Thank you to Steve Meadows, editor & publisher of The Connection for the Feb. 3 column, “Make room for multiplicity of opinions.”

We greatly appreciate the inclusion of all who read and want to advertise in your publications regardless of social, political or religious affiliation. The right of free speech we all possess in this country, at least for now, means even those with whom we may vehemently disagree should still be able to remain respectful of our differences. Just because someone doesn’t share your/my/our perspective or opinion does not allow anyone to oppress, silence or take radical or vitriolic action against another.

Thank you for reiterating the importance of respecting the right of all others to express their views/support, even if those opinions, perspectives and deeply held beliefs may be deemed “offensive” to some. We need to create and foster a culture that helps protect all voices.

Thank you for being a neutral voice in our community to recognize the value of all people of diverse backgrounds and opinions without seeking to silence or cater to any specific side in the increasingly hostile “cancel culture” we are living in. We are hopefully optimistic you will continue to pursue representing all. So many aspects of free speech are being weaponized to extremes in 2021.

Thank you for remaining steadfast and true to the principles and rights many of us hold dear.

Kathy Bougie

Tellico Village