RIP Frances Crowe

In response to “‘An organizer to the very end’: Northampton activist Frances Crowe dies at age 100,” on Page 6.

How sad to learn that we’ve lost Frances Crowe. But she had a good run, 100 years. When I heard of her death my thought was, “She lives on in so many of us.” She ran the Northampton Committee to Stop the Wars movie nights for years. We all learned so much from those films and connected with other activists in the area. Now Carolyn Oppenheim keeps this tradition going. She influenced me in our fight to stop casinos in Palmer and in Massachusetts, inviting anti-casino speakers to The Frances Crowe Room and the Friend’s Church. I think of her when I take my little pot shots against the establishment when I write letters to the editor. She lives in Paki Weiland who is raising hell down in Washington, D.C., with Media Benjamin and Code Pink and their occupation of the Venezuelan Embassy; in all those who stand out with the weekly Peace Vigil. My favorite Frances story was when she had an appointment and couldn’t make an action at the Yankee Nuclear Plant. The arresting officer was extremely upset and worried because, “Where’s Frances!!! Has something happened to her?!” Well, they closed that plant down. And she kept going to the end, trying to stop gas pipelines and the new nuclear arms race. She lives on in Amy Goodman and Democracy Now!, which she pirated into Northampton. She’s the mother/grandmother we all wish we had, warm, funny, and always stirring us into action. She’ll live on in all of us as we march and hold protest signs and and in every action. Large or small we may do to try to change things and make this a better world. As long as we keep fighting and never give up, Frances will live on. We’ll all still miss her.

— Charlotte Burns, Palmer

I’ve known her since she let the neighborhood kids play in her wonderful yard, behind my house. I was four, and she only rose in my estimation through the years. RIP.

— Suzanne Farrington, Facebook comment

Her commitment to social and environmental justice will always be an inspiration!

— Shoshanna Brady, Facebook comment

May this icon of activism and integrity rest in peace and power.

— Owen R. Broadhurst, Facebook comment

The best cell mate ever.

— Joan Ballas, Facebook comment

The meaning of ‘straight white guys’

In response to “Between the Lines: Fear of ‘straight white guys,’” published August 29 – September 4, 2019.

There was a point, somewhere in the increasingly distant past, where we recognized that the use of categorical language (e.g. “straight white guys”) did not mean or even imply that EVERY person in that category was being criticized. We lost that along the way, possibly when discussion became about scoring points on the internet. If it doesn’t sound like you, maybe it doesn’t apply to you, even if you’re a “straight white guy.” If you’re just getting reflexively angry about it, well, at best you’re bad at decoding meaning from text. At worst you know it DOES apply to you, and you’d rather be angry about being called out than fix the actual problem.

— Brian McDonald, website comment

Poor fragile Isaac, champion of the unoppressed. Have fun at straight pride!

— Kathleen Lynch, website comment

I think in this day and age, we all need to STOP with the labels, after all this is exactly what Trump is doing that riles people up.

— Jeff Cole, Facebook comment

Trump takes away citizenship from yet another group

I just read about Trump’s new attack on America’s children and their parents. Now he wants to deny citizenship to children born overseas to naturalized military personnel and Federal employees. Let me get this straight. AMERICAN CITIZENS, serving their country overseas as government employees or active military will no longer see their children become American citizens, or be considered American citizens living abroad. How low can this so-called president go. These people are American citizens, often enduring hardships, spending long periods away from families and friends, even putting their lives on the line, for us. This would be bad enough, but for it to come from a low-life coward who used his father’s influence to dodge the draft and avoid service when he had the chance is despicable. There is no limit for my contempt for such a miserable excuse for a human being or for the vile Republican bootlickers who support him. If they weren’t Republicans I wouldn’t know how they can look at themselves in the mirror. It is beyond time for all true American patriots to stand up to this cowardly, despicable hypocrite and say “enough!!”

— Paul Basile, Longmeadow