I can not tell you how disappointed I was when I read today’s editorial that you thought was significant enough to put atop the front page.
So many of my friends have quit taking the paper out of sheer disgust with the slanted views you often present. I love our local paper and hope it will continue for many years.
Everyone should be appalled at the comments coming from “our” mayor. He has made the campaign strictly a race issue and is race baiting his constituents to his advantage.
He could never have been elected fifteen years ago without white support.
For years, we have watched Columbus drift closer and closer to becoming the next Macon or Aberdeen. When Joe Higgins came here, he drastically started to turn things around. But lo and behold, all the newcomers that came with the industry chose Starkville over Columbus for obvious reasons.
We never dreamed that we would ever be competing with Starkville for our survival.
Now, finally, one brave soul has decided to seriously challenge the mayor and you have done nothing to help him. You should be endorsing him as any newspaper in your position would have already done.
Keith Gaskin is a former employee of yours and the owners of the paper know what a fine person he is. There isn’t a racist bone in his body.
You insinuate that Keith has something to do with the mayor muddying the race.
You can not cite one single example of anything that Keith has done that has not been above board and honest. He has plenty of followers who are black and that is what is upsetting the mayor.
You say that the race should be more than a black-white campaign. Who said it had anything to do with race? YOU! The only reason so many people are excited about Keith running for mayor is because he is an honest and dedicated citizen who wants to turn this city around. That will benefit everyone, no matter what race you want to pin on them.
Your closing paragraphs are the most disheartening.
“Unless the tone and conduct of this campaign change dramatically and swiftly, the election will divide rather than unify Columbus.”
“The people of our city, both Black and white (why not capitalize white?) alike, will be losers regardless of who is chosen mayor.”
Again, you can not cite one instance of Keith doing any such thing but you lump him in with what the mayor is doing. The city will be immensely better off with Keith Gaskin as mayor despite your careless declarations.
Bob Raymond, Columbus
Publisher Peter Imes responds: Mr. Raymond seems to have misunderstood the editorial he references. To be clear, our editorial was not critical of Mr. Gaskin. Instead, it pointed a finger at the divisive tactics of A Better Columbus and the racially one-sided campaigning of Mayor Robert Smith as pushing the election in a racially polarizing direction, away from the many important issues this city faces. ABC is not the same as Keith Gaskin. Regarding the capitalization of “Black,” The Dispatch follows grammar usage and style as defined by the Associated Press Stylebook. Last year, the AP made a decision to capitalize Black because it defines a specific racial and ethnic background, similar to Latino, Native American and Asian American. The decision was admittedly controversial.