In my continuing quest to lead a more peaceful life, I have found I could be far more angry than I am today. I’ve cut back on the number of news sites I read each and as well as the time spent reading because it really does just make me angry.
I got up this morning and thought, “I need to check one thing on Facebook real quick before I start my day.”
A few friends have liked posts related to Aunt Jemima, Uncle Ben’s, and Land O’ Lakes. I end up reading comments on those posts, which are from places such as Snopes and CNN. As I read through the comments, I see so many people who don’t get it.
“He was a nice man. He didn’t deserve to go that way.” The words had a tinge of sadness attached to them as my mother said them matter-of-factly while we sat waiting for the light to turn green at the intersection of East Main Street and Irwin Avenue.
When the light changed, she gently pushed the gas pedal toward the floor and we continued on our way. It was 1986. Not many people understood HIV/AIDS. There were rumors, confusion, and plenty of hatred. My mother’s words were twinged with a sense of hopelessness. At the time, a diagnosis of HIV/AIDS was a death sentence. This man she knew in high school was already dead. There was nothing she could do.
I woke up to my community in despair on Saturday. A letter to the editor in the local paper, the paper where I work at as a reporter, was causing a stir.
The letter, which many people have spread, can be seen below in the screenshot from the Scotts Bluff County Democrats. It is full of hate and ignorance. Its words make me want to leave this town, but I have spent two days thinking about where to go from here.