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to the Editor
Rainsford: EdgefieldDaily.com Editor "racist", a fake, and
Delivers scathing rebuke on day of funeral of family
posted January 16, 2009
I begin this letter by expressing my condolences to you and your family
on the death of Mrs. Adams. Although I never had the opportunity
to know her, I am sure that she was a fine woman. I have had the
occasion to come to know one of her grandsons fairly well, and if he
were her only legacy, it is a good one.
Secondly, I congratulate you on Edgefield Daily. I was in the
local newspaper business for eighteen years and therefore consider
myself a fairly knowledgeable observer of the industry. I believe
that the future of local newspapers lies entirely in on-line
publications. Not only does such a publication allow you to
publish daily – or even hourly – but it also has the advantage of
eliminating the two most expensive elements of newspaper production:
printing and distribution. I have no doubt that as the years go
by very few local newspapers will continue in the traditional printed
format. What you have created, has the potential to be a very
useful organ for our County and a very valuable asset for you.
However, I must say that I am very disappointed in your “Wandering
Minds” column. The way you operate this part of Edgefield Daily
is truly a cancer on our County. Yes, certainly you and other
readers would expect me to say this, given the inordinate attention
which I have received in Wandering Minds in recent weeks. The
incredible, venomous, hate-filled and libelous things which are said
about me in there every day are amazing.
It is very clear to me and to many others that you – and you alone –
are the author of the majority of the Wandering Minds comments. I
used to think that you were responsible for 90% of the postings.
However, in recent weeks, by careful analysis of the content and style,
I have concluded that you are probably not responsible for more than
60% of these postings, and that you have one, or maybe two, warped
cronies who are responsible for 30%. As for the rest who would
write ugly and hateful things in Wandering Minds under the cloak of
anonymity, they are despicable cowards who don’t have the courage to
stand behind their words. They should be ashamed of themselves.
You have repeatedly accused me of using intimidation to control the
Town and County Councils and other public bodies on issues before them
– all for my own evil ends. I don’t think that I have ever done
that, and I don’t think that you can name a single instance where I
have. In almost every case when I have promoted or supported an
idea before these public bodies, it has been for the benefit of the
public and not for me personally. When my efforts are successful
in bringing people to the decision that I thought they should make, it
is not because anyone is fearful of me – it is not because of any
threat of retaliation or retribution from me, but rather because logic
has carried the day: the people have realized the merits of the
idea and have realized that my motives are not selfish.
I have no objections to debating the merit of any issue with you.
That is fair game and the public will benefit from such debates.
In fact, I enjoy such debates and will be glad to take you on
anytime. What I object to is that each time you have disagreed
with an idea of mine, you have simultaneously unleashed a torrent of
personal and libelous invective against me in Wandering Minds. It
cuts on like a light and cuts off equally quickly when you have given
up the fight.
For example, after the recent Edgefield County School Board Meeting
which capped off unanimous votes of the Economic Development Committee,
the County Council, the School Board and the Legislative Delegation
supporting my idea on taxes on generating facilities (and opposing
yours), you apparently decided that you would look foolish to continue
your opposition to that proposal and thus my name ceased to appear in
Wandering Minds for nearly two whole weeks! Amazing!
More recently, when Mr. Brite appeared before County Council to voice
his complaints about me and Mount Vintage, you jumped at the chance to
reenergize your Wandering Minds campaign against me. Boy, are you
good at it! You have amazed even me with the breadth and depth of
your malignant invective! If your readers were to believe you, I
am the devil incarnate and the source of all evil in this County.
I have been around a long time, fought many battles and suffered
through tougher persecutions than you can dish out. I have a
well-documented track record of more than thirty years making positive
contributions to this County and the vast majority of our citizens know
in their hearts that the ridiculous charges that you have made against
me are totally without merit. So I am not worried about me.
What worries me, Roy, is that what you have accused me of – of using my
position or power to threaten and intimidate others – is exactly what
you are guilty of. In the recent “debate” over the merits of the
tax proposal for generating facilities, I found that my colleagues on
the Economic Development Committee who had agreed with and voted for
the idea were all afraid of becoming a target of yours and therefore
were unwilling to publicly support the effort as I came before the
It is not surprising that they were so concerned. We have all
witnessed the horrible, hate-filled and totally unjustifiable campaigns
which you have waged against Wayne Adams, Bill Hixon, Everette
Kitchens, John Pettigrew and many others. No one wants to be a
target of that kind of character assassination. Almost daily we
read your threats against our elected officials, putting them on notice
that you, in your almighty righteousness, are going to see that they
are defeated at the polls. Can’t you see that that you are guilty
of exactly what you have accused me of?
Moreover, I am deeply concerned about the not-so-veiled racism which
permeates almost every part of Edgefield Daily. This is evil and
wrong, and certainly un-Christian. No denials on your part can
cover the fact that you are creating and perpetuating a deep distrust
between the races in this county which will divide our people and
inhibit our progress. There may be black citizens and elected
officials who are racist too, but when they read your prejudice every
day – particularly that which pretends to be written by many others in
Wandering Minds, any doubt is removed from their minds that white
racism is alive and well. When the history of our County is
written, your contribution of racial conflict and disunity will
certainly deserve a major chapter.
Assuming that you profess to being a Christian, Roy, how do you
reconcile yourself with writing and publishing such hate-filled and
venomous things about people. Don’t you realize that every time
you put out malignant libel like that, Christ Jesus cringes?
Don’t you realize that when you perpetually spew forth such hate-filled
and evil invective you are causing your very soul to rot?
Very truly yours,
Bettis C. Rainsford
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JAM Straight Customs
We still need recipes for Cooking Section
WEBNEWS – Send in your favorite or
favorites. There is no limit to the number of recipes you can send in.
With the Editor’s wife being the driving force behind her own personal
section, help her create an exchange of local favorites, home cooking,
grilling, sauces, and deserts! Send in your submissions here.