Published DateTo the editor,
In her recent letter to the Sun, Thea Aloise wrote: "Bev Buker is my next door neighbor . . . she is a very caring and compassionate person as I know her." Ms. Aloise also stated that I "owed an apology" to Ms. Buker for my criticism of her false statements about immigrants, particularly the refugees in our area. If I in any way personally offended Ms. Buker, I do apologize for that but I believe I referred not to her personally but to her hateful and bitter diatribes and her "apparent" lack of compassion which unfortunately DOES appear in her letters. That was not a personal attack on Ms. Buker but rather a statement of truth based on simple observation of the things she has published in this paper over the years on a number of matters.
I do not know Ms. Buker but Ms. Aloise is probably right: Ms. Buker is quite likely a very nice and compassionate lady on a personal level. I find that many people with whom I disagree are likable people. But ,that does not change the fact that Ms. Buker frequently DOES write vitriolic and angry pieces to this paper.
Ms. Buker certainly has the right to her opinions on immigration or anything else. But, unfortunately, she doesn't just express an opinion about immigration. She also disseminates misinformation or disinformation about immigration and other issues. Misinformation is based on a simple misunderstanding of the truth and is, of course, pardonable. Disinformation, on the other hand, is disseminating false information on purpose. I am quite willing to give Ms. Buker the benefit of the doubt and assume she simply does not know what she is talking about when it comes to immigration or the refugees living in the Lakes Region.
Ms. Buker has the right to publish this misinformation but she does not have the right to expect that she will go unchallenged and her misinformation will go uncorrected. There are a lot of myths in the community about our refugees and other immigrants and how they get all sorts of "free rides" and they need to be refuted. These legal, hard-working members of our community have a right to have these accusations challenged with the truth.
E. Scott Cracraft