Ronnie Strength was already a popular guy in town. But well-wishers flooded the sheriff's home and office phones this week after he filed a lawsuit against reckless, race-baiting radio talk show host "Ryan B."
Strength's lawsuit claims the talk show host, whose real name appears to be Brian L. Doyle, libeled and slandered the sheriff by calling him a murderer.
Apparently, Doyle was referring back to a 1974 case in which a man was fatally shot by a sheriff's investigator during a scuffle. Problem is, Strength says, he wasn't even on the force at the time: Strength says he was operations manager at J.B. White's department store.
Despite that somewhat relevant piece of information, Doyle allegedly broadcast that Strength was involved in "killing black folk" just like his parents and grandparents.
The thing is, that might be Doyle's view of all white people. He just happened to go after Strength.
"He has caused, since being here, more friction between the black and white communities than anybody I've ever seen," Strength said Wednesday. "Black leaders around town tell me the same thing. He's doing terrible, terrible things for this community.
"I'm not going to sit back and take it."
The question is, why have so many others? Why does it take alleged libel and slander against good citizens for this community to rise up and say enough's enough? And why has purported "gospel" station WAAW in Aiken allowed such toxic material to spew from its foul smokestack over the river into Augusta? Doyle has called good people in this town every name in the book, and has done his best to pit blacks against whites and to punish black leaders who reach out to their white brethren. This is a gospel station?
Augusta has worked diligently to bring people of all races together for a unified and prosperous future - much too diligently to allow reckless racist rubbish to pollute the air. Indeed, Strength's well-wishers largely are black citizens who are fed up with Doyle's poison, the sheriff says.
Lots of folks seem delighted that Sheriff Strength is willing to go to the mat for his good reputation.
Is the rest of Augusta?