To the Editor:
I cannot recall being more surprised at a newspaper’s headline than I was in reaction to the Statesman Journal’s March 9 edition. There, covering an entire half-page, was a photo of an African-American woman who works for Salem Hospital as its human resources manager, along with a caption in capital letters, “A MATTER OF HATE.”
Among my surprises regarding the article was that it went far beyond subtle, suggesting rather directly that Salem is a racist community where non-whites are not welcome. Personal experience limits, it’s true, however, I worked for state of Oregon agencies for a total of 21 years and, while my fellow employees and those with whom I directly worked were of African-American, Asian-American, American-Samoan, American Indian origin, among respected and valued others, never did I hear one of them report that he or she found bullets on their desks and written invitations to leave the area …or else!
I am convinced that this sort of thing being thrown in the face of the community does no good at all and in fact probably sours race relations. My thought on the matter: Get the facts in hand and determine the guilty person(s) before passing judgment on an entire community.
This piece in a local paper is viewed by this writer as amateurish and sensationalistic. In no way does it represent the Statesman Journal’s finest journalistic hour. Rather, opinion here finds, it shames it.
Gene H. McIntyre