I am among the people of Bloomingburg who supports challenging the voter registrations. I am neither a redneck, nor an anti-semite. I accept and welcome Jews of all kinds—including the Satmar—to Bloomingburg. Furthermore, I accept that the village will inevitably evolve into a Satmar enclave not unlike Kiryas Joel. If not during this election cycle, certainly following the next.
There are some bigoted people in the village, but they are the exception and not the rule. The impassioned response to Shalom Lamm’s aggressive, underhanded, secretive and most likely illegal attempt to influence elected officials is something that no one—including Satmar Jews—should accept.
Bloomingburg is a poor rural town and not prepared for imminent change. It was unbeknowingly cherry-picked by Lamm as a site for a Satmar community because the voters weren’t paying attention to what was happening in village meetings. Lamm has brought a massive amount of his own money, and presumably money from other wealthy people outside of the village, to intentionally overwhelm the modest resources of his opposition. He and his development are entering this once peaceful village on the worst of terms.
To the Satmar who will obviously vote and develop a community in their own extremely narrow and culturally isolated interests, I appeal to you to do the minumum favor of accepting that your neighbors who have lived in Bloomingburg for generations will grow to accept the changes and would like to shop in your stores, walk on the sidewalks with you, play in the parks, drive on the streets and do all things that AMERICANS do together, united.
PLEASE! I implore you: stop calling us rednecks. Stop calling us anti-semites. Stop assuming that the village is out to get you. This kind of misinformation is divisive and not reflective of the deep faith you claim to have in your deity.
A cautiously optimistic neighbor.
EDITORS NOTE: The letter above was published as a comment on a YWN article.