If you send someone you've never met a letter, you probably feel the need to communicate something. If you send them another one, I guess that means you're becoming pen pals.
T.B.S., who wrote me pages of colorful comments about his feelings about the NAACP and Trayvon Martin, apparently felt he had more to share. So a couple of days later, he got his colored pens back out and posted several more pages of burning thoughts:
Here is the text of my Letter to the Editor in the P & C that began this flurry of activity:
As a girl growing up in the ’60s in Rhode Island, I knew there were places I had better not walk. Even so, I was about 10 years old and walking to the library one day when a car with several men drove by and I had what I think was a soda can thrown at me.I recall as a teen-ager and then a young woman that when a woman was raped, she was asked what she was doing in that neighborhood, at that time, by herself, with those clothes on.
Now that the trial of George Zimmerman is over, I am not only reminded of how women were blamed for being attacked, I am thinking about my son who is now 21, not that much older than Trayvon Martin when he was shot and killed.
Imagine your teen-age boy walking any street, dressed as teen-agers do, in the early evening hours. And then imagine that he realizes that he is being followed.
He tries to ignore it, and then panics. He makes a phone call to alert a friend and in his fear and anger describes his pursuer in angry language that you or I might use under those circumstances. Finally, feeling confused and trapped, he decides to fight.
Trayvon Martin was standing his ground.
George Zimmerman was not being pursued. He was not at home protecting himself and his family. He was the pursuer.
By attacking Zimmerman, Trayvon Martin was standing his ground and died because apparently in Florida an adult man with a gun trumps a teenage boy attempting to defend himself from a pursuer with his hands.
Agnes F. Pomata, Ph.D.
Nowhere in the letter I wrote did I talk about race, or refer to the NAACP. This letter was about violence directed at women and teenagers, and the fact that carrying guns with our government's approval has made the violence more deadly.
But my letter came from Wadmalaw Island, and I have an unusual name, and I talked about my son -- T.B.S. has assumed that I am myself African American, which I am not.
The rage that these missives convey chill me. Particularly because they were written by someone who is insane (has poor boundary control) and has focused his considerable hatred on black Americans. If this is a man with a gun, and it well may be, there is a good chance he will someday use it.
And people like Chief Justice John Roberts, who believes we live in a post-racial America, will never have a close-up view of that irrational hatred, or be in danger from such a disturbed individual, because he is protected on many levels. As a chief justice, his life is sheltered, and as a white man, he will never be the focus of that blind rage that people of color in this country struggle with every day.
As the easily identified minority, black Americans are not only vilified and feared, but are targets of hatred. My pen pal knows not to send his letters to the P & C, but he still carries that rage. Let's hope that the only weapons he uses are those colored pens.