To the editor:
There have been examples of intolerance in the valley during the course of our now 90-day lockdown. The latest was recorded in a letter to the Sun on June 10.
As someone who has depended upon the hospitality industry for over 35 years as a means to support myself and family, I am deeply saddened and troubled by each of these incidents. I am concerned for families, like mine, having the ability to regain prosperity should our hospitality industry falter. Word can and will spread like wildfire. Do we want our valley to fail? It will, should we be anything but hospitable to our visitors.
Each of us is connected to our primary and only large-scale industry — hospitality. We are and always have been “in this together” when it comes to hospitality. That supports every one of us, directly or indirectly.
Schools, police departments, fire, medical, safety, infrastructure etc. all depend upon tax revenue and donations collected from every aspect of hospitality, including, but not limited to: rental rooms, Airbnb, campgrounds, restaurants, breweries, recreational rentals and service.
If you are a homeowner, you can expect investments in your home to gain some return, only should the valley prosper. Should it falter, so will your investment.
I am deeply concerned and embarrassed by these acts of unwelcome and hate displayed throughout our valley.
Ms. Mills, of Center Conway, said her son witnessed a vehicle message depicting, “If your license plate does not say Live Free or Die, turn around and get the ‘expletive’ back home.”
My neighbor was flipped off on the road because he had Massachusetts license plate. Windows were broken in vehicles bearing out-of-state plates. A sign demanding a property homeowner “Go Home” was displayed on their vehicle with out-of-state plates, while they were out on a stroll. A large sign was erected in my own town, telling those from away to Go Home.
At what point do these incidents become examples of hate? One could argue that they are examples of concern; however, those living with fears have the choice to stay inside, stay home themselves. Therefore, I question if they are actually fearful, or simply hateful.
It is my hope that moving forward, residents practice kindness and hospitality toward all they meet, despite the colors on their license plate.