This letter is in response to the article published about me in the April 8 edition of the Jacksonville Daily Progress.
At no point in my “disparaging” Facebook status did I indicate in any way that the location referred to was Jacksonville. As the article itself indicates, the story ran with no knowledge of the context of the comment. In actuality, the status was not directed at Jacksonville at all. The entire story builds from a false premise.
The “offending” status was made after watching a local news story wherein a small child — most likely from Anderson County, as that’s where the news story originated — referred to the Civil War as “Yankees killing a bunch of people over nothing.”
As one of those blood-thirsty Yankees, I took offense to that. I was angry, understandably, I believe, that a child living so close to where I will one day raise a family of my own could be indoctrinated at a young age with such ignorance and racial insensitivity.
The person masquerading as my Facebook “friend,” who immediately ran off to tattle on me to the paper and my boss, made no effort to understand my comment or to get the context behind it.
Anyone who had ventured to my Facebook page long enough to do the research for this story and to take the screen capture of my status which ran with it, would also have noticed that my wife immediately commented on my status and explained this all. For some reason this was not included in the story run by this paper.
If there is anger in the community because it appears that I may hate Jacksonville, then I apologize as that was not the intent at all. I certainly should have worded my status more carefully. However, knowing the proper context of the statement, I do not feel any shame for being disgusted by bigotry.
As anyone who knows me can attest, I enjoy living in Jacksonville immensely. During the nine months that I had a weekly column in the Sunday edition of the Progress, I even devoted one week’s column to writing about all the great things about this community.
On the contrary, over the years I have had numerous job opportunities which could have taken me elsewhere, yet I have always elected to stay here. If I hated this community I certainly would not have accepted a job working for the City. If I hated Jacksonville I could have left more than three years ago.
So again, I apologize for my choice of words, they were ill-advised and misleading. Please forgive me if I caused offense.
But I am forced to ask — is this really a front page news story? Surely the good people at the Progress could have better used the hours spent misrepresenting my Facebook status to track down some honest to goodness news, right?
EDITOR'S NOTE: The Daily Progress did speak personally with Kelly Young Thursday afternoon while researching the story in order to allow him comment and an explanation of the posting. However, he declined to do so.