Steven K-Brooks

Opinions decry atrocities by one side while encouraging them on the other. How helpful is that?

At first I thought I would refrain from debate sparked by the atrocities of Oct. 7. I felt appalled that, from the safety of Vermont, warmed-over "party-line" polemics are being thrown around, which is of no benefit to Palestinians or Israelis whose survival is at risk.

But finally, driven by the increasing normalization of antisemitism and acceptance of Hamas as "freedom fighters" (even by some politically active Jews), I had to speak out.

Is anti-Zionism antisemitism? Can any informed person deny that in our current environment, "anti-Zionism," like Richard Nixon's "law and order," has become an unsavory dog whistle?

"Hey, let's you and him fight" seems to be the message of a slew of opinion pieces that decry atrocities by one side while encouraging them on the other. How helpful is that? How does it compare with the courage of those Jews and Arabs who continue, at personal risk, to affirm their friendship and continue to work for peace in the midst of conflagration?...

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Hate speech against Jews is OK?

I cannot recall when I have ever felt such strong personal outrage. How can I stand in solidarity with the Left?

Steven K-Brooks, now retired from active real estate brokerage, writes on his website, Contact him at [email protected]. Questioned at a Congressional hearing, the president of the University of Pennsylvania would not say that calling for the genocide of Jews violates the university's anti-bullying or harassment code of conduct.

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Reporting ‘fully and fairly’

Virginia Ray's front-page news story exemplifies covering a controversy without falling into ho-hum “neutrality,” but reporting the story fully and fairly so that the facts can speak for themselves. The non-transparency of a Selectboard, which declines to publicly discuss or explain important decisions, is an insult to the letter...

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Impeccable brilliance

Mindy Haskins Rogers' piece is impeccable journalism, brilliantly written.

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‘Hot-spotters’ barred from touring properties for sale

In his letter, Mark Tully writes: “Vermont is being flooded by COVID-19 hot-spotters looking to buy property. [...] Now, sociopath real estate agents in Brattleboro are trying to bring them into people's homes.” What is particularly odd is that Tully's most bitter complaint is that Vermont's rules include the following: “Special note about showing occupied homes: Realtors and landlords may not require occupants of a home or apartment to allow potential buyers or renters into their homes during this extraordinary...

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Surely, we have more intelligent choices

I do not call myself a “white ally,” nor do I label myself in any way which commits me to a formulaic list of prescribed behavior. When I lived there in the late 1970s, Main Street separated East Buffalo from West Buffalo. It was a “color line” in a town where open racism was common. When Diane and I went to a Gino Vannelli concert together, neither of us expected to end up in jail. Diane, star-struck, hoped to meet...

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By hiring canvasser, four people bought a place on the ballot

The fellow who collected hundreds of signatures to amend the Brattleboro Town Charter to replace the Selectboard form of governance with that of a mayoral form of governance, told me that four local businessmen paid him. When he had collected enough signatures and it was his last day tabling at the Co-op, he joked that now he would be out of work. To my knowledge, past initiatives have made it onto the ballot only by the dedication of unpaid volunteers.

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Confronting racism — together

When my roommate, Frank Parker, was stopped by the doorman in the fancy lobby, it could only have been racism. My therapist's office was on the fifth floor; I had invited Frank to attend a session. We were in our early 20s. Frank always dressed well and was impeccably groomed. In those days, I was perennially scruffy, yet I always walked past the doorman, apparently unnoticed. By his skin color and features, Frank was identifiably “black.” Regardless of my ancestry...

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