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The attacks on Mayor Jim Smith insinuating that he is racist would be laughable IF they were not downright preposterous and offensive. I am Jim’s daughter and I can unequivocally say that my Dad is not racist. People might think I am biased because I am related to Jim, but I have 37 years of history being with and around Jim to know that he is one of the most kind, accepting and open hearted people I know. I have never heard Jim utter a joke with racist undertones nor have I heard him laugh at off-color comments. My Dad was explicit that derogatory or demeaning language about ANYONE was not acceptable. Pejoratives aren't part of Jim’s vernacular. Language shapes attitudes and vice versa. Neither Jim’s language nor attitudes are intolerant of others. Feel free to disagree with Jim on the municipal policies he has enacted or decisions he has made — that is part of a healthy democratic process and public discourse. But as a citizen of Helena and Jim’s daughter, please refrain from veiled attacks implying Jim himself is racist or that he has aligned himself with a group or agenda which promote racism.

Nanette Gilbertson

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