Standing up to rebut what’s wrong in letters

This is met most often with attacks on my reading comprehension

Standing up to rebut what’s wrong in letters

Recently, someone suggested that April Gibson and I were not that far apart in our opinions. This may or may not have be an accurate conclusion, so I took some time and re-read past letters that had been posted on the Citizen’s webpage. In doing so I came to understand much of the antagonism that is so apparent in the exchanges.

In all cases an opinion was presented. Sometimes by Gibson sometimes by others. I respond with a contradictory opinion that almost always provided some form of factual rebuttal. This is met most often with attacks on my reading comprehension, my intelligence, the voracity of my facts, most recently my family lineage and state of mind. It is then followed up with a venomous restatement of the original opinion with even more fodder for rebuttal, more personal attacks, misquotes, and propaganda. Repeat.

This has become untenable.

I attempt to address issues and not people. I have not been entirely successful in that attempt. For that I apologize to the readers of these letters. My motivation was and has always been to show that the opinions presented were not in the interests of the general population and held a very narrow view with self-interest for a particular demographic being the driving force behind them. Misinformation and carefully crafted false narratives that are designed to illicit fear should never go unchallenged, however, I feel that the simple act of challenging these opinions just gives the writers more opportunity to spread their hate. For this error in judgement, I also apologize to those reading the letters.

What I will not apologize for is standing up and calling out the ignorance, hate, bigotry, greed, hypocrisy, and the viciousness that is so common in these letters and comments written by this very small vocal group of people.

Instead, I will take pleasure in celebrating the amazing people of the Cowichan Valley who are making life in our community better everyday. The people that are helping their neighbours afford vet care for their pets during these rough times. The man that paid for the coffee for the customer behind him because he thought he might have cut him off. The gentleman who cleaned out the elderly woman’s gutters just because they needed to be cleaned. The person who shoveled the neighbour’s driveway during the snow. The four people who let the person with just two things go in front of them at the long grocery store line-up. The Valley is full of these kinds of selfless actions.

There is so much kindness and so many good people in the Cowichan Valley that a handful of disgruntled, selfish, and scared individuals will not change who we are and therefore no one needs me to constantly point out how utterly distasteful and self-serving these letter writers are. After all, their words do more to tell people who and what they are then anything I could say in response.

Dara Quast

Cobble Hill


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