Wednesday, September 19, 2007

The urge to flee

Sigh. I signed my name, along with four friends, to a letter to the editor of the local newspaper. We were commenting on an article recently published on the front page of said paper. The article reproduced racist stereotypes in a really shockingly blatant manner.

Anyway, so, five of us wrote a letter to the editor. And now some blinking IDIOT reporter who works at the paper (not the one who wrote the original piece) has written an infuriated and belligerent letter back to us. Not in the paper, mind, but sent to our personal emails. In which she calls us to task, saying that we are "burying our heads in the sand" and refusing to talk about racism, commanding us to, quote, "justify our actions," etc. When the bloody point of the letter is that we must talk about racism. She doesn't even understand the letter we wrote. For fuck's sake. The calibre of journalism in this city is so low that the reporter is practically illiterate. And thinks it's acceptable professional practice to send aggressive personal correspondence to writers of letters to the editor. Oy. You know, this place is quickly losing its Potential and becoming Scary City once again - around the time the offending article appeared, there was an egregious set of political decisions made that just make me sick. The better response, I know, would be to rouse my activist energies.


Anyway. My mother arrives tomorrow. For five days. This will be the longest I've spent with her in years. I remember going away with her for about four days, ten years ago. Otherwise, I've never spent more than a couple of days at a time with her. And we know how I get around my mother. This is going to be challenging. I really don't have time to play tourist with her, but I must do so at least some of the time. She doesn't drive, so she asked me to rent a car. So I must drive us on scenic outings. Eek. It all feels a little anxious - like the fact that I have 90 minutes between my two classes tomorrow, and I must during that time drive to the airport to pick her up, and then stash her in the office while I teach. Well, it shall all be a balancing act, that's all I can say.


Thoroughly Educated said...

Yergh. (That's a noise of double exasperation on your behalf.) Sending hugs and fortitude your way.

Dr. Shellie said...

on the bright side... does that mean you have found 4 like-minded friends in your new town already? not bad.

What Now? said...

Wow -- I'm really shocked by the email from the reporter. Are you going to inform the editor-in-chief of this completely unprofessional act?

Good luck with the mom visit. Sounds like a challenge, on top of the other challenges you're already facing.

adjunct whore said...

i'm so sorry hilaire, about the illiterate journalism and the too-long visit with mom. i'm thinking of you.

Earnest English said...


I agree with the above that maybe the right thing to do is to notify the editor of the paper about the unprofessionalism of this dorko journalist. I totally hear you about Potential turning into Scary City again. Activist energies are, I think, easier to tap into once one feels authentically connected to the community -- and how can you be there yet scant months into everything?

Momvisits. Ugh. Good luck. I hope you still manage to get some time for yourself. We should think of a lovely gift for you after Mom goes away. Something really wonderful that will begin to fill you back up. (Sorry -- it's bad metaphor day.) I'll be thinking of you.

medieval woman said...

I will second EE's hug!


I'm furious just hearing about that stupid reporter's email - have you contacted her and given her a piece of your mind? It sounds like she could use one - she's misplaced her own!

Good luck with your mom's visit!!

Hilaire said...

Thanks, all, for the hugs and well wishes.

I haven't done anything about the letter we received from the journalist, yet. One of my friends talked to her on the phone - "justified her actions" - and apparently the woman was a pussycat by the end. I think we *should* alert her superiors, it's true - I just don't have the energy for it right now. But thank you for confirming to me how outrageous it was.

Momvisit is going okay. I am managing to keep a lid on...myself. And have woken up before her this morning and bucked up to be even better today. Fortitude!