Friday, March 13, 2015
ONE LAST LETTER
As we see the approach of the 150th anniversary of Lee's surrender at Appomattox, I, ironically face a type of finality myself. I have written about this before but, now, have a bit more to say about it.
Since 1973 I have submitted Letters-to-the-Editor to the Macon Telegraph and various other publications. Most editors were fair-minded people even though they heartily disagreed with most of the views I expressed. Others used their authority to support their own ideology. Earlier this year, in a sloppy piece of writing, I failed to note the direct words of source and place the proper quotation marks - see the Letters-to-the-Editor at Macon.com for January 7. I make no excuse, it was my poor work and I am guilty of that. What I am not guilty of is the bogus charge of plagiarism. Although I am ashamed of my workmanship, in this instance, I have no need to copy words and represent them as my own. In fact the strength of my writings is often the foundation laid through eloquent words of past voices. In better words, what I say, or what I think is not important - historical quotes are - and that is what I often used. Without attributing them to their rightful author they do not carry much weight. It seems, therefore, that I now am totally barred from expressing opinions in the Macon Telegraph. A slanderous enemy seems to have won.
I, had a voice, one voice, in this community to present historical observations without a coating of political white wash. Naturally, these were opposed but often people graciously told me how much they supported the sentiments of my writings which mirrored opinions that they also held. As much as I appreciated these kind words, I always wondered , "if you feel that way, why did you not write as letter as well?" Sometimes I actually asked them this question, to which they replied "well, you know I can't write and express things like that" … and so on - others just shrugged. Most of us were taught to read and write in school and I was amazed that illiteracy was yet so prevalent. Can you imagine someone with a high school diploma (and in many cases a college degree) telling me they can't write a letter expressing their opinion - what they mean is they won't! I know, they say that the art of letter writing has been lost but I get emails folks all the time saying what they think. And don't tell me people are incompetent nor shy about giving you a piece of their mind - look at FACEBOOK! However, in newsprint, well they seem to reluctant to write what they think and sign their name to it - why is that? Do they fear repercussions from their peers or a reprimand at work? I have actually received work place promotions and opportunities related to writing letters to the newspaper - true story! Come on folks, I understand fully how the politically correct of this world can give you a hard time but we are SOUTHERN PEOPLE - of all humanity we should be unaffected by fear or laziness. Is our heritage worth it or not? If not, find the channel changer and nod off in an easy chair.
We may be able to affect little change by voicing our opinions and being a reminder of true historical facts but we can sure make them know we are not asleep. For much of the opposition this is all just a game played with a deck of cards called "sheer willful ignorance." Those who wrote rebuttals to my work had little more to say than to call me names and skew a few facts - real scholars they are! I never minded what they said about me, it was often amusing; nor did I waste my time contending with them. However, do you feel okay about their defamations of Lee, Jackson, the Cause of Southern Independence and in some cases even the Lord Jesus Christ?
Apparently, I am out of that game - my weapon taken. If I could find any way to continue the fight, I would, and there may be another avenue of approach but I will need some courageous wiliness from you - not interested, okay, I expected such. But, there may be one or two out there who still have a taste for the fray - contact me if you care about carrying the fight to the face of the enemy. I really do not expect many emails nor for my phone to ring in acceptance of this challenge. It you're up to it, it would be encouraging.
"….. a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: So shall thy poverty come….." - Proverbs 24:33-34
I am your devoted friend and compatriot,
John Wayne Dobson