“It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into”

Jonathan Swift
"The Democrats have moved to the right, and the right has moved into a mental hospital." - Bill Maher
"The city is crowded my friends are away and I'm on my own
It's too hot to handle so I gotta get up and go

It's a cruel ... cruel summer"

Friday, February 23, 2007


In response to the outrageous fraud perpetrated against the people of Amarillo by Mr. Virgil Van Camp in his column “The mists of inequity and confessions of an OWM” (Amarillo Globe-News February 9, 2007) the following letter was submitted to the Amarillo Globe-News on February 16 for publication. It was summarily rejected.

We as a community have demonstrated that we stand against racism, that we confront bigotry and denounce prejudice. Yet at the center of our public square, on the very pages of our forum, we leave unchallenged the master of quiet loathing, gentle denigration and smiling contempt: Mr. Virgil Van Camp.

Every thinking, conscientious person in Amarillo believes Mr. Van Camp, regular columnist for the Amarillo Globe-News, to be a racist bigot. Not everyone requires vulgar slurs or racial epithets to know ignorance and prejudice when they see it.

Now Mr. Van Camp has had the audacity to masquerade as a champion of civil rights (February 9, 2007), to pose as a friend of the African-American he vilifies in his true life. Only an utter hypocrite and cynic would dare such an imposture.

We can debate politics and other matters in the public forum, but in our public affairs we must choose between prejudice and human decency, between racism and justice. A civilized society cannot have both.

It is time that people of conscience request, no – demand – that this outrage, this fraud and constant affront to our community be dismissed from the newspaper.

This is not a call for Mr. Van Camp to be banned from the newspaper. It is a demand that he be dismissed from his post, that his privilege of writing a bi-weekly column be removed, that the stature he and his prejudiced opinions receive because of his position be reduced to that of the grumblings of the ordinary curmudgeonly citizen.

However much the Amarillo Globe-News may claim the opinions of others are not its own, the privilege of being a regular columnist cannot avoid the perception of the paper’s approval and the opinions expressed reflect on both the newspaper and the larger community. We can only imagine what the intolerant and bigoted of our city think when they see their prejudices so often confirmed and legitimated. We know that our civilized citizenry are appalled when an intolerant throwback is paraded before all as the voice of Amarillo.

What is more troubling is that while the Globe-News denounces racism and bigotry elsewhere in the strongest possible terms, it has adamantly refused to admit that it has published intolerant and prejudiced work, this despite allegations against Virgil Van Camp printed on its own pages.

Such accusations have been few and far between considering the record of his outrages. It is no inference, but evident, that Van Camp enjoys a privilege enjoyed by few others: protection from criticism. He has advocated the commission of war crimes, called for the murder of innocent children, labeled our own children prostitutes, deceived and misled, committed the journalist’s cardinal sin of plagiarism, and instead of him receiving censure we are expected to bow with civility and respect, to pay honor to this charlatan, this moral bankrupt, this untouchable abject creature of the Amarillo Globe-News.

No more.

Our community should no longer submit to this stain upon its character. Just as we stood together against racism last year let us join together again in demanding that Mr. Van Camp be dismissed from the Amarillo Globe-News. Please write a letter to the editor and publisher at the following:

Amarillo Globe-News
P.O. Box 2091
Amarillo, TX 79166

Les Simpson, Publisher

John Kanelis, Editor

To guarantee your voice will be heard please send a copy to:

620 S. Taylor Street
Suite 102
Amarillo, Texas 79101


It will be posted online at Panhandle Truth Squad