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I am often amazed at how many letters I receive from readers every week commenting on my “Talk to Danny” articles. And as I say at the end of every article I really do want to hear from you.
However, with receiving comments from our readers I also get a lot of emails, postcards and letters with a lot of critical comments, not only about me and my article but also about my father and my family. Again, I encourage you to send these comments to me and I appreciate all of our readers input and these comments are always encouraged and welcomed.
But, what I don’t appreciate is the letters from readers who sign them from “Mr. Name withheld” or “Mrs. I don’t want to give you my name,” etc. etc.
Every week I put my opinion, my name and my picture on my article so it is clear you know that this is Danny J. Bakewell, Jr.’s opinion. It is my way of telling you, our loyal Sentinel readers, exactly what is going on here at the paper and my position within the paper.
What throws me off, is that people take the time to write letters, call me, my father and/or the Sentinel irrelevant, and sometimes give very cruel and unfounded opinions about the paper and only to find at the end of the letter them cowering and unwilling to stand up and sign their name.
I have received letters saying me and my family “don’t want to deal with anyone darker than a brown paper bag” or that the “Bakewell Family’s purchase of WBOK Radio in New Orleans is irrelevant and not news worthy.” Well I would certainly differ and I believe that the thousands of readers of the Sentinel would disagree as well. However, the fact that after you write these comments you are not man or woman enough to stand by your convictions and unwilling to put your name on your letter only demonstrates the cowardliness of your actions. You want to throw rocks, but then hide you hands and say it was not you.
My parents and grandparents have always taught me to stand up for what I believe in, whether it was popular or not and to always say or do anything that I believe is right and not be ashamed of my convictions. This is the principle that I bring to “Talk to Danny” every week as well as what I try to convey to our readers with each and every issue of the Sentinel.
In the end I do want to hear from you our loyal readers. You don’t need to agree with the stories we tell (although I am certain everyone of our stories is accurate and we try diligently to insure that they are relevant). But, please don’t send me negative letters (or positive ones) if you are not willing to sign your name and stand up for what you believe.
“Talk to Danny” is meant to be an open dialogue with our readers. That is why sometimes I give you my opinion and sometimes I share with you and comment on what our readers have written. But, an open dialogue is only good, when both sides are willing to openly defend there position not just comment and then run and hide.
So, if you want to Talk to Danny, I encourage you to do so, But, