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To the Editor:

I was extremely disappointed to see a letter of character assassination in a local paper, written by a couple from Pownal.

Meg Hansen is the first woman of color to run for Bennington County Senate. She is a fiercely independent, proud American citizen with an Indian immigrant heritage.

Meg has endured more blatant discriminatory attacks than in this recent letter, being called a “plant” and told to “go back to India.” Subtler, perhaps, but no less offensive is the Paynes’ bizarre claim that Bennington County, Vermont, is not the place Meg considers home. Of course it is. Why can’t Vermont be Meg’s home? Do we want to be known as a state that rejects immigrants? We must be able to recognize prejudice against the living, breathing individual, even when, as is the case in the Pownal couple’s letter, that prejudice is found in the midst of professed concern about the abstract and impersonal concept of systemic racism.

Meg Hansen is running for Bennington County Senate to serve local needs and priorities. We need new legislators with a more diverse perspective representing our towns in Montpelier. Do you disagree?

Meg Hansen isn’t afraid of running on her own. She asks Vermonters to judge her on her own merit, her long record of community service, and her message of empathy, growth, and prosperity for all of us in Southwestern Vermont.

I hope the county I’ve lived in for most of my life will choose to reject xenophobia this fall. When we elect the first woman of color to represent Bennington County and Wilmington in the Vermont Senate, it will be history well worth making. Vote now by mail or at the polls on Tuesday, Nov. 3.

Zachary Zupan,

Dorset


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