Letters to the Editor

Sunday's letters to the editor

Racism denials perpetuate woes

I am bone-weary of South Carolinians bristling with defensiveness as national figures and ordinary citizens increasingly accuse us of racism.

Equally tiresome is our blaming the NAACP for economic and reputation losses over the in-your-face State House grounds positioning of the Confederate flag that could easily and appropriately be displayed in a museum.

We've been subjected to blatant demonstrations of white-collar racism by Republican activist Rusty DePass' online reference to Michelle Obama's ancestors resembling a gorilla and GOP operative Mike Green's "joke" that President Obama is taxing aspirin "because it's white and it works."

Now we're attempting to live down the shout heard 'round the world by U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson, who has a brief but distinct record of anti-minority positions.

All of these individuals apologized but show little inclination to unring bells that should never have been clanged.

We're outraged that ex-presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, nationally syndicated columnist Maureen Dowd and thousands of U.S citizens intimate these deplorable actions might be just a tad racist. Of course we have racism in our state. Anyone who fails to detect its increase in the near-constant cacophony since President Obama assumed office just isn't listening.

It appears time to revive biracial committees that helped reduce tensions during the civil rights struggle. Whatever we learned seems forgotten.

I am a white man who hates being ashamed of the native state I love, but I must admit I am.

BOB BENTLEY

Greenwood

Don't judge Wilson on single event

Rep. Joe Wilson's outburst was regrettable and inappropriate, but we cannot take a seconds-long emotional comment and say it represents his life or beliefs. We must look at the totality of Mr. Wilson's life.

There is likely no congressman who spends as much time in his home district as Rep. Wilson. He is visible, attending events, accessible and always available. He was elected as a state senator in 1984, re-elected four times, the last three times unopposed; he never missed a regular legislative session in 17 years. In 2003, Rep. Wilson retired as a colonel after many years of dedication and commitment to the U.S. Army Reserve and National Guard. He has an impeccable record of public service at both the state and federal levels.

Rep. Wilson represents the people of the 2nd Congressional District to the government; he does not represent government to the people. He was elected by his district, sent to Washington to represent the people of his district. Some of the most surprised people to learn that Rep. Wilson had made this comment are the people who know Rep. Wilson best - his family, friends and constituents.

BEN KINLAW

Barnwell

Progressives should stop backward push

The conservatives are trying to paint President Obama as a socialist who wants to take away America's freedom. President Franklin Roosevelt was portrayed as a socialist when he implemented the New Deal. President Lyndon B. Johnson was portrayed as a socialist when he implemented Medicare and Medicaid. These presidents also fought for people's freedom. Now Southern Republicans seem want to turn back the clock, to a time when people of color take a back seat to the conservative white privileged. This is a country for all people, not just the privileged. I want our progressive politicians to stand up to this false outrage, and stop the chain of ignorance.

VICTOR L. RODGERS

Columbia

Sanford could save state time and money

The biggest and costliest tasks facing state government in the next year are the hearings and investigations to decide whether to impeach the governor. If Gov. Mark Sanford resigned, it would be the most sincere and effective effort of his career to save taxpayers' money, and it could be done without a fight with the Legislature.

HARRY SPRATLIN

Columbia

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