Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Racism In Today's Paper

I live in Martinsburg, West Virginia.  It’s a town in the Eastern Panhandle of the State and our population is about 20,000.  We have a good number of minorities, mostly African Americans and Hispanics.  I like the town.  We live close to shops, grocery stores, a mall, a movie multiplex, and we’re right on I-81.  We have a daily paper, The Journal, that is devoted to news of Martinsburg, our county (Berkeley), and other nearby towns.  It’s an award–winning paper and I enjoy reading it every day, after I finish with The Washington Post.

One of the interesting features of The Journal is a column called “Journal Junction.”  This feature allows people to call the newspaper’s answering machine, identify themselves, and leave short (two to four sentences) opinions and comments.  These opinions and comments then are published in the next edition of the paper.

This morning’s paper had about 25 opinions and comments.  The very first one was from Inwood, a town about 10 miles from here.  This is the comment:

From this point on, any black, oriental, Latino, or any other non–white should be prepared to prove their American citizenship on the spot.  We are taking America back.

I couldn’t believe my eyes.

Those who say that the questioning of President Obama’s citizenship isn’t racist—RACIST—read this remark.

Those who say that the treatment of our President isn’t doing permanent harm to this country, read this remark.

Those who want to be fair, impartial, and open–minded to Fox News, Trump, Palin, et al., when these people malign the President’s and the First Lady’s work, achievements, programs, etc., on an ad hominem level, read this remark.

Those who don’t call birthers racists—regardless of who the birther is—read this remark.

Those who want to investigate Americans who are Muslim, simply because they are Muslim, read this remark.

Not to challenge this pernicious, evil thinking is to condone it.  Not to call this horrible, nasty, subversive thinking racism is to give comfort and support to the racists.

Not to take a stand each and every day in opposition to this intolerable and hateful group of people is to betray Dr. King, James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, Michael Schwerner, Medgar Evers, Addie Mae Collins, Cynthia Wesley, Carole Robertson, Denise McNair, and the unknown number of other brave and good people who died to bring about full civil rights for African Americans, Hispanics, Asians, Muslims, all immigrants, and gay people.


  1. Thank you for taking a stand. Only those of us who have been discriminated against know what it's like to be oppressed by another human being.