Dear Mr. Parker,

I must disagree with you on demanding that Zane be fired – and hence, silenced.

To begin with, to make that demand is nothing less than to advocate censorship. Zane has the right to his beliefs and to express them – however ignorant they may be. That is guaranteed by the First Amendment of the Constitution. Indeed, Southern heritage is under constant assault by people like Zane who want those same rights denied to us. We cannot then demand that we be allowed to keep our rights while demanding that he be denied his. However, while he is within his right to demand censorship, no one has the right to grant that demand. Hence, in good conscience, any boycott based upon the premise that the newspaper fire (silence) Zane is unjust, unconstitutional and distinctly “un-Southern” given your historical struggle for individual freedom.

What then is to be done in this egregious case of “heritage bashing” – that is the question! Well, certainly people can stop reading the newspaper; they can cancel their subscription and make public their reason. That is their right. Furthermore, they can inform the advertisers why they have stopped reading it. That isn’t censorship but the constitutionally guaranteed freedom of the expression of one’s own beliefs. That is one course of action. However, to my mind, the cause would be better served by politely requesting that the newspaper print a rebuttal column of equal length and exposure. This would allow us to respond at length to Zane’s comments and get our point across to any who are willing to give objective consideration to both sides.

Now, of course, if the newspaper refuses this request, then you have every right to openly boycott the publication because it has shown a prejudice to one side of an important cultural, social and political issue. In other words, the publication is now the mouthpiece of the “anti-Southern” movement and chooses not to permit our side to be heard and as such, you have every right – indeed duty – to withdraw your economic support.

I understand your rage and frustration. Unfortunately, the nation has been so long in the hands of our enemies that every day some new outrage is perpetrated seemingly without causing a ripple in the cultural mindset. That is a great misfortune. However, we cannot address that fact by attempting to silence such outrages. First, we have not the power to do so. Secondly – and more important – we have not the right to do so under the Constitution. Third, we teach nothing to the culture but our own impotence using this tactic. Better by far to let them opine and then to destroy their spurious reasoning with the light of truth and fact. Of course, for us to do that, the same publications that give a platform to the likes of Mr. Zane must afford our side one as well. If they do not, then that is the basis upon which we can – and must – act.

God bless you – and God bless the South.

Valerie Protopapas