An answer to my critics

August 2, 2013

After my recent letter to the Bladen Journal, I have had to defend myself against allegations of being racist and prejudice. I was advised to let it go, but I simply cannot do that.

Do not attempt to call me a racist. I am far from being a racist. I was not brought up to be that kind of person. And it still applies as I approach the beginning of my sixth decade of life.

I have participated and marched in rallies that included, as speaker, the Rev. Ralph Abernathy; social and political activist Angela Davis; and Yvonne Braithwaite-Burke, among others.

I have been a former member of the American Friends Service Committee, the American Civil Liberties Union and the Southern Poverty Law Center, among many other groups and organizations.

I have been a member of the Democratic Party since 1972 when I cast my vote for Sen. George McGovern during his ill-fated campaign against Richard M. Nixon for the U.S. presidency. I supported and voted for former Charlotte Mayor Harvey Gantt twice when he campaigned against Jesse Helms for the U.S. Senate from North Carolina. I also supported the Rev. Jesse Jackson when he attempted to receive the Democratic nomination for president back in the 19980s.

And I have been married to a woman of color for more than a decade.

We can all disagree with each other, but to decide what a person is and what a person feels while not even knowing the person is beyond comprehension and beyond common respect or common decency. It is God’s wishes that we all love one another … “Judge not, lest ye be judged.”

I have been writing letters to newspapers for more than 40 years. I refuse to stop now simply because people disagree. This is still America.

I have a kind, which I will use until I can no longer use it.

Michael John Kelly