Dear Editor-

I am writing this letter on behalf of the Student Government Association of Tarleton State University. In light of the Martin Luther King party incident, the Student Government Association has taken a strong stand against this type of behavior.

On Wednesday January 24, 2007, the House of the Student Government Association passed SGA Resolution 01-07S by a vote of thirty-eight for and one against. This resolution took a definitive stand against the actions that were carried out on Martin Luther King Day by a few members of the Tarleton family. At the next meeting of the Tarleton State University SGA Senate, the resolution will be voted on and signed by the Student Body President.

The Student Government Association and its leadership find the action of the students involved in this incident un-acceptable. This incident does not reflect what Tarleton and our student body is all about. The actions of 15-20 students out of over nine-thousand at Tarleton do not reflect on the student body as a whole. On behalf of the Student Government Association and the students of Tarleton State University, I would like to apologize for this in-sensitive and un-acceptable behavior.

Martin Luther King was a man who stood for what is best about America. Dr. King believed that we are all equal and should judge each other for the content of our character, not the color of our skin. It is time for the Tarleton Community to come together and show the nation and the world what Tarleton and Stephenville Texas believes is right.

The Student Government Association and the Tarleton student body will be hosting a Unity Rally on Thursday February 1, 2007, at 6pm. The Unity Rally will be held at Tarleton’s Hunewell Bandstand. I ask that all members of the Tarleton Community who believe in the ideals of Dr. King and racial equality come to the rally and stand for what is right.

I have attached a copy of the SGA resolution regarding this matter for all to see. Thank you for your time and all that you do!

Casey F. Hogan

Student Body President

Tarleton State University

Dear Editor,

Oh my goodness, what the heck is happening at Tarleton? Before I get into this, I need to put up a disclaimer before the accusations of my opinion start flying. I’m a very liberal minded person, and have an equal respect for everyone. I have friends of all ethnicities; and growing up, especially around small rural Texas, you learn some harsh lessons about racism.

Let’s review what we know about the now nationally publicized event of the “MLK Party Scandal” or whatever the buzzwords are for it now. A group of friends threw a party, originally the idea of an African American friend, mocking stereotypes in a private social setting. Some people attending just happened to be members of the same Fraternity. It happens. It’s called a Friends Network. Now somebody posted the pictures up on their website, and needless to say offended a lot of people. It happens. I run a blog myself; and I have been known to make some really whacky politically incorrect (and politically whacky) comments on there from time to time. It’s called Freedom of Speech.

My heart goes out to everyone at Tarleton State right now. You have to ask yourself: if the African American student who started this was in the pictures, would it have been blasted across the national level as it has? If Carlos Mencia attended the party, would we all be laughing about it? Come on guys, lighten up. Am I reading this right that there was a FORUM held and these students had to get up and apologize to the student body for this? Do we get to do this anytime private parties are held outside of campus and someone gets offended? I live on a party street and I’m offended almost nightly. And please, to everyone at Tarleton who gets to make the decision about the disciplinary actions towards these students: They’ve gone through enough hell. This isn’t worth trashing their education over. If it is, I want everyone who cracks a Redneck joke, references Carlos Mencia or laughs at Blazing Saddles kicked out of the university immediately.

And no offense; it should have never involved the university or the media, especially on the national scale.

It was someone’s private party. Tacky yes, but still a constitutionally protected one. No laws were broken here. None.

Were you offended? Guess what: that’s real life. Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.

Russell Davis

Stephenville

Dear Editor,

I keep seeing and hearing all this baloney in the papers and on television about race. My family migrated here from Holland about 130 years ago to America for a new life and new hope. We have been a stable part of this country ever since. I have worked with and sat down and had lunch with several different nationalities from around the world. I have a website that is visited by over 88 different countries and translated into over 50 different languages. How do I get along, I do not think I am better than anyone or try to Lord it over other Nationalities.

I am proud to be an American, First and last, I support the American government, Constitution, Flag, (Flies daily in front of home), The English Language, and Our Troops around the world trying to keep the peace. I had 3 brothers that fought in WWII, one died at Anzio Beach in Italy, 2 brothers in during Korean war, one in Korea, one stateside, and I only missed Vietnam because of torn cartilage in one knee. I have 3 boys who are in their forties, one is an executive with Armtec Corp., One is a 27 year veteran with the Houston Police Department, one owns his own construction company in Connecticut, 2 daughters, one is a data clerk for a large Medical Firm, one is a Registered Nurse, Oncology Specialist, several grandchildren that are in training to be nurses, police officers, and several other productive positions. My great grandchildren are all productive students in the lower grades.

