Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

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May 10, 2013

OPINION: The Front Page Backstory: Because there's always more than what you see

Accusing reporter of racism isn't the whole story

(Continued)

JACKSONVILLE —

Hoping to put some context on the situation by figuring out who this person was, I searched the ETMC site for an employee with the name listed at the top of her email. No luck.

I tried googling her name and email address, both together and separately. Nothing.

I looked up driver's licenses in the Jacksonville area. Couldn't locate anything.

So, ultimately, I had no luck establishing what this woman's dog was in this particular hunt.

I have never (yet) traveled to the Middle East but have covered it extensively during my over 25 years as a reporter.

It is important to note I do understand the difference in distinction between, say, areas of Saudi Arabia and India. I made my bones in the mid-1990s covering the Muslim community in Arlington, Texas for the Arlington Morning News, pre-9/11.

During that time, I chronicled such important events celebrated there as Eid al-Adha, the "Festival Of Sacrifice" celebrated worldwide to honor — in praise of Allah — the willingness of the prophet Abraham to sacrifice his young first-born son Ishmael and Ishmael to being sacrificed.

My life's work also includes over 25 years of civil rights stories. In the late 1990s, I personally met and interviewed civil rights activist Rosa Parks — the African-American woman who refused on Dec. 1, 1955 to relinquish her bus seat to a white passenger — during an appearance she made in Denton prior to her 2005 death.

And going back to my college days, in 1990 I was the first Caucasian at Tarleton State University in Stephenville to join the Minority Mentors, a welcoming group for incoming freshmen of color. I was "Big Brother" to two students from that group — one of whom followed me into the field of journalism.

So I don't appreciate labels such as “racist” being tossed in my direction without proof or appropriate context.

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