Reader feedback on a seemingly innocuous item

I found this voicemail quite interesting.

The caller was referring to a tidbits column, titled Random Thoughts, that was published Wednesday in the Sports section of The Record and on recordnet.com. The column contains tidbits about various sports-related items.

You can read the full column by clicking here.

The caller didn’t like it.

He stated (in no particular order):

  1. That he was tired of me writing about race.

  2. That he was qualified to say the above because his wife is black and she too is tired of me writing about race.

  3. That I am stoking the fires of racial hatred and separatism by writing about race.

  4. That I was not qualified to write about sports.

  5. That if he knew who owned The Record he would have me fired.

I had someone else review that column and he could find no direct reference to race in it.

My guess is this is what the caller was referring to:

It’s hard to ignore the $250,000 cost of Vice President Mike Pence’s trip to Indianapolis for last Sunday’s 49ers-Colts game. It’s one thing to stay for the game, no issue with that as the Colts honored Peyton Manning, a two-time Super Bowl champion and first-ballot lock for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. What makes it difficult is that Pence walked out before the game began in protest of the NFL players protest during the national anthem. It’s not as if it was unexpected that the players would do that.

I viewed that note as being about something that happened at a football game.

Any interpretation of it as being about race is through your own filter.

It goes to an ongoing discussion I have been having with a number of people about how others are emboldened to step out of the shadows with their putridity.

I listened to the entire voicemail, in part to see if the caller would leave a name and callback number. Of course, he did not. People like that never do.

But here’s how I would respond to that caller (also in no particular order):

  1. In this case, I was not writing about race, I was writing about a waste of taxpayers money at a football game. But I am going to continue writing about race.

  2. My wife is black, too.

  3. Racial hatred does not come from me writing about racial issues.

  4. I am a journalist with 36 years of experience at professional newspapers. I can write about pretty much any topic with authority.

  5. Gatehouse Media is the corporate operator of The Record.

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  • Blog Author

    Don Blount

    Don Blount has been managing editor of The Record since 2005. He has worked at newspapers in Modesto, Ca.; Sacramento, Denver and Allentown, Pa. A Philadelphia native, he is a graduate of Lehigh University with a degree in accounting and a minor in ... Read Full

    Mike Klocke

    Mike Klocke is editor of The Record. He is a native of Michigan and graduated from Michigan State University in 1978 with a degree in journalism. He has worked at newspapers in Michigan, Indiana, Florida and California. He was named editor of The ... Read Full
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