Outraged by Liddell email
Where, oh where does one even begin to respond to Martha Liddell’s ridiculous email to Birney Imes? I suppose that I could start with disbelief that she called him not just a racist, but a “bigoted racist.” A bit redundant, perhaps, but it does get her point across. Unfortunately for Dr. Liddell, anybody who is even remotely familiar with The Commercial Dispatch or Birney Imes knows that this accusation is so totally out there as to be almost funny…except it’s not. When you pull that race card, you need to be able to prove it. Calling someone a racist because you are angry with their criticism only serves to hurt people who are truly victims of racism. Calling Birney Imes a racist is like calling Rush Limbaugh a left-wing liberal.
The second accusation, that “you and The Commercial Dispatch have serious issues and agendas against female leadership” is equally preposterous. As a woman and a business owner, I think this statement angers me even more. I have been in positions of leadership many times, and never once when I was criticized (and there were many times) did I try to make the excuse, “it’s because I am female.” My suggestion to Dr. Liddell here would be: If you can’t take the heat, get out of the kitchen.
Now, on to Birney’s “life of privilege.” I have to point out here that he could have sent his children to any schools that his heart desired. He sent them to Columbus City Schools. He could live in a gated community or a country estate. He lives one street over from me on Southside. He could retire tomorrow, shutter The Dispatch and travel the world. He chooses to stay and provide our community with a newspaper that is a vital resource to those of us who care about what is going on in our city and state.
I know that I am not the only one outraged at Dr. Liddell’s letter. I hope that all of us who are angered that the person who wrote this is leading our school system will start to attend the school board meetings and hold her accountable for her actions. A good leader leads by example. Throwing out accusations of racism and sexism that are totally unfounded sets a horrible example for the board and for the school children she is charged with overseeing. And while I am on this subject, how does somebody with a doctorate in education write a letter that is so full of grammatical errors that it sometimes does not make sense? Had I received this letter, the first thing that I would have done is correct it with a red pen and sent it back to her, which proves one more thing. Not only is Birney not a racist, he is a lot more gracious than I am.
The Dispatch Editorial Board is made up of publisher Peter Imes, columnist Slim Smith, managing editor Zack Plair and senior newsroom staff.