Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 24, 2001

Keller columns meet objections from irate reader

Written in response to Harold Keller’s Jan. 13 column: I am very much in disagreement with Mr. Keller’s column on Jan. 13. I believe that Mr. Keller and anyone that approves of his column is not being attentive to what is happening in America today. In the beginning of the year 2001, the outgoing president of these United States is proposing changes to eradicate racism in America. Black leaders realize that they must continue to inform black people of racist groups and their agendas wherever these groups are engaging in race crimes or other acts of discrimination in America. I think that you should take a closer look at how whites choose their leaders before you openly criticise how blacks make their choices. If you paid attention to the election process in Florida, and you are aware of how our president is choosing members of his cabinet, you should understand the actions of our leaders. Isn’t it amazing that he can see nothing wrong with any of his choices? I am certain that after reading your Saturday’s notes, you have their views. Explain, if you can, the definitions of the following terms: Conservative Democrat, Moderate Republican, Independent. The results of any answers would mean at least a 75/25 for Republicans in the U.S. Senate and 98 percent Republicans to 2 percent Democrats in Louisiana. Nine of my 20 years of service in the U.S. Army were served in West Germany at three-year intervals from 1962 to 1975. My family and I speak the language and observed little, if any, racism toward the Jews by the Germans. The Germans are intelligent people. They have no time for such nonsense as referring to their universities and colleges as Jewish, Italian or whatever. Did you notice how many times during the Bayou Classic the words “black college” was said? Have you ever heard LSU or Tulane referred to as a “white college?” Mr. Keller, I say to you that nothing is illegal when used against one when he or she has no legal options to defend themselves against it. As blacks, this is normally the predicament we find ourselves in. Do you remember the O.J. Simpson trial? I am sure Mr. Goldman and his family thought about it not being over until the fat lady sings. It really was not over, was it? On the other hand, nothing is also illegal when committed by he or she when they inexhaustible legal options to defend themselves against it. The fat lady is going to sing again. Let’s see how this turns out. I do not think that I have to elaborate on why this is so. With that, I think that you should have a clearer perspective of why our leaders do what they do and say what they say. Written in response to Mr. Keller’s Jan. 17 column: Mr. Keller, at the bottom of each of your columns is this note: “Harold Keller writes this column as part of his affiliation with the Get High on Life religious motivational group.” I believe that your columns of Jan. 13 and Jan. 17 are a little off-track from your reason for writing. Where did you hear that we have a shortage of heroes in America? Who are these less-than-positive role models you are referring to? What is it that bothers you most about Ray Lewis? Ray Lewis has all of the qualifications of a professional football player. He has never said that he is a role model for anyone. What are you implying when you said that he needs to thank the justice system? Was Ray Lewis really “dragged” into court? Come now, Mr. Keller. Your writings lead me to believe that your thoughts are of a discriminatory nature. Your columns display blatant criticism of a certain type. Why don’t you take a good look around the area that you and I call home. It is evident that we live in a very hostile environment. We work together. That’s about the end of it. Barrooms and churches provide the last most-separated shelters in our communities. There are no gatherings or meetings whereas we as one people can submit ideas and suggestions to bring about changes to the quality of life in our communities. Do you believe that since the federal government cannot make laws to change the rules for churches and barrooms, everything should be status quo? Since you and I seem to have different views of how things are and should be, why don’t you and I join forces to write for changes that would make life better for all of our people in this area where we call home? I do not see a need to write about the political affiliations of local church leaders, the shortcomings of black leaders. Nor is there a need to know how brutal a certain football player is or why he has not been imprisoned for a crime he was suspected of having knowledge of. My advice to you is to get back on track. Now is not the right time for speculating, second-guessing and making accusations. Get high on life here in these river parishes. Right now, you’re on cloud nine.

Clarence Watkins


(Editor’s note: Both letters arrived at the same time. Rather than publish them separately, we combined them as one.)