Thursday, May 21, 2009

Dear Editor

Since the editor of our local Macon Chronicle Herald wouldn't publish my letter without me shortening it by 105 words, I thought I would share it with you.

Dear Editor:

An incident occurred on 9-26-08 which resulted in an elderly man losing his life. Charges of Involuntary Manslaughter were reduced to a Peace Disturbance violation. Do the citizens of Macon County not deserve answers?

After being hesitant to write this letter for fear of repercussions, I decided to go ahead. Surely if the death of a human being is justified by only a Peace Disturbance violation, I can express myself with fewer penalties. Oh, but wait. Isn't that what started the whole ordeal? Who would know? I am not sure any of the witnesses were able to share their eyewitness accounts with anyone other than the police. For that alone, I am disappointed.

The beautiful fall evening of 9-26-08 turned to bewilderment and sadness. I was startled to see an elderly man lying motionless as his dog paced protectively over his body. The events witnessed were not only disturbing to me, but also troublesome. There were several young people standing around just staring at the victim's body. When asked if any called 911, the responses seemed callous and uncaring. The number of young people walking from the scene as if they did not want to be accountable for what took place was disappointing. Very disturbing were the innocent children playing at the Jackson Street Park, only a few feet from the horrible incident. However, the most shocking was seeing the healthy young man screaming angrily as he walked from the crime scene for which his decision and actions resulted in the death of the victim.

There are numerous unanswered questions. Were the consequences suitable for the deadly action? Will measures be taken to prevent future displays of hostilities? Will the hands of law enforcement remain tied concerning aggressive/familiar youths within our community? How do we teach or assist the youths of today to calm emotions of anger? Scary isn't it? Hopefully precedence has not been established by the deadly events of 9-26-08.

I have always been proud to reside in Macon. It's a great place to live and raise a family. As citizens we have the duty to take care of our city and county. I am saddened by the quality of justice shown concerning the above mentioned events. Had a judge and jury been provided with information, maybe the community of Macon County would feel less outraged by the decision to violate for Peace Disturbance rather than Involuntary Manslaughter.

A Concerned Citizen,
Lisa D. P-----

I checked letters to the editor in the Moberly and Kirksville papers. Just recently someone wrote a letter to the Kirksville editor with well over 300 words. Moberly had the same.

The young man that I am speaking of is employed by the Macon Chronicle Herald. He delivers newspapers. Ironic isn't it? (Maybe I should amend that to, he had been. As of today's date, I cannot guarantee he still is employed there.)

There is no doubt the editor is a nice lady. When she asked me if I wrote this letter all by myself was almost too much for me to swallow. It was insulting. I could take my red ink pen and circle all of the typos I see in the paper. I won't because I cannot stand people who make corrections to prove others wrong. Maybe she thinks alterior motives. Maybe she thinks I cannot write. Or, maybe that's just her. When she told me there was a 300 word limit I was flabbergasted thinking about all of the letters I had read to the editor. No one told me that ever. She agreed she should probably put that info in the paper. Then she told me I was redundant, I could shorten it. I could. No doubt, I could. Why?

Then I think I shouldn't get irritated because this isn't the first time I've been in a game playing fairly when all of a sudden someone changes the rules. If this is the worst thing that happens to me this week, by golly, I've done okay. Maybe there is a reason to this madness. There's always a lesson to be learned and a voice to be heard...


Sue said...

Oh Boy this makes me this where the country is going? When you can't express your opinion without it being edited to what they want it to say...I read your original post about this poor man and couldn;t believe it then...I'd be happy to send a letter to the paper expressing my disgust for this kind of nonsense...just send me their address...I am a master of stirring up trouble...

Domestic Designer said...

What can I say? It is a sad commentary on world today.

Pat@Back Porch Musings said...

I think we are in for a lot of trouble these days, Lisa. A lot of trouble!!

Terri and Bob said...

Your letter is well written and the important points are repeated for emphasis. Your poor editor is trying to save her butt. Makes me wonder if she really believes in what the press is supposed to doing for the public: providing a voice for the ones who can't provide one for themselves.

Give Sue their address... I'd like to see what Macon would do with her letter!

Gayla said...

Go back and count the editorials and I'd bet some are way over 300 words. How rude of them. It is another case of "Macon County Line" all over again. Wow... I think things like this are just magically "swept" under some rock... how awful. Your letter was great.

Anonymous said...

You know I don't even think the papers want to take the time to get involved. Sometimes I think no one cares about anything any more. I commend you for writing the letter. We need more people in our communities like you. It's very sad what happened to that man. It's even more sad to think about the fact that this guy got away and will do it again.

Becca Watson said...

Your letter was great! I'd publish it for you if I could..

justabeachkat said...

You go girlfriend!! Well said! I hope your words (no matter the number!) are well written.

It's been hectic around my house for the last week so I haven't been by in awhile. It's been nice catching up with you.