Skip to main content

Letter: ...The gang of five comments are appalling and do not reflect traditional Ely values

Dear Editor,
As a long-time Ely resident, born and raised in the bustling metropolis of Winton and participating in the economy of Ely, I strenuously object to the use of racist terminology directed at the mayor by race baiters Betty Firth and Peta Barrett and racist comments directed by Steve Piragis toward another former Elyite.
I also object to the gang of five (Peta Barrett, Betty Firth, Carol Orban, Steve Piragis, and Becky Rom) use of the term boycott and boycott claims which no one said but them.
The gang of five and the organizations they represent have not addressed their own harmful behavior and salacious use of racist comments.
They could have resolved this controversy with a sincere apology and a simple common-sense resolution stating they would never again use racist or derogatory terms directed at any Ely citizens, past or present.
But no, just another belligerent letter by the anti-mine zealots directed at the city council that would not be bullied.
By not addressing their own corrosive behavior, the gang of five astonishingly continues to let stand the repugnant use of racist terminology as acceptable!!
Most people, including those of us who live in Northern Minnesota, believe that the self-serving gang of five is insulting, wrong, disrespectful, and an embarrassment to all Minnesotans to allow that kind of behavior and not repudiate those comments.
The gang of five has been challenged to own up to their own unacceptable behavior, only to clearly give this sustaining tacit approval!
The position of the gang of five is puzzling because they represent NE Minnesota for the BW, The Campaign to Save the BW, The Friends of the BW, and the Business Coalition to save the BW.
In the recent past it was Campaign to Save the BW ‘hero’ Becky Rom who stated pro-mining advocates needed to die, thoughtless Betty Firth and Peta Barrett deliberately cast racist terms, and anti-mine leader Steve Piragis piled on with even more racist terminology.
The gang of five comments are appalling and do not reflect traditional Ely values and are harmful to the well being of our community.
The economic and social well-being of our community depends on respect and tolerance of all people which is not forth coming from the gang of five.
Many members of the public are blaming the gang of five for community discontent and divisiveness with their caustic remarks and bully tactics while not producing their own fence-mending resolution to disavow their use of abhorrent racist and denigrating terminology.
It is wrong for these anti-mine leaders to ignore this behavior and not adopt their own simple common-sense resolution that should have been noncontroversial.
Ely resident,
Mike Banovetz

Sign up for News Alerts

Subscribe to news updates