What I am trying to say is we need productive citizens in America, not dissidents, that are continually trying to separate and divide our Country. That is what they have in Iraq and Lebanon now that can’t get along and is continually fighting each other instead of working together to improve their country for everyone to enjoy and be productive in.

We need to all work together and RESPECT each others Nationalities for the good of America, FIRST and LAST. Be involved in Church, Community affairs, Government, and the Voting process, instead of trying to be a Free Loader, expecting the community or Government to support you and your family. I have worked for as little as 50 cents an hour and until I was 12 years old lived in a small 3 room house with 9 other family members. My Dad died when I was 15 years old, during the Korean War when my 2 older brothers were in the war. I had to take over the farm operation and help mother with the management of the farm and we didn’t complain to anyone or ask anyone’s help.

Vernon R. Sneed

Stephenville

Dear Editor,

I realize that this letter may be coming too late to be pertinent to your paper, but I had to take a day to really think about things before I began. I hope you will find this letter important enough to publish.

On Wednesday, Jan. 24th, your paper published the story, “MLK Party deemed offensive.” While the issue of the party is an important one, I am certain that the proper officials are involved and I am not qualified or informed enough to speak on what should be done.

My letter is more to the point: What have we learned?

Not long ago I was having a conversation with a friend about the pros and cons of remaining in the community and raising our children here. One point that was difficult to verbalize then came clear upon reading your story.

Even now, in 2007, 40 years since the civil rights conflicts split our country, we act as if we do not understand the effect of stereotypical images.

Or at the least we are not teaching it in our schools. Many of us will stand and be accounted amongst the “Not-Racist.”

We will proudly point out many occasions where our actions or outrage clearly mark us as tolerant. However, are we truly accepting of people’s differences? For that answer you have to look into your heart.

If you read that story and found nothing wrong in the “joke,” then the answer is emphatically no. The images and ideas portrayed during this party are the foundations for ignorance, and ignorance the framework of racist thought.

They are by no means heartless to those who play at them, or to those who take offense.

Obviously, the lies and myths continue to be told; which of you will stand and seek the truth? Which of you will stand for nothing less? Each side is now given an opportunity to further entrench our differences or to take action to education ourselves and understand them.

When given an opportunity to celebrate our American history, when given an opportunity to embrace and absorb another’s culture, let us not waste it in mockery.

Instead let’s seize the opportunity to grow as a community.

Davin Kimble

Dublin

Dear Editor,

I have watched with much interest the last couple of days as the events have played out on state and national television, community news and statewide news print concerning the MLK Party.

The last time so much attention was given to this small rural community must have been when the escaped convicts came through in the early 70s shooting and terrorizing the country side. That was a seriously and deadly event; people died, lived were changed forever and for a time, a community’s innocence was taken away.

Somehow, no matter how tactless or inconsiderate, no matter how demeaning or crude this MLK Party was to some people, it was mostly just dumb and dumb the last time I looked is not a punishable offense in most civilized societies.

I sense that these young men and women, and that’s what they are, young people, regret what happened and would probably give anything to change what transpired over the last several days.

Trust me, you’re not the first to have your common sense torpedoed in college and you most certainly won’t be the last.

Dumb 101 was my best subject.

Learn a lesson from this and move on.

For everyone else involved, try picking yourself up by your bootstraps, quit wallowing in this politically correct bull—- and maybe, just maybe, you’ll find that this community, this college and these students are not your enemies and, quite frankly, do not deserve the stigma you have attached to them.

Jim Kerr

Stephenville

Dear Editor,

Meals on Wheels staff and volunteers are appreciated for help the needs of the homebound over ther years. During this last holiday season, various churches(Valley Baptist Church, Graham Street Church of Christ, and Faith Lutheran) served wonderful meals to community that could come and delivered meals to Meals on Wheels partons. During the holidays, Lingleville and Huckebay School students delivered meals to delight and welcome to seniors.

Wish to thank for all that help make the Meals on Wheels’ Angel Tree always such a wonderful success for partons who put their name on the tree. The staff and volunteers have continue to be so friendly and helpful in their service. Thank you for checking, caring, and visiting.

Louise Pless

Stephenville