I don't get very much in the way of hate mail for writing this blog. Generally, somone just disagrees vehemently with something I said or the way I characterize an issue. I guess that is fine, if I have the right to say it you have the right to call me an idiot for saying it. It's all about freedom, baby.
But what about getting threats for something I didn't write?
I was up at the newsroom this morning doing a little more work on a special Web thing for the Balor Lady Bears. Since I was there and it is my job, I answered the phone. A very elderly gentleman called to complain about the fact that we published a story in the Sunday paper about the recent book that came out, The First Waco Horror: The Lynching of Jesse Washington and the Rise of the NAACP.
We've talked about this book before. I think it's important to have this kind of thing out in the open. If people try to repress the past, I think all too often we are doomed to repeat our mistakes.
I'm not quite sure what is getting people so angry. This story wasn't editorializing about the event or the book. I guess it is the fact that it is a black mark on Waco's past and people would rather be blissfully ignorant or things that went on in the history of the South rather than face up to it and apologize. You can't just forget and move on after something like this particular lynching takes place.
Anyway, this person decided he would tell me that he and his friends were going to come down to the office and start some trouble and we should probably call the police to stop them. I took this to mean one of two things. One, this person was a complete psycho who didn't care what could possibly happen to him as long as he hurt somebody else to prove his point that what we published was indecent. Or two, this person was a coward who was just making idle threats to a stranger on the phone because he was unhappy and totally powerless to do anything about it.
I tend to go with option b in this situation. If he was going to do anything, he probably wouldn't warn us. At least I remember that much from Psychology class (I took a semester). So, we kind of joked about it and I told J.B. he probably shouldn't go outside, he could just sleep in the interview room on the couch from now on and eat powdered donuts from the snack machine. He asked me to get a sniper to cover him while he went to his car. Laughs all around.
Besides, this guy sounded old enough to have been at the lynching in 1916. I don't really feel that threatened by people who fall down without their walkers.
Anyway, that's how my morning has been. Total acceptance as a credentialed journalist and total rejection by some old guy.