Letter: New Motto Requested

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602 S. Gay Street
2nd Floor
Knoxville, TN 37902

I recently saw an ad in your paper for the Volunteer Ministry Center’s Ginny Weatherstone introducing an upcoming event where David Kaczynski, Ted Kaczynski’s brother, will be a guest speaker at a fund-raiser for VMC to raise awareness about mental illness. I spent a little over half a decade working with the homeless—and no doubt, mental illness plays a huge part. That said, I am not taking away anything from Ginny Weatherstone’s efforts, but it’s her headline for the fund-raiser, which she’s used before—“What’s a Nice Girl Like Me Doing in a Place Like This?”—that says to me it’s an “us and them.”

She compares the mother of the two Kaczynski boys being similar to the admiration she felt watching her two boys play Matchbox cars on the carpet as a young mother. This made Ms. Weatherstone seem a little human—all mothers wish the best for their children, even homeless mothers. None of them want them to grow up to be the Unabomber, none of them want them to grow up to be slaughtered by the Unabomber; that is not what we work so hard to raise them for. I will buy a ticket for the dinner because I have always been fascinated by the courage it must have taken for David Kaczynski to turn his brother in. Some think it was a simple answer, but it couldn’t have been. On one hand, David was preventing future killings, but he was also turning in his own mentally disturbed brother. Tough call for anyone who has ever unconditionally loved a sibling.

But most of all, I wish Ginny Weatherstone would stop the “Nice Girl” motto—nobody doubts that, it just sort of implies that if you don’t have what she “has,” maybe you aren’t that nice.

Rebecca Bowman

Oak Ridge

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