While some people may favor the Greater Idaho movement, I do not. Regardless of the economic, political or moral opinions and arguments, the impetus for this movement exists in the phenomena of ‘othering.’ The letter to the editor printed May 9, 2021, could not have made this any clearer. ‘Othering’ involves attributing positive qualities to those who look like us, think like us, live like us, and negative qualities to those who look, think or live differently. ‘Othering’ promotes intolerance, distrust, and dehumanization. It encourages an ‘us vs. them’ mindset. I for one have had enough of the divisive ‘us against them’ propaganda. What does it say about us when we view the disruptive events across our state with “embarrassment” rather than concern? What happens in a geographic location does not define us, our words and actions do. Respecting differences and working towards common ground solutions is a healthier, saner, and more sustainable path forward to ensure the well-being of all Oregonians than reconfiguring geographic boundaries to promote ‘like me’ living.

Patty Barfield,

Third-generation Malheur County resident, Ontario

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