December 11, 2013
To the editor:
I am sure you will receive hundreds of letters regarding the actions of the Pickens County Sheriff and I thank you for reading mine.
I hope that the readers of your paper will accept my comments in the spirit in which they are sent. I am sad that one man’s actions will influence the way the world looks at the good people of Pickens County, South Carolina.
Living in Toledo,Ohio, where elected officials and other colorful citizens have had a history of ill thought actions, I wanted to say I feel your pain. Enjoy the notoriety and economic gain from the ensuing publicity while it lasts, because the effect on how the rest of the country views you will last much longer.
I am sure that many local residents understand that President Nelson Mandela was a great world leader. Unfortunately, it would seem the Sheriff is not one of them. In leading South Africa to peace and reconciliation, Mandela prevented genocide and probable World War. Mandela understood, better than most, the cost of freedom and the responsibilities of leaders to ensure it for all the citizens of South Africa.
For this reason many nations have chosen to honor him. I am sure that most of the people who reside in Pickens County, and certainly the public servants, would follow the orders of President Barack Obama, the Commander-In-Chief of The United States of America, but the Sheriff of Pickens County was not one of them.
He chose to follow, in his own words, “my simple opinion.” I am sure that most of the residents of Pickens County, South Carolina will vote in upcoming elections. I hope they remember that everyone in America is entitled to their own opinion and we have the freedom to speak it. But you don’t have to vote for somebody whose opinion and subsequent actions shame your county,country, and President.