LETTERS TO EDITOR: April 25, 2007
Heart of the matter
Kudos to Amy Kingsley for her article April 12, “Rural residents fight Heart of Triad plan,” exposing how a relatively small group of realtors, developers, bankers and representatives of chambers of commerce can take it upon themselves to carve up a rural and small town area of 6,500 acres and sell it to the cities and counties that surround it. And then try to get a bill (for $2.25 million) to fund it! We’re all asking our state legislators to vote against this waste of taxpayers’ money (Senate Bill 1162) and hope your readers will as well.
Where’s his apology?
All these states are apologizing to the black folks for something that happened 200+ years ago [“YES! we’re very sorry”; staff editorial; April 18, 2007]. The Virginia and North Carolina senates even voted. But alas the first slaves of America have not received a thing. I am Scottish and English American, and, as you know, my ancestors were truly the first slaves in America, not the blacks. They were called English indentured servants, high-toned words for slaves. I have asked my Virginia senators for an apology; they won’t even respond. I’ll remember them at election time. Bottom line: Unless the senate is prepared to apologize to every group in America they should not hold one in higher regard than another. I feel as though I have been slapped in the face. Imus fired, blacks getting apologies from elected government officials – and me, I get the same old shaft. Maybe America hasn’t changed in 200 years. Thanks.
Editor replies: There were many differences between indentured servitude and slavery, not the least of which was the presence of chains.
Still more lax notes
It is a sign of character when someone admits they made a mistake [“The last Duke lacrosse column ever (hopefully)”; April 18, 2007; by Brian Clarey]. Perhaps it could have come sooner, but nonetheless, most writers who jumped the proverbial gun didn’t flat-out say “I was wrong” or “I’m sorry.” Further, I understand your point about being irrelevant if you wait too long, and as an opinion writer, your job is different than the AP or Reuters, who aren’t supposed to convey their thoughts in a news story. And I do think the angry reaction you got was based primarily upon the language you used against certain groups of people, as opposed to your broader take on wealth, privilege and fairness in society.
The best thing someone can do for themselves in such a situation is to apologize and recognize a mistake. This, in my mind, is a way to prove journalistic integrity, whereas someone who is never wrong (like the Duke professors) is easily disregarded as disingenuous. It’s never “I was wrong,” but more so something like “We weren’t reacting to this particular case and never said we knew something happened that night, but more so broader social issues, and we always stood up for the presumption of innocence.” (Duke’s “Group of 88” professors, not an exact quote but it catches the essence of what they say now, despite their “Wanted” posters and claims of a “Blue Wall of Silence,” etc.).
To be sure, I was angered by the rush to judgment by the media and Duke professors and protesters, etc., but I was just as frustrated by the fact that there were just as many people who took the other side, without evidence and perhaps even against some of the “evidence” at the time, e.g., public statements and sketchy signals the public was receiving at first, which you mentioned in your column and which point rather directly to Mike Nifong. For instance, we knew about the photo ID but not all the ridiculous inconsistencies with it, the fact that only players’ faces were shown to her, etc. It certainly doesn’t take a genius to know what many of those early opinions against the accuser (before the evidence) were based upon.
Hope all is well.
Garden City, NY
Appreciated your article and your humility. It was powerful example for many to follow, myself included.
Currents of protest
Referring to veterans as disgruntled is exactly what we’re all sick of [“Pro-war veterans group and anti-war adversaries warily promise peaceful event”; online; by Jordan Green]. It’s time to take America back, and the Gathering of Eagles, not just “a tiny minority,” intend to do just that by opposing everything the communist ANSWER group and their radical extremist subpgroups stand for!
I feel you did a fair and balanced job in presenting both sides of the story.
My only complaint is that you wrote the GoE is pro-war and that is far from being accurate as no man who has been in war and faced the horrors of war is pro-war, in fact, far from it.
We support our troops, which is a big and total difference, just as we may not support the president, but support the troops.
We do not in any way support these fools like anti-American values, Cindy Sheehan or the other traitor Jane Fonda, but we fought for and totally support everyone’s First Amendment Rights even though we may not agree with what they say.
We also have the right to gather at these anti-troop and in many ways anti-American rallies and express verbally what has been the silent majority’s feelings and thoughts for way too long.
Honor and Duty,
Charles R. Gant
Charles R. Gant is a combat veteran who served in the 101st Airborne in Vietnam in 1967 and 1968.