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Neigher Mr. Wiles nor I are likely to change opinions of any readers

  • Published in Letters

To The Daily Sun,

A number of weeks ago, Mr. Wiles submitted a letter to this forum in which he claimed that racism was "no longer a problem." But in each of his next two follow-up letters, he acknowledges "right-wing bloggers and radio hosts on the fringe of society with racist intent" (are Beck and Limbaugh considered "fringe"?) and racist groups "so on the fringe" they "have been condemned by all of civil society." He claims, "They do not represent the conservative view" and "can be found in both political extremes." With these acknowledgements, Wiles is confirming my contention that racism still exists and plays a roll in modern day politics. For every vocal racist "on the fringe" there are thousands of quiet racists in the mainstream who are not shouting racial epithets or actively discriminating against people of color.

He continues by citing former Texas Representative Ron Paul's racist comments newsletters distributed by his office as "very bad indeed." Then Wiles tries to mitigate the offensive rhetoric by asking if I've heard or witnessed Ron Paul making racist comments; are Paul's statements to be considered less offensive because I didn't personally witness them. Are we to believe that he never reviewed the newsletters that bore his name? And then he has the audacity to claim he has "no idea" how racist comments made it into print. It's hard to believe that a man who wanted to oversee the entire U.S. government would provide zero oversight of his publications, or even better, read them from time to time.

Wiles goes to great lengths to defend the, "I don't have to make black people's lives better with taxpayer money" statement by former Sen. Rick Santorum. While I must agree with some of the arguments Wiles presents, I am disturbed that Santorum singled out blacks specifically as being recipients of assistance through federal benefit programs. With the latest research, provided by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, blacks and whites make up a roughly equal percentage of welfare recipients, showing that blacks receive 39.8% of welfare assistance and whites are receiving 38.8%. Why did Santorum not mention whites? It may be because welfare has been a racialized issue for decades?

As Wiles often does, he tells those with opposing views something they didn't think, what they didn't believe, or what they didn't say. I am not familiar with the Southern Poverty Law Center, which he arrogantly infers that I research. And I'm not sure why he mentions the difficulty of finding any reference to "white on black crimes", other than possibly to highlight that blacks are more racist than whites. If this was his intent, it just substantiates my views that racism does exist on both sides of the color line. In the same vain, Wiles misrepresents my views by attributing a quote to me that I never stated. I did say that "attributing the success of members of one race to that of another race is considered racist", but I never said, as Wiles contends, "they are only successful because white folks 'allowed' them to be." This statement by Wiles is a deliberate attempt to undermine my credibility and distort my views.

As far as letting "the readers decide who's opinion has more validity"; I believe the readers of this forum have already formed strong opinions and nothing Wiles or I can say can alter them.

L. J. Siden