To the editor:
In the three weeks since I've been back stateside, two stories about some intemperate, ignorant, and even hateful statements spoken and tweeted by Cape Ann residents caused quite a stir in the Gloucester Times and its online comment boards.
One involved the ignorant remark by a male Rockport elected official telling the woman who chairs his own Board of Selectmen that she should get back into the kitchen where she, in this particular "gentleman's" view, belongs.
It was a stupid, callous remark, to be sure. But the passions, even rage over the remark left me wondering why so many people would take such a stupid remark so seriously.
The other, and I believe more disturbing story, involved revelations that some Gloucester High School athletes had tweeted truly ugly and racist comments about the African-American NHL player who sent the Bruins back to Boston sans the Stanley Cup. (The Times, Saturday, April 28).
I say that because the Twitter story revealed just how deeply divided the U.S. remains in terms of racial relations.
I just wish we all could move beyond and resolve these kinds of issues and begin to address the really pressing issues confronting our nation — starting with the reality that the wealth and income disparities between those with the most and virtually everyone else in the U.S. are now, per capita, right up there with Nicaragua's.