Police Department and Director Brad Schoen. So I sent an e-mail for a police officer to read into the public comments record for me. That is why my name was mentioned.

I consider our freedom of speech a precious right that has been saved for us by the lives lost and lifelong injuries of our military. It is important that citizens participate — not just to complain but to speak up in support.

I have written to Mercury readers as my brothers and sisters in our human family, encouraging them to think, never believing there is some age when “we have done enough.”

Interestingly, at the Law Board meeting April 21, Rusty Wilson shouted: “They (pointing at the RCPD officers) are laughing at me! They smiled!” Maybe ridicule isn’t such fun when you feel you’re on the receiving end, though I doubt the RCPD laughed at Rusty.

But trust the Mercury for letting you know that a foolish, gabby old woman lives in town, though what she has been gabby about doesn’t matter.

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