I read with interest the column written by John Frary, “Any national conversation about race shouldn’t be led by racists,” and the letter from Sam Shain, “Column shows some think racism doesn’t exist,” in the Dec. 14 paper.

We do need more discussions about race in this country, but no discussions are going on in the streets when people are angry and carrying signs. Maybe those demonstrations will awaken an interest for discussion by letting their views be known, but burning cars, destroying businesses and intimidating hard-working people is not how you win people over to your side.

Shain may think that I am an out-of-touch, gray-haired woman, and he would be right, but I am always interested in learning as much as I can about both sides to any problem, and I try to make an intelligent decision as to where I stand on an issue.

I refuse to decide for or against any race of people. I still like to assume we are all basically alike and make my decisions on each person as I meet them. Yes, I am out of touch, but I have lived most of my life in Maine, and we are a bit out of touch with the rest of the world. A lot of people move to Maine to get away from it all, and so Maine is changing. I try to understand what is happening here in Maine and elsewhere. I listen to others’ discussions and appreciate having my turn to speak.

Betsy Laney, West Gardiner

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