Letters to the Editor

It was an exceptional speech

By From page A5 | June 19, 2013


Friday I read a letter posted by Ellie Vierra that criticized El Dorado Union High School Board member Todd White for his graduation speech at Oak Ridge High School. Her letter criticized Mr. White’s promotion of American exceptionalism and misconstrued his reference of God to be in an exclusive tone.

I found this letter to be breathtaking in its hypocrisy and irony. It preaches tolerance and diversity yet assails Mr. White for his viewpoint. It is ironic that the letter attacks Mr. White for his belief in American exceptionalism as it was sent in nearly 69 years to the day that American paratroopers began the liberation of a continent from the most oppressive, intolerant regime in the history of the world.

It is sad to see that America has fallen so far from that day to a day where it’s considered brave for someone like Todd White to say something patriotic. That American self-loathing would be a more acceptable approach for an elected official to take at a public forum. The fact that Mr. White gave acclaim to this great country in no way devalues or excludes individuals of faiths and origin not his own. The fact that individuals not born in the United States have come here in hopes of pursuing their dreams and gaining an exceptional education is in and of itself a testimony to the American exceptionalism Mr. White so eloquently referenced in his speech.

Todd White and his colleagues on the El Dorado Union High School Board have worked tirelessly over the years in order to make the schools of El Dorado County top-notch institutions. Institutions where Thomas Paine can be freely quoted without fear of reproach or criticism. Institutions where being exceptional is not frowned upon simply because your exceptional qualities are innate or won by those who came generations before. Institutions that teach acceptance of all views, not just your own. And institutions where hypocrisy and latent discrimination of patriots is unacceptable.

El Dorado Hills

Letter to the Editor

Discussion | 4 comments

  • Virginia WagnerJune 13, 2013 - 10:35 pm

    Great letter, Sam Pierson. I so agree with your point of view and am happy that someone was able to express what I felt! Todd White is top-notch in my book.

  • Terry CrumpleyJune 14, 2013 - 1:03 am

    Ellie: Todd is a great guy and his speech was as he is: sensitive, caring and real. Of course he prays to God, as he is a Christian - as am I. God is who we pray to! In this country we still have the right to our freedom of speech and freedom of religion. And America is an exceptional country. To suggest he should resign because he prayed to his "Christian God' is ridiculous and unconstitutional.It is also very intolerant and exclusionary of you - the very things you accused him of.Thank you for your letter, Sam. It is right on. The latent discrimination, hypocrisy and intolerance, by those who claim tolerance, is getting very old. God bless you, Todd!

  • enough already!June 14, 2013 - 8:24 am

    And once again here in El Dorado -I read, and I see, 'team bullying' of others from "leadership" at its finest. No wonder the schools here are full of children bullying other children. They learn it from you, the adults, and thier "leaders". Shame on you!

  • Justin MastersJune 19, 2013 - 4:52 pm

    I've had 4 kids graduate from Oak Ridge, and 3 of those kids didn't have a reference to God. This time there was. Thank God, er... goodness that we still celebrate diversity! Methinks there are some with too thin of a skin. Hopefully you won't let the words of an individual wound you forever, Ellie. Thanks for speaking up Sam! When we can celebrate everyone's (in)differences in belief, I think we'll get along a whole lot better.



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