It's unfortunate that someone as well-paid and experienced as state Sen. Ben Stevens would send an impulsive e-mail out into cyberspace stereotyping Mat-Su Valley residents as "trash."
However, my District 14 representative was equally offensive when he attempted to defend us by saying, "We've got a lot of good, conservative people out here, churchgoing types." That statement implies the Valley's nonchurchgoing, nonconservatives are the trash residents. The fact is there are quite a few nonchurchgoing, nonconservative Valley residents who are highly conscientious of the needs of others; carry their own weight; maintain their property; and sacrifice much of their time, money, and energy in service to their community.
Conversely, we know of churchgoing, conservative people who do not live up to those standards and have even committed horrible crimes. Positive or negative stereotyping merely perpetuates myths about "good" and "bad" groups, division between neighbors, oppressive discrimination, and war.
Perhaps those two publicly employed men should return to the private sector, learn how to respect individuals, and let someone with less political cash but more wisdom represent their community.
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