Hate in Southwest Virginia????

From: J.Wareagle@verizon.net
To: karen.trout@roanoke.com

Your recent editorial about hate and bigotry in the Roanoke area caught me by complete surprise since during my career I have worked in Roanoke as well as throughout the country. Far from it, Roanoke and the South in general are far more harmonious than other states. This isn’t just my observation, it’s fact. I know "Journalists" are supposed to check the facts before pontificating to the rest of us unwashed Plebeians. Maybe a look at the FBI Uniform Crime Report will shed some light over this Hate issue. It began under the administration of Bill Clinton and Janet Reno and has proved to be a beacon of truth that shines through all the anti-Southern bigotry, anti-Christian bigotry, hypocrisy, and even the racism Southerners have endured since the very beginning of the nation.

I see the writer is from the huge metropolis of Bend, Oregon. Well, I’ve been to Bend and it’s not exactly the scene of love and harmony. The timber industry he talks about collapsing collapsed because of the mythical Spotted Owl purges which sent many timber companies in bankruptcy. Funny how Spotted Owls were found to prefer Wal-Mart signs to old growth timber! The good people of Oregon then enacted a draconian law that forbade a person from pumping his own gas. See, it was a socialistic way to provide employment for all the displaced timber workers. They were reduced to pumping gas for bewildered visitors from Texas. In his nirvana of Oregon with a population of about 3 1/2 million people, they had 155 Hate Crimes. Virginia, on the other hand, had a precisely nearly equal number in line with the population. The Virginia population of 7.4 million had 307 hate crimes. I strongly suspect the elimination of the Washington, DC area from the report would show the rest of Virginia and certainly your beautiful and very Southern Roanoke falling in with the low number of Hate Crimes of the rest of the South.

Just where is the Hate in America? I’ve found it and it’s the FBI, who is my source, in their Uniform Crime Report at www.fbi.gov. In 2004, there were a total of 7,649 Hate Crimes committed. The entire "Old Confederacy" which, by the way, includes Texas, the 2nd most populated state and Florida, the 4th most populated, had total of 1262 Hate Crimes. Lets’ go down the "Infamous List of Hate" in the US and find out exactly where it really is.

California was far and away Number One with 1393 Hate Crimes! More than the entire Confederacy! Number 2 is New Jersey with 769, 3rd is Michigan with 556, 4th is New York with 386, 5th is Ohio with 353, and the great Commonwealth of Massachusetts with a sixth place of 346 hate crimes. Going through another Hate Crime Report a few years back, I discovered that Fresno, California had more Hate Crime than the entire state of Mississippi! The numbers show that loosely with less than 30% of the population the South has a Hate crime rate of less than half the rest of the country! I also make the point that most of the African-American population lives in the South and that is some proof that African-American Southerners as well as White Southerners get along generally pretty well as neighbors, friends, and co-workers unlike more "enlightened" and segregated areas of the North and the West Coast. Texas, for comparison, had 309 Hate crimes with the 2nd most US population, BTW.

So where is the Hate? Is it in Southwest Virginia? I don’t think so! It is in the minds of hateful anti-Southern bigots who fantasize and project their own hateful bigotry on us Southerners. Travel and experience have told me where hateful people in this country live and the FBI confirms it. I’m attaching the link to the FBI site for your "entertainment".

http://www.fbi.gov/ucr/cius_04/offenses_reported/hate_crime/index.html

Jim Walters
Lewisville, Texas

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