Sometimes I feel compelled to speak truth to power although in my experience all i get out of it is the satisfaction of having spoken out. Today I sent this e-mail to the ombudsman of The Washington Post. What do you want to bet that I will get a response–a buck? I am not holding my breath. Big city media has bigger fish to fry. In fact, small town media is not frying this particular fish at all and I am afraid that citizen journalism has yet to register on the consciousness of town officials. Anyway, here it is is, such as it is. Wait–is that a Post reporter knocking on my door. This is not about me, mind you. This is about rich and poor, voiceless and vocal, town and gown, city and small town., This is is not Darfur, but it is, damn it, in its own way, universal.
“Dear Mr. Alexander,
The Post has given Shepherdstown much positive publicity in the past. I feel that it has played a role in attracting tourists to with its coverage of the Contemporary American Theater Festival and by painting an overall rosy picture of the community.
I wonder if you would consider calling your reporters’ attention to the fact the Shepherdstown has a whole ‘nother side that might be of interest to readers of your paper. I call your attention to the article about athletes in the current issue of Shepherd University’s The Picket. University students’ hooliganism and its effects on permanent residents of this community is just one of the ugly little truths yet to get any air time in Post. Add to that the drug trade,untrained, ill paid police force–Shepherdstown does not have 27/7 police coverage. response time is said to be thirty minutes minimum– the push to gentrify neighbourhood to the exclusion of the elderly, the poor and racial minorities and these folks from the met area who see only the cute sight of our little Brigadoon might be better prepared to make an informed decision when they look for housing in our little Brigadoon. For example, due to unplanned growth, town residents will have to pay for a new water plant in the near future. The cost has to be absorbed not only by transplanted DC are DINKS but by residents living below the poverty level.”
cc: Shepherd University President and Board of Governors, Mayor and Town Council, and our representative, at Charleston, WV. Gotta go. A bevy of pols is on a fact finding mission to find out if we actually have crime in the lusty little village. This, I gotta see.