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Call to Action



In Marcy Burstiner's Feb. 23 column ("Press Time") she wrote of current suppression and discrimination by the Trump administration, and also to frame an example about the role and value of journalism in countering authoritarianism:

"Our government now looks ready to round up mass numbers of people for deportation based on ethnicity and religion. For many of these people, their only crime was to enter the country illegally ..." (I'll add, some of those people currently being treated as criminals were brought to this country as infants or children by their parents who were seeking a better life for their family.)

Yet Susan Dodd in her March 2 letter takes great offense at Ms. Burstiner, while deceptively quoting the first sentence above and leaving out the second integral sentence. Then Ms. Dodd follows with the false statement that "... they are being deported based on criminal records racked up while they were in this country illegally." Pants on fire.

There's another lesson here, thanks to Ms. Dodd's perpetuation of Trumpist false claims, that goes straight to the key points of both of Ms. Burstiner's past two columns: If we care about keeping our constitutional republic, each of us must find our ways to resist the growing authoritarianism. Documenting and reporting the mendacity of the current authoritarian administration and its propaganda is one important way. As Ms. Burstiner reminds us with historical context and contemporary precision, it is the reluctance of regular folks to oppose the authoritarians that gives them power.

I encourage all NCJ readers to re-read Marcy Burstiner's columns of Jan. 26 ("Unfactoids") and Feb. 23, and her eloquent call to action: "...  to the cause of free speech and free press and the right of the people to petition our government for a redress of grievances."

Bruce LeBel, Arcata

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