Don’t maintain us versus them

Editor’s note: We contacted Graham Smith, and he said Anthony Nino wasn’t invited to the event and he did not wish to respond further.

To the Editor:

Our Founding Fathers came together from many different walks of life to discuss, debate, argue and finally, reach a consensus on common ground to form our nation. It is with this attitude that I approach politics.

I regularly attend diverse political meetings and I’m always welcomed and am on the mailing list of many different groups. However, not everyone believes that people with a different opinion are welcome in politics.

I met one such person at an event I was invited to. I was barred from entry and told to “f*** off” and to “buzz off.” It was a meeting of the Amherst Democrats at the Amherst Town Library on April 17.

The individual who barred me and told me where to go was Graham Smith, the Democrat chairman.

He said this adjacent to the children’s section of the library. If anyone overheard Graham, I would like to say that I do not condone language like that. Even after being treated as such, I tried to diffuse the situation but he was curt and shut the door.

I was hoping for another good informational session, like others that I’ve been to over the years. Every time I go to a meeting of minds, we concentrate on solving problems. I don’t think I’ve ever been asked my party affiliation. I’d rather view all of us as Americans, not “us” and “them.”

On the Amherst Democrats Facebook page, they claim to maintain fair, open and responsive government. The AD website claims to be for citizen participation, equality and political tolerance. Graham said his party cared about people, but his actions showed that he only cares about those who kowtow to his views, and he excludes all others.

I must look at Graham’s actions in light of our national situation. Our economy is in shambles, our currency debased and devalued, and our Constitution is being shredded while we are mocked in the international arena. We need officials who are willing to lead and foster cooperation, not divide us.

According to the library rules, all meetings held at the library are open to the public and all patrons must be treated with decency. No one can use obscene or abusive language or threaten the rights of anyone in the library.

I believe, in the light of his actions, Graham Smith owes an apology to the library and to the public as well.

ANTHONY NINO JR.

Amherst