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401 Meeker St Delta CO 81416 970.874.4421

Coloradans vs. Californians

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Dear Editor:

Has there ever been a time in America where hate has been more rampant? Maybe during the Civil War when there was hatred between the North and the South over slavery. But, when have we had so much discord across America that kids are getting killed in school and opposite sides of politics result in beatings and destruction of property? When liberal colleges refuse a conservative to speak on campus because they don't agree with their views. Hate has become so common in our society that now, even in small towns, it is expressed in angry looks or sarcasm towards someone from out of state. Yes, out of state. Not out of country. America, the free, is no longer showing compassion to those of their own citizens. It has become fragmented over who is allowed in their town! Small towns want to stay small and they don't want "outsiders" from other states to encroach on their land. How dare they come to move in on their fifth generation owned area and think they will be welcomed.

This is what happened to me when the state I came from had grown from 1,500 people to 75,000 and, to this day, is at 150,000! My husband wanted to move to a more tranquil setting. I did not want to leave my dream home that took us 11 years to build, but we moved to beautiful Colorado from southern California.

I had already been warned by my son-in-law and daughter who moved to Colorado years ago to immediately get our California license plates removed and replaced with Colorado plates because Coloradans don't like Californians. This was foreign to me as I grew up in California and had never faced this kind of discrimination. However, it didn't take me long to see that what I was told was amazingly true.

I always regarded people who would volunteer for organizations as being nice. I mean when people take time out of their day to help, even in a small way, had to be nice, right? Wrong! I volunteered for a service near my area and decided to spend the day folding mailers. Everything went well and everyone was nice and friendly. Then another volunteer showed up and mentioned a conversation she had with a new neighbor who was from California. She was trying to give this person tips on farming and he was not very receptive. The other volunteer who had been very nice to me up to this point commented that you cannot tell Californians anything because they know it all and think the people living in a "hick town" know nothing! Well, I could not let this go! I commented that I was from California and that there are people from there who can be obnoxious. Immediately, I became the enemy! It was unbelievable!

So, here is my message to the natives of these "hick towns!" You referred to yourself as a "hick," the "outsider" did not! And you are right! Anyone who can blatantly hate someone because of where they came is uneducated, biased, discriminating, narrow-minded and just plain hateful! The change towards me was so blatantly obvious from being nice to being aloof and disrespectful, it was amazing. How childish and immature is that?

I finished folding my stack of papers and left. When I exited the room, you could hear a pin drop. I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall to hear the conversations after I left.

I didn't want to leave California! I had it made there. Our house was under Proposition 13 which meant the taxes couldn't go up more than one and a half percent a year. It was my husband's idea to move here. Then he died two years later leaving me with an unfinished house and bills up to my eyeballs. People say, well, why don't you move back? You don't MOVE BACK to California unless you are filthy rich! I went from a six-figure income to poverty level overnight! Then, if that isn't enough, I get robbed and what was taken could have paid off my house. Welcome to small towns with no police protection or concern for a widow from out of state -- particularly a state that Coloradans hate!

I've read many stories of NDE's (near death experiences)! When people meet the Lord, the one question He asks, "How did you show love to people?" Well, "hick towns" might take a different look on how they judge newcomers when they meet their maker and are asked that question. When someone thinks you're acceptable until they find out where you're from and then turn against you is the most blatant kind of hate and discrimination one can display. I never thought I could move to a different state, still be in America and have this kind of reaction.

Linda Petersen
Delta County

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