By NANCY SCHICK
Los Alamos resident 1986-2014
I was dismayed to read Gerald Antos’s one sentence “letter” written in response to a critique of our government, advising the letter writer that if “you don’t like it (the United States), then leave it.”
Los Alamos is a town where thoughtful inquiry and rational discourse are not just expected, but required. Mr. Antos’s comments run contrary not only to the ethos of Los Alamos, but to the foundations of our nation. We question, we criticize, and we eventually come to resolution. The “love it or leave it” mantra has no place here.
Here is what I fear Mr. Antos and those who agree with him – including, given the events of the past few days, White House advisor and promulgator of authoritarianism, Steven Miller – would have said to these Americans.
To the heroes of the American Revolution – Patrick Henry, Sam Adams, Benjamin Franklin, George Washington: “You have known all your lives that the colonies belong to the English, so if you don’t like it, then leave it.”
To the abolitionists of the early 19th century – Sojourner Truth, Frederick Douglass, Sarah and Angelina Grimke, William Lloyd Garrison: “Slavery is the law of the land, so if you don’t like it, then leave it.”
To the 19th and 20th century suffragettes who were scorned and imprisoned – Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Alice Paul: “American law and tradition give only men the right to vote. If you don’t like it, then leave it.”
To those who fought for civil rights and often gave their lives – Martin Luther King, Medgar Evers, Viola Liuzzo, John Lewis: “The law is the law and if you don’t like it, then leave it.”
Mr. Antos – you might want to reconsider. You are not in very good company.