Letters to the editor

These letters are in response to Zak Cummins’ commentary titled, “Student objects to MLK legacy,” which appeared in the Tuesday, Feb. 18 edition of the Herald.

‘Disgusted’ by King portrayal

I am appalled, disgusted and a number of other angry adjectives concerning your hurtful portrayal of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

It’s fitting that some white kid with access to a public forum like the Herald would use his voice to try and decimate the character of one of the few positive African-American role models we have.

I appreciate the way he thinks the whole world is stupid and he is somehow in-the-know by implying that King and his cronies duped us into thinking King’s some kind of faultless god.

The love and respect we have for him is in his message, and it far outweighs any indiscrepancies you vomit out in your obvious attempt to discredit him because he’s black and he’s ours.

No, I take that back. I don’t know what the reason behind your seventh grade-level article is, and I don’t care.

My question is, why chose black history month to suddenly come into the know?

And why not present a more positive message about an African American? That is what this month calls for, not poorly disguised bigotry.

Reba Gatewood

Bowling Green freshman

Keep hate out of the Herald

There are a few flaws in Cummins’ article that should be addressed.

•The article criticizes Martin Luther King Jr. for having friends who were associated with Communism. First of all, has this been proven? Why are there no examples? Second, lots of people have friends who are less than perfect. One example comes to mind: Jesus.

•The rioting quotation was taken out of context. See MLK’s “A Letter from Birmingham Jail.” King did not support violence, but he did warn that some people would resort to violence out of desperation. He wasn’t advocating anything. He was stating a fact that had been empirically proven.

•The Web site Cummins cited contends that King may have had an affair. Even if this is true, how does it make King’s work any less important? It doesn’t change what he did. Ironically, this has happened a time or two before. Look at former President Bill Clinton, Kentucky Gov. Paul Patton or countless other public officials.

•Finally, look to the one source from which all of this evidence was taken. The Web site calls the civil rights movement “un-American and subversive,” and a Communist plot to destabilize America. It contends that the MLK holiday opens the door to revolution and progress. It implies that people who are oppressed don’t care, and the civil rights movement is just “dirty Commies” starting trouble.

The webmaster, Vincent Breeding, works for the White Nationalist News Agency. The domain name is Stormfront, which boasts the slogan “White Pride World Wide.”

Let’s keep the hate speech out of the Herald.

Jenny Corum

Auburn sophomore,

Misty Gilmore

Elizabethtown junior

King was imperfect, but so what?

At once, Zak Cummins achieved two goals.

First, his column on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was the most botched, misguided and downright stupid collection of words I’ve ever read.

Second, he makes me ashamed to be a Western alumnus, for fear that others think his ridiculous views are similar to my own.

No matter what side of the political fence you’re on, I think we can agree that it is important for society to present young people with positive role models.

Dr. King tried to make America a country not of violence and hatred, but of understanding God’s love for all people.

You claimed to be a print journalism major, so I immediately took notice. Check with some professors about the brilliance of centering your research around some wacko’s private Web site. Read a few more books — maybe even some reputable ones. What you find out might surprise you.

Why should anyone care what MLK’s legal name was? And despite your assertions against his credibility, King was awarded his doctorate. That means he’s one Ph.D. ahead of a certain ignorant columnist.

And even if King had an affair or was involved in plagiarism, so what? No one mistakes King for Jesus.

King was an imperfect man. But rather than detracting from his peaceful legacy, perhaps his imperfection adds something to it.

Joe Cox


Succeeded only at being a jerk

Every time someone succeeds, someone else is always there waiting to bring them down.

I do not know Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s personal history, but I do know the difference between my life and the life my father lived growing up in rural Mississippi. And that is why we celebrate MLK Day.

Moral character is not the only reason King is worthy of acknowledgement. If that were the case, then every president, senator, congressman, governor and mayor that participated in, condoned, or encouraged slavery should be wiped from our history books.

You just found the chance to sling some dirt and strike the nerves of every black student on campus. Well, congratulations, you’ve succeeded at being a jerk.

