In response to Tim Coffey guest column | Letter

I read the guest column in last week’s Sounder with interest. At first, I thought hooray for the columnist who confronted these obviously racist people. But after I reread it, I actually began to think about how our freedom of speech is being eroded by people who feel it is OK to confront others because they have a different point of view or worldview.

He overheard some comments in a private conversation and made some assumptions that, based on what he heard, these people had to be racists or supremacists. They have a right to their opinion, even if we find it uncomfortable.

Just to be clear, I am not a supremacist, antifascist, or any other “ist.” My only cause right now is to help save the whales. Since I wasn’t there and don’t know the context of their conversation,

I can’t presume they are supremacists. I am concerned that we are losing free speech when we can’t have a private conversation which is presumed “wrong” by someone else. I fear we are rapidly losing our freedom to speak freely in our own country. We hear every day of people who are being confronted by those who don’t agree with them. Minds are not going to be changed by confrontation. The attitude that only “my” speech is the right speech puts us on a very slippery slope. I hope we can maintain privacy and the freedom to express our opinions without fear of incrimination in our country.

Irene McKinley

Orcas Island