To the Editor:

What is in a word?

The word, unity, was mentioned 10 times in Joe Biden’s inauguration speech on Jan. 20 and that word was something we all needed to hear. However, saying and hearing the word unity does not automatically produce it.

Serious thought and careful planning must be used in deciding how to best achieve this unity, and input from all parties would be of great benefit. Unsuccessful actions that should be avoided include name-calling, censorship, cleansing, re-programming and canceling culture. Those tactics are vindictive and vicious, and the fact that some politicians and other prominent individuals have suggested such things is alarming. We can do better than that.

One way to achieve unity would be the honoring of our First Amendment rights. Citizens should have no fear of intimidation or punishment based on their opinions or voting preferences. Another suggestion for unity is to ensure that the same standards are being applied to each political group. Celebrating productive individuals for their talents and accomplishments is also a great way to build unity rather than focusing on ways to criticize each other. After all, there is a lot of blame to pass around; and not one of us is perfect.

A recent letter to the editor mentioned the 1964 film “My Fair Lady” in which Eliza Doolittle was tutored by Professor Higgins. Whomever we may envision in the role of Professor Higgins today, beware of your imaginings. If the professor’s script includes lines to Eliza that she is a “poor uneducated girl,” he is already starting out on the wrong foot. Bing Crosby and other well known singers of the past expressed a better option in the song, “Accentuate the Positive.” The lesson is still worth considering today.

Elsie Newman

Bowling Green

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