MLK is recognized because he had a vision. Dr. King made people realize that their lives were worth more than back doors and low-class education. He made other races see that black people had nothing to be ashamed of and there was no reason why we should be treated like it. What has Mr. Cummins contributed to the world around you besides negative commentaries?

Every time I go home to Mississippi and listen to my grandmother’s stories about growing up, every time I see the family members who ran as far as Detroit and Los Angeles to get away from the hatred, and every time I realize that I will never have to live the life they lived, I will remember Dr. King’s dream.

And I will celebrate, with or without you.

Sylvia Johnson

Louisville senior

Cummins ignored basic facts

Was Martin Luther King Jr. a perfect man? Of course not. But are any of us?

Cummins’ commentary ignores some basic facts as to why King has a day in his honor.

Without the work of King…

•Numerous aspects of our culture would still be separate and unequal.

•African Americans would still not be able to vote across the South.

•A large segment of our society would still be treated as less-than-second-class citizens.

It’s obvious that Mr. Cummins thinks these facts have no merit. And while King may have said a riot is “the language of the unheard,” I cannot recall an instance when he called for riots, as King’s tactics of civil disobedience were based on a model of Gandhi.

Perhaps Cummins would prefer a holiday in honor of someone else.

What about Trent Lott and Strom Thurmond Day? After all, if Thurmond had been elected, we wouldn’t have all these problems. Right, Zak?

Or George Wallace Segregation Today, Segregation Tomorrow, Segregation Forever Day, because that Commie King did nothing for the advancement of basic human rights. Right, Zak?

Or what about Turn Back the Clock and Break Out Your White Sheet Retro Day! While a “degenerate adulterer” certainly doesn’t deserve a day in his honor, cowards who hide behind white sheets and terrorize innocent people do. Right, Zak?

And the last time I checked, President’s Day honors not only George Washington, but Abraham Lincoln and our other past presidents.

But maybe you’d like that changed to Bull Connors Day.

David Serafini


Department of History

Cummins should have checked his sources

As suggested by Mr. Cummins in the Feb. 18 commentary “Student Objects to MLK Legacy,” I checked out the Web site that he credited as reliable information.

What I found shocked me, not only because of content, but because Mr. Cummins took all that was reported on the Web site as gospel truth.

The Web site provided is supported by a group called the “Civil Rights Library.”Aside from not providing any type of contact information, they do not state a purpose for its creation, as most credible Web sites do.

As I continued to explore the Web site, I realized why. It was not supported by a group, but rather by a man by the name of David Duke. A closer look revealed that Duke is a white supremacist who is not only anti-African American, but also anti-Semitic.

Duke is a former Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan and currently describes himself as an “activist for the rights of European Americans.” He further states on the Web site that “belief in racial equality is the modern scientific equivalent of believing the earth is flat” and that the Holocaust was a hoax that never occurred.

My main concern is not Mr. Cummins’ views but rather the way he chose to support them. The lesson here: Don’t believe everything you read on the Internet. Since Cummins is a junior, one would think he would have learned as much by now.

Clarissa Jackson

Frankfort senior

Cummins should learn to verify facts

Poet Edith Sitwell once said, “The public will believe anything, so long as it is not founded in fact.”

Sadly, when I opened The Herald on Tuesday, I realized the truth of that statement.

When I read the opinion piece by Zak Cummins, I was compelled to check his “credible” Internet source.

When I first viewed MartinLutherKing.org I was greeted with a banner that read “New Rap Lyrics.” That immediately raised an eyebrow, as most credible, scholarly Web sites do not offer links to the newest Eminem or 50 Cent lyrics.

I continued to explore, and was greeted with quotes that supposedly motivate African Americans to rape and murder white people.

As I continued to click, I was amazed to find articles from former Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan David Duke and a libelous article that claimed author Alex Haley plagiarized his novel, “Roots.”

I am not angered by Cummins’ statements, merely his ignorance when choosing a “credible” source.

Perhaps he should learn to verify his sources or even to inform the reader that his piece is based upon the ideologies of current and former members of the Ku Klux Klan.

Alaina Green

Livermore senior