So What Was Wrong With Ledford Comments? - And Response (6)

Saturday, September 26, 2009

So what was wrong with Hayes Ledford's comments? Were they true? I believe they were accurate and right on target.

In today's politically correct, we-can't-offend-anyone world, people cannot speak their minds, even if the things they say are true, without losing their jobs.

Our parents' generation dropped "the bomb" on Japan to end WWII. In today's Johnny milk toast world, that would never happen. Today, we just keep sending our young people to be slaughtered by heathens while we all talk of political correctness.

America has lost its resolve and its testicular fortitude. Instead of destroying our enemies, we just keep spending billions for nation building and fighting. Either destroy the enemy or get out. Shame on us all.

Ronnie "Rock" Land
rock@roadrashmag.com

* * *

While I do not personally know, nor have ever met Mr. Ledford, I fully support his ability to post comments that reflected his personal beliefs. If what was printed in the Chattanoogan.com represented the full scope of those comments, I see nothing that would warrant his job loss.

Eight years ago, on the evening of Sept. 11, 2001, Mr. Ledford's comments would have been received far more favorably. Our nation has historically suffered greatly from short-term memory loss. We have forgotten what is necessary to finish the ugly and terrible job of war that began too many years ago.

Due to political expedience and the lack of intestinal fortitude, we have let politicians, from both parties, dictate military policy that effectively ties the hands of those who have been tasked with winning a war that few wanted, not enough men or equipment, and rules of engagement that put our troops in even greater harm's way.

As a proud veteran of many years of military service, let me be the first to say that I hate war; most military professionals do. Lest we forget, the major consequence of war is killing people and breaking things; nobody wants that. But, we 'are' a nation officially at war. We can go about our daily lives as if nothing is happening many thousands of miles away, but that doesn't alter the fact that it indeed is.

Mr. Ledford's mistake, if there was one, was the vehicle he used to share his beliefs and the manner in which he has chosen his "friends." I don't believe I read that he was doing a poor job for his employer, or that he espoused his personal beliefs while at work. What I did read was that an individual, on a personal webpage, shared something some others found offensive. While I understand his position required him to deal with many different individuals and businesses, I believe the people he was specifically referring to in his comments are those who have chosen to become enemies of the United States and have killed and injured our citizens.

In this day of political "correctness", and with a knee-jerk reaction by the Chamber, Mr. Ledford didn't have a chance.

Scott Ptak

* * *

It's become a sad day in America when someone is censored because of their thoughts. I totally agree with what Mr Ledford had to say.

I guess that the Chamber is so politically correct-minded that they are far more interested in bowing down to some gutless coward than praising someone who has the sand to say what is on their mind.

My one and only concern about this issue is did Mr Ledford use a computer that is owned or controlled by the Chamber or did he post it on a computer that he owns at his home? I had absolutely no idea it was the Chamber's mission to monitor a member's thoughts. It is the short-term memory of America as a whole that should be addressed, not someone like Mr Ledford who says what he feels instead of sugar coating it.

I am a combat veteran of the Vietnam "conflict", "police action" or what you want to call it, but one thing remains constant - when someone is trying to kill you whether it be bullets or taking the cowardly way by some terrorist action, it's a war, plain and simple. What the Chamber did to Mr Ledford was not unlike what America did to returning veterans from Vietnam.

Craig Collier

* * *

I was astonished at both the statement by Mr. Ledford and the further support of that statement by Mr. Land. For a public figure whose job is to steer new business into the city to think it's somehow acceptable to spew a profanity- and ethnic slur-laced tirade on a social networking site is beyond me.

And then when criticized about it, to respond, "It was a private message to my friends" is even worse. Mind you, his response wasn't to apologize for characterizing people of Middle-Eastern descent as "Ragheads." No, that part was OK to him I guess.

Mr. Ledford and Mr. Land pay attention - we live in a global society. Citizens who come from every continent on the planet are proud to call themselves Americans. America is supposed to be inclusive, remember?

And in regard to Mr. Land's strategy to ending the conflict in the Middle East, who should we drop "The Bomb" on? We have got to move past this entire "Nuke em all" mentality.

I expect more from our business leaders in this community. We all should.

Glenn Scruggs
Harrison

* * *

In light of one of the local Chamber of Commerce’s top official’s recent resignation, it sounds like Mr. Ledford may have been caught up, not only in the moment, but also in the current national trend of publicly imitating a two-year-old. With today’s headlines disclosing his heated post that would possibly make Glenn Beck cringe, some may feel that, over the past month, we are seeing virtually the same headlines of wildly inappropriate behavior from a new public figure each day.

Even in my own late night rants on Facebook, I seem to somehow manage to keep my words somewhat civilized. This is not necessarily in the spirit of maintaining my employment or livelihood, but avoiding disrespect and insensitivity to my family and friends. His words were particularly astonishing when considering that 730 "friends", enough to fill roughly two-thirds of the Tivoli, were the recipients of his Genghis Kahn-esque mutterings.

Some of you may call my suggested approach political correctness, a term often used with contempt for basic manners. At a time when human decency has been abandoned by high profile figures, whether Kanye West, Joe Wilson, or the ubiquitous "I'm not here to make friends" world of reality TV, infantile behavior has become the most sweeping and unfortunate trend in America since the Macarena.

As the father of a fifteen-month-old, it is my goal to demonstrate behavior that reflects, well, being in control. While I do and will make mistakes in parenting, I believe that children seeing the adults of the world having meltdowns foster an environment of chaos and anxiety. In most any case of the people we know who regularly opt to throw tantrums in favor of tactful and respectful negotiations, they learned these poor social skills from one or both of their parents’ example.

While Mr. Ledford's words may have revealed a windfall of oppressed hatred typically found in flag-wrapped Charlie Daniels songs, he would have been well served to keep his 'smack-down' diatribes between himself and a few, not 730, of his "friends." In a world where politician's Facebook page has somehow become the news in favor of what is actually taking place, perhaps he should have stopped to consider that there is no secrecy oath involved in becoming a Facebook friend. In other words, when overcome with this kind of rage and self-doubt that will surely result in long-term embarrassment, think before you shout, send, or post with the caps lock on.

Paul Jackson
paulanddena@yahoo.com

* * *

Would the supporters of Mr. Ledford find it acceptable to refer to Hindi's
as "dot heads"? How about "gook" for Asians? Which "towel heads" was he
referring to? Arabs, Hindi's, or some other South East Asian group?
Turbans are common in many cultures.

I don't know which is more remarkable: that these attitudes still persist or that the remarks were made by someone in the PR business.

R. W. Young

* * *

I can tell you exactly what was wrong with Mr. Ledford's comments: they were vile, racist screeds coming from the man who is supposed to be the spokesman and public face of the area's business community. Recently, a large multinational corporation agreed to base its North American operations here, and that corporation is based in Germany, a country which is home to a sizable middle-eastern population--and some of these people may come to work here in Chattanooga. Furthermore, the public relations profession requires clarity, tact, and moderation. It seems Mr. Ledford had none of these qualities.

"When we lose the right to be different, we lose the privilege to be free." --Charles Evans Hughes, Governor of New York, U.S. Secretary of State and Chief Justice of the United States [1862-1948]

Lucas McNeeley
Downtown


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