Deceit and corruption
Thanks for your article on the continuing impact of racism on the South and the nation; it was fascinating and valuable (Cover story, "Still divided," Feb. 2).
There are those -- say, for instance, the people who run this country -- who will do anything they can to avoid an open and honest discussion of race. That effort is in keeping with one of the most overlooked aspects of America's racist heritage: the extensive deceit and corruption behind the construction of racism.
There was nothing natural about it. Elites worked to foster racism as a way of controlling the laboring classes.
Many people have forgotten that Georgia began as a free colony. South Carolina slave owners, terrified of the consequences of free territory just across the Savannah River, worked with the ambitious Thomas Stephens to persuade [Trustees] that most Georgia settlers wanted slavery. Their deception destroyed James Oglethorpe's dream of a free and prosperous colony, condemning Georgia to what William Lloyd Garrison called "the pact with the devil."
Thanks for raising this topic. Hopefully many people will join in.
-- Michael Bellesiles, Decatur
In good company
The article you wrote about Hugh Spake was wonderful (Humbug Square, "Death with dignity," Jan. 12). I really enjoyed it. It was a very poignant column, and in this aspect, one of your best.
There was one thing that really made me want to e-mail you about it, however. I felt bad because you seemed so concerned that Hugh had been an atheist. I've been an atheist since I was 11, and I just wanted to tell you I don't think you should be so worried about him.
While it doesn't compromise my beliefs, I do feel more secure in the fact that, just in case I'm dead wrong, I was baptized when I was 7. Hugh, having been raised in his early years a Methodist, was, I'm sure, likewise baptized. Ergo, no original sin. Without original sin, only the way you've lived your life is in question.
And in response to this, most atheists are some of the kindest people, because of the idea that people are the be all-end all -- so take care of 'em! My point is: If there isn't a god, [Hugh] wins, and if there is a god, the worst he'll get is purgatory. And from my studies (and delight!), purgatory is full of some of the most bad-ass philosophers and coolest people of all time, and the temperature is much more moderate.
So, please, Doug, I'm sure Hugh is perfectly fine, wherever he is. Don't worry too much about his immortal soul, especially since he might just have all the polytheists ever to hang out with now.
And sincerely, you are a great person to have manifestly cared so much for him in his final years.
-- Jessika Toothman, Peachtree City
(Full disclosure: Jessika was a news intern last year at CL.)
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[Cover story, "Lust List 2006," Feb. 9] shows the level of diversity in Atlanta. Keep it up!
Ex-Gov. Roy Barnes can talk all he wants, but he has yet to even figure out why he was not re-elected (News & Views, "Barnes: What might have been," Feb. 9). His backstabbing of teachers mixed with his arrogance concerning issues such as the Confederate flag and the outer Perimeter put together the most unlikely coalition to ever vote in Georgia. For the first time ever, Georgia teachers stood together. That, coupled with the rednecks and concerned homeowners, is what put ol' Roy out of business. I wonder if Sonny knows that no one voted for him, they just voted against Roy!
Keep it to yourself
Hollis, dear, just face it: Some people ought not reproduce (Moodswing, "You have to be tough," Feb. 9).
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