An opinion letter published by the Paris News shines more negative light on a controversial small Texas town.
Paris, Texas (WiredPRNews.com) – A recent opinion letter published by a local newspaper has angered some residents of the town of Paris, Texas. In a letter to the editor of The Paris News regarding the current U.S. president, James Atkinson made an assertion that African Americans should not call themselves African American, or move out of the country if they choose to do so.
Atkinson is quoted in his letter, which was published on Oct. 12, as stating, “Just for the record, I’ve been here for 58 years and as of now I’ve yet to see a real Afro-American; the Blacks who were born here in the United States are Black Americans. If you want the title of Black African-American, you will have to move back to Africa. End of story.”
Paris resident Dorothy Lyons expressed disbelief that the town’s major news source would publish a letter she deems highly offensive to African Americans, regardless of it being placed in the opinion section. Lyons states, “This is an example of why we have been in the news so much about race problems here.” Lyons further notes, “What is the point of his letter? What about it would make them say this is something that everyone needs to read. If the KKK sent in a letter calling us all the n-word, would they publish that too?”
Paris, Texas is not new to controversy regarding race matters. Several individuals gathered for a protest in July regarding what many claimed was an inadequate investigation into the death of a 24 year-old black man, who some say was dragged by members of a white supremacist group. The case remains unsolved.
Lyons says that the publication of the letter is an illustration of how many people in the town have become tolerant of certain forms of racism. “It’s sad to say, but it’s business as usual in Paris. Whenever there is a protest, you hear people black and white trying to claim there is no racism in Paris. Too many people here are comfortable keeping blinders on.”
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