Op/Ed

Letter to the editor: Commentary was insensitive to those less fortunate

I am a dedicated reader of your paper (“our” paper, really) and I very rarely share my reactions to articles in writing.
I had to read Sarah Pope’s “Clippings” twice to be sure I really understood what she was saying…
She wrote about her experience at the Middlebury Airport last Wednesday, to pick up some free Cabot cheese “and other good stuff.”
I think she was referring to a May 20 Meal Distribution for Those in Need organized by Vermont Emergency Management and the National Guard.
She describes herself as a Coop shopper and an environmentally conscious kind of person when it comes to food. Her photo shows that she is white. And her writing demonstrates a level of education beyond high school. So we might venture a guess that Ms. Pope is at least a white middle class woman with an education and some means.
She goes on to describe her experience in the line waiting to pick up her free Cabot cheese. Bumper-to-bumper traffic moving slowly. A family who she refers to as “loud folks” who had been waiting since 7:30 that morning. (Ms. Pope arrived at 10:30 after her husband’s urging that she go get that free Cabot cheese). Engines idling. Very upsetting for someone so environmentally conscious. She attempts to distract herself by reading her e-book, but to no avail, no connection out there. So she imagines herself in the ferry line for Martha’s Vineyard…WHAT!? Do you know how much it costs to take a car on the ferry to Martha’s Vineyard? Is she kidding? I’m sorry, that was just too much. 
What is this woman doing in this line for “free food”?! This is a Meal Distribution for Those In Need! This is organized for people who experience food insecurity in our state. In our county. Right here, under our noses. How can she even write that column? Referring to the food as “crap,” the people as “loud and cursing,” a car with a muffler problem… And then, after taking free food from Those in Need, she was heading to Costco. I was disgusted. An article like that shouldn’t ever be in this newspaper. With everything going on in our country around COVID-19 and poverty and racial inequality, this woman is lauding her white privilege, waving it like a big flag, looking down on these loud people who drive broken cars and eat crap food. Shame on her. And on you, the Addison Independent, for allowing such a story to be in this paper. What a disappointment.
Catherine Willson
Bristol

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