Originally created 04/14/02

Defaming letter a threat to freedom

I was astonished to read the March 26 letter by Rick Sangston ("Senator sets bad example of Southern hospitality"). Mr. Sangston accused Sen. Charles Walker, D-Augusta, of behavior befitting anything other than a gentleman during a recent golf outing at the Mount Vintage Golf Course in Edgefield, S.C. I happened to be one of the players in the group that day.

Again, someone other than Mr. Walker hit the ball, and he did so quite unintentionally and regrettably. Any golfer knows that these things, unfortunately, do happen. What is more unfortunate is for someone to take these unfortunate incidents away from the golf course and harass through the media.

This kind of harassment is highly inappropriate under any circumstances, and certainly in these troubled times that all Americans are now facing. When you cannot go out for an enjoyable round of golf without being harassed, things have gotten bad.

If you think the threat to our freedom is not real, consider the following: Sen. Walker invited friends to play golf with him at a course where he has a membership, and look what happened. Later, someone got caught up in the "let's get Charles Walker" frenzy and wrote a defaming letter to the editor. That kind of behavior is a severe threat to everyone's freedom. If you don't think so, you had better rethink it. It could happen to you.

Mr. Sangston does not seem to realize that the old hierarchy that erroneously established the "gentleman" status based on where people lived, what they looked like, what gender they were, how much money they had, has collapsed. It "went with the wind." With the help of God, it gave away to the relentless burden of common sense, civility, decency and the forceful tide of fair play. Thank goodness.

Roscoe Williams, Augusta


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