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Letter to the Editor: Andrea Bates on Combating Divisiveness PDF Print Email


To the Editor:

Apr. 5, 2017:  In early November 2016, Michele Ruhm wrote a letter to the editor of asking that, in advance of the election, "we recognize the integrity of others' decisions, even when we disagree with them" and that we not "demonize those who have made a choice differing from theirs."

Having read Rene Atayan's letter dated March 29, I can only ask if anyone read Ms. Ruhm's letter, or, more cynically, if anyone cares.

On March 21, the village held an election. The votes were counted and the incumbents won re-election. Congratulations to them all--it is apparent that they have done and will, no doubt, continue to do great work. I find it both troubling and disheartening, however, that in her letter, Ms. Atayan chose to demonize the opposition candidate as a threat to our everyday life and as "going after" the incumbents, as though it were a witch hunt. Is it really necessary to berate the already-defeated candidate? Why not let the vote speak for itself?

I believe that new ideas, proposals, and perspectives are necessary for a healthy, robust debate. In this instance, a contested election is nothing more than the introduction of a fresh and most likely different perspective.

We all have the right to accept or turn down these new ideas and proposals, but I submit that we do not, as a civilized society, have the right to be disrespectful and dismissive of those ideas and opinions that do not match our own. We can agree to disagree and remain civil and respectful in the process.

The negativity and divisiveness that have crippled this country have to stop. I can't be the only one who is tired of the persistent "us vs them" mentality. When are we, as a country and society, going to recognize and embrace the idea that we're all in this together and that we must work together, regardless of our differences, to move the country, and our communities, forward?

I'm truly scared that we'll never get there.

Andrea Bates
Bronxville, New York

Editor's note:  MyhometownBronxville does not fact-check statements in letters to the editor, and the opinions do not necessarily reflect the thinking of its staff. Its objective in publishing letters to the editor is to give air to diverse thoughts and opinions of residents in the community.



BXV Neighbor. You should be careful and more responsible for what you wish for. Just because it makes you feel good doesn't make it right. You are not facing a real cold hard fact - Elizabeth Calderon was in no way qualified for this job. Furthermore, her background was kept from the public.People aren't saying she and her daugher, Eva Golinger, were alligned with Hugo Chavez for mere effect; they say it because it's true. This isn't some kind of game. Do you understnad what socialist policies do to towns, cities, whole countries?!It is not a joke or a game - Ms Bates should be more scared that woman could have easily bankrupted the Village through protracted legal proceedings. That's seriously the "fresh perspective" she was looking for?
#9 BXV neighbor DATE_FORMAT_LC1
My thanks to Mrs. Bates for her thoughtful and timely comments. Instead of misquoting Abraham Lincoln, I think Mr. Mitchell and some of the other commentators would benefit from reflecting on that great president's example. President Lincoln sought to reunite a deeply divided nation by uniting with the opposition, NOT denigrating or demonizing it. He appointed political opponents to his cabinet and appointed a secretary of war who deeply disagreed with his own war policy. Circumstances and personalities have changed greatly, but these underlying values of our democracy should not.
"Brava" and Bravo? You must be from Colorado.
#7 Ronald Mitchell DATE_FORMAT_LC1
Mrs. Bates, in the words of our greatest American President, Abraham Lincoln
you should have followed his advice "Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt."
i agree with deb. if you don't want to be divisive, why would you attack the very person who had the courage to put herself out there for the sake of the Village, and I'm referring to Rene Atayan, not Calderon. Ms Bates should be thanking Atayan,not criticizing her. either she didn't educate herself on Calderon's Marxist history or she's incredibly naive. Calderon and her daughter, Eva Golinger were aligned literally with the murderous regime of Hugo Chavez! Atayan showed incredible restraint given the facts. what would you have her do, embrace someone who would turn the Village into Venezuela? you really owe her an apology
I'm a Democrat who proudly calls Rene Atayan a friend and colleague. I've have served with her for almost a decade. It was people in your local party committee who were irresponsible for putting up someone so deeply unqualified and yes, could have destroyed the Village. if you had vetted her you would have learned of her questionable service in Surfside and her ties to Marxist Venezuela. You are naive to think she brought fresh ideas and your attack on Ms Atayan, who deeply cares about Bronxville and had the courage to shine a light on the importance of this election, is divisive.
#4 Hugh Janeis DATE_FORMAT_LC1
Your candidate was flawed along with her campaign and you can thank Betsy Harding for that. I’m just wondering if you happened to do your homework on Ms. Calderon? Did you? Because if you did you would see she was an awful candidate. Something that Harding wanted everyone to overlook. At least Ms. Atayan had the guts to call her out.
#3 Raymond Clune DATE_FORMAT_LC1
Mrs. Bates, as a life long Democrat..a Kennedy one at that. I voted for the Republicans as a Democrat. I went to some of the meetings before the Election and was so put off by how my fellow Democrats spoke of the sitting Trustees. They kept pounding the table for a woman and said the current Trustees were "just white men who sat on their asses". Ms Calderon wasn't qualified folks, and how is that a way to speak of neighbors who have been very committed to the welfare of our community? That was not Ms Atayan's doing. I've known her for years and we disagree more than we agree but I respect her and know she works with all kinds of people. She's not the divisive one. Take a quick look in the mirror along with your fellow pussy "mad hatters"
Raymond Clune
Brava Andrea. Opposing views are healthy and can be enlightening. Agreeing to disagree is something our democracy allows and was founded upon.
Bravo, Andrea Bates, for a nod to unity rather than divisiveness! It's what the world needs now more than ever...


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