Login

Are you among the "contented"?

I don't personally know the "contented" resident of Brookings County who says she is opposed to every 200-cow dairy in the region. She writes letters to prospective dairy buyers telling them the land here is occupied by "comfortable" and "contented" people, whose hallmark is we have "enough" and we don't want you or your economic benefits here.

I have read one of her letters. She is an eloquent and persuasive writer who uses every tool available except logic to win her arguments. She invokes love of nature, love of family, love of history, love of tradition, love of the church, exploitation of migrant workers, fears of "unimaginable challenges" and "irreversible damage", threats of legal actions, and even God to justify her position.

She accuses the prospective buyers of being wealthy people who just want more and of having a "purposeful intent to wreak permanent environmental damage on this land". She says, "We are not an ignorant people" nor suffering from "xenophobia" as some claim.

I agree that they do not suffer from an irrational fear of foreigners. I assume she really believes what she says. My theory is that such people have an irrational fear of permanent damage to the environment because their minds are polluted with 20 years of propaganda spewed by some of the largest and wealthiest corporate entities pretending to be "for the little guy".

She may be content with the way things are, but I am not content when "my community" gets smothered in corporate green from the left coast.

In the first place, a cow can't cause irreparable damage to the environment. Nature can fix itself. She actually admits as much when she uses nature to scare them away by saying, "I suggest that you then come stay here for a few years – perhaps living in a tiny cabin, as my forefathers did to learn first-hand how the climate and the environment itself will never yield to man – and how it has the power and opportunity to wreak almost unbelievable damage to even the sturdiest of man-made objects in a moment’s notice."

She credits her "forefathers" for the environment and lists "pristine air" as one of the "fruits of their labor". Would that mean there was no pristine air here when her forefathers arrived?

In the second place, all business in the "region" is not necessarily any "business" of one citizen who is not directly impacted by the operation. Although PETA and some other social activists disagree, most of us think that holding an abstract philosophical objection to some particular form of enterprise does not justify meddling in other people's business affairs.

Perhaps we could ask some of the original inhabitants what they think when these settlers want no "new immigrants" because new arrivals might change things. Think about how this looks to them.

Many of you mean well, but this sort of irrational bigotry is so outrageous that someone has to stand up in public and say, "STOP THAT!" To those who are offended but are not bigots, I apologize. If you are willing to change your mind, you are not a bigot.

The only way to guarantee failure is to not try.