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Letters to the editor - 4/9/03

April 09, 2003

Southern partisans try to rewrite history



To the editor:


"Our new government is founded on the opposite idea of the equality of the races. Its cornerstone rests upon the great truth that the Negro is not equal to the white man." - Alexander Stephens, inauguration speech, Feb. 18, 1861.

Why would I need a "soapbox" when the Confederate leaders openly admitted their racism to the whole world, 76 years before I was born?

In his recent letter, Jeff Fink provides us no documentation to prove Grant was a slaveholder. (Note, he did not say slave owner). He was probably referring to the so-called contrabands. If so, he neglected two things: The contrabands were volunteers, and they were paid for their labor.

The only "Christianity" the slaves were taught was: "Work hard, and obey your masters." How do I know? I grew up in the era when some former slaves, and Civil War veterans were still living. I was 18 when the last one (that I knew) died.

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Many modern "historians" are seriously misinformed about slavery and the Civil War. But the truth is out there - a good starting point? Read: "Bullwhip Days, The slaves remember, an oral history," edited by James Melin, (Avon Books, 1990). At the outbreak of the Civil War there were 4 million slaves on southern plantations. That was about 80 percent of the black population in America. To assert that there were more slave-holders fighting for the north is inconsistent with the facts.

Don't believe everything you read about the Civil War era, or the history of the South, Ask yourself: 1) Is it based on eyewitness accounts, government documents, or newspaper articles? 2) or, is it based on personal dairies, or the testimony of someone that knew witnesses to the events? If the answer is "none of the above," throw your "history" into the nearest garbage can.

Richard Anderson
Martinsburg, W.Va.




O'Reilly can't hold candle to Cronkite



To the editor:


Once again, Bill O'Reilly has outdone himself. In his article "Cronkite Wrong to Consider Other Nations," he openly disregards the opinions of anyone other than himself, including 83-year old news veteran Walter Cronkite.

Now the last time I checked, Walter Cronkite is one of the most highly known newsmen in our country. His name is synonymous with news and fair reporting. And then there's Bill O'Reilly, a newscaster who claims to be "fair and balanced." That is a downright lie.

Every day on his show he blasts protesters and the French, but rarely is their side ever shown. In his article, he says "Ask Colin Powell what he thinks of the way the French have conducted themselves." I personally don't care what Colin Powell thinks. I'd like to hear what the president has to say.

He goes on to say that "Uncle Walter doesn't see (the war as necessary). He sees the war in Iraq as 'pre-emptive'." Since we attacked them first, I'd say that the war was "pre-emptive." So maybe O'Reilly is wrong for only seeing one side of things.

Walter Cronkite is still a flag-waving American, but not necessarily in the same blind way as Bill O'Reilly. Hopefully he can realize that behind his "fair and balanced" reporting.

David Bussard
Hagerstown




Who is behind the peace protests?



To the editor:


The media seem afraid to ask some hard questions of the left-wingers.

Why don't your Herald-Mail investigative reporters ask how the anti-war groups are able to put so many people into the streets?

Where do they get their money? Are their motives as advertised or is there a hidden agenda?

People who hate America are sure to use the anti-war protests to cause as much trouble as they can. The news media help them with lavish and uncritical reporting.

Your investigators might wish to check into possible involvement by Arab or Muslim countries, groups and leaders.

Protests during the Vietnam War emboldened the Communists and seem to have lengthened the war. Today, they give hope to Saddam.

Even if all of the protesters are really patriotic folk who think the war must end right now, in defeat, I do not excuse them. There is no First Amendment right to clog streets and sidewalks, block traffic and make noise.

The news industry is quick to interrogate military spokesmen. Give some scrutiny to the other side now.

Doug Delmont
Waynesboro, Pa.




If fed is silent, state wins out



To the editor:


The March 26 "Federal Trumps State" letter displays a writer who doesn't analyze his own argument.

He noted the United States Constitution is devoid of any consideration of rights to schooling. Since there is nothing in the United States Constitution that prohibits states from establishing their own manner and method of education, "Federal trumps state" is irrelevant.

The federal Constitution only trumps a state Constitution where there is a conflict. There's no conflict here since the federal constitution is silent on the issue.

And the headlines about charter schools, generated by County Commissioner John Munson's suggestion that we eliminate public schools, ignored the little fact it would require a constitutional amendment. It can't be done any other way - not by regulation, local ordinance, statutory enactment, executive order or judicial fiat.

Huffing and puffing counts for nothing - the discussion is over facts. Accordingly, some writers lack an understanding of why the original discussion was ludicrous. Notice there hasn't been another peep from Commissioner Munson about the issue, and he originated the topic.

Douglas Scott Arey
MCIH No. 130196 A-1-A-20
Hagerstown

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