I owe editor Josh Edwards an apology for calling and expressing my anger when I saw your headline in Tuesday’s paper — “Austin’s legacy tinged with racism”

“Josh, what are you doing? Your headline in Tuesday’s paper is inflammatory and why are you trying to stir up such division in this beautiful community and campus? Do you know the damage this can do and do you really know Texas history and understand all what Stephen F. Austin did for this area and this community?” I have to admit that there was quite a bit of emotion and sadness in my voice due to my love for this University and the role it played in our son’s graduating Cum Laude last May.

Josh: “As a matter of fact, I do know Texas History.”

His voice was not angry but alarmingly quite gracious. “Did you read the entire article and my opinion column from last Sunday”

I saw the headline as “inflammatory!”

He said “Is what I wrote not true?

In fact, he took on a tone in the phone conversation that I wish we all could do during these times. One of wisdom and calm that says let us talk about our issues and let’s listen to each other.

In this busy, crazy, read headlines only, tweets, texts or email world we have lost our true form of communication and understanding. No wonder the great scholars took such painstaking efforts to express thoughts and truth.

Written words can carry great power and it is important even more these days that we take time to write our points with clarity. Headlines can speak truth but if not written carefully as the writer intended, can be incendiary.

As Josh quoted Rodney King in the June 3 publication – “Can we all get along? Can we get along? Can we stop making it horrible.”

I believe our conversation was beneficial to both of us. I read the entire article and also his opinion letter and I thank you Josh for your efforts. You have a very difficult job to write the truth but to not mislead.

Peggy Leatherman


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