The following is a letter I received from Paul Corrigan of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, on April 14, 2007 concerning my Don Imus editorials. I promised him by return email that I would not edit what he wrote. So I didn’t.
My response to him is at the end of his commentary. But before reading-on, you should know that his is the only negative letter I received.
Dear Mr. Galganov,
Yes, you’re right–Don Imus have a God-given right to say whatever he likes, whenever he likes, and so do you. What he does not have is a God-given right to say it on the CBS radio network or any of its affiliates, just as you did not have a God-given right to say whatever you pleased on any radio station in Montreal, if the station did not want you on the air. I’m sure you’d have been the first to agree that Jackson would have had no right to call New York “Hymietown” on CBS, if CBS did not approve.
I don’t know what threats Sharpton and Jackson might have made against CBS. I do know the sponsors of Imus’s show are withdrawing their sponsorship, having clearly decided, upon hearing of Imus’s remarks at the expense of the Rutgers women’s basketball team (not all of whom were American blacks), that they were no longer comfortable subsidizing such bilge. Imus’s freedom of speech is sacred. So is theirs.
Something else. I lived in the States for many years, and I’ve met many American blacks in my time. Some were good, some were bad, but I did learn there was no need to fear them the way you seem to, given that you seem prepared to “spend a great deal of money to stay away from Black communities.” I’d be pleased to know what you know from actual experience about American blacks.
For all that I am glad you have written three editorials in three days defending Imus—and while you’re at it, letting the world know what you think of black Americans. It clarified for me, in a way your bigoted remarks about French Canadians and Muslims did not, that you were an unapologetic bigot eager to blame entire cultures for the sins of a few.
It helped me understand why even many Quebec anglophones regard you as an embarrassment they are only too happy to be rid of.
It also helped me understand that I need never take you seriously ever again.
Paul: You’ve absolutely missed my point. But coming from the tone of your letter, I’m not surprised.
This isn’t about Imus. It is about freedom of speech. And it has nothing whatsoever to do with God. Such as a “God Given Right”, as you so enthusiastically pointed out several times in your letter. We have a Secular right to freedom of speech.
Our right to speak our minds was won in sweat and blood by men and women who were willing to sacrifice whatever it took for our right to be heard. God had nothing to do with it.
Your type of attitude is very much why my wife and I decided, after many painful years of deliberation, that it was time for us to leave Quebec (Montreal). Not enough people were willing to do what was necessary to fight for their rights to be equal and visible in their own language and culture.
I am PROUD to say that there are a considerable number of Anglo elitists who are happy that I left Quebec. But a considerable number when measured in those terms (Anglo Elitists), actually number very few.
But, I will tell you that QPAC (Quebec Political Action Committee), the rights activist lobby that I created and led, had more than 4,000 families who actually paid money to belong. And as you might, or might not know; for every person who puts down a buck, there are probably hundreds more who don’t put their hands into their pockets, but support the issue nonetheless.
I would be deeply ashamed of myself if people such as you, actually supported me. I would consider your support to be a personal social failure.
As far as not wanting to be in an American Black community, why would I, when it is no secret whatsoever that Black communities are rampant with violence.
America’s prisons are not filled beyond capacity with mostly Black prisoners for no reason.
If you were to ask me, if I would be willing to live next door to a decent Black family in my neighborhood? The answer is yes.
Would I be willing to frequent my favorite restaurants if decent Blacks were to be going there too? The answer is yes.
Would I work for a decent Black person or hire a decent Black person? Yes. Yes.
If I wasn’t married, would I be willing to share my life with the right woman if she were Black? Yes.
Just as I would with any other decent person regardless of race, so screw you with your claim that I’m an “unapologetic bigot”.
I SHOULD SUE YOUR ASS OFF, just for thinking that your right to freedom of speech actually frees you to call me a bigot. That’s the slippery slope.
Back to freedom of speech:
To me, the likes of Michael Moore, Cindy Sheehan and Rosie O’Donnell are a disgrace to their country, and are world-class abusers of their freedom of speech. Not only are they are proven liars, they’re also supporters of enemies of Democracy.
But, to take away their right to free speech because they’re idiots, would be just as wrong as taking away Imus’ radio podium for a remark he has more than sufficiently apologized for.
And in the case of Michael Moore, Cindy Sheehan and Rosie O’Donnell, they apologize for nothing.
You can fool yourself all you want to. But Imus was yanked-off the air not because of sponsors, but because of media cowardice.
I hate Nazis and Islamo-Fascists as much as I hate cancer. But even there, they too have a right to be heard, if what they are saying does not promote violence.
I spoke up for the English speaking community in Quebec (Montreal) because it was the right thing to do. But the Anglo elitists (although few in number) spoke with a louder voice.
As a result of the elitists and media’s willingness to “sacrifice” the English community’s right to freedom of speech in our language, the Anglo community has become a shadow of its former self. And within a generation or less, the once proud and once contributing English speaking communities within Quebec will for all intent and purpose be totally irrelevant.
It’s close to it now. That’s what happens when you don’t speak-up, or when your voice is silenced.
We saw in St Petersburg and Moscow this past weekend, what happened when peaceful people demonstrated to exercise their freedom of assembly and freedom of speech, they were beaten and arrested by Putin’s thugs, all in the name of national security.
You, and all others like you, are the last people I would ever want to depend upon to defend my rights. With people like you standing for freedom of speech, my rights would become only a privilege for me to enjoy at the whim of others.
And as for your need to never take me seriously ever again. I can live with that.
We wish you well in your next new adventure, that’s why we spend our winters in Ocala, FL, horse country! No New England Winters for us for the past 20 years!
God’s speed behind you on the wings of angels!
Jan and Bill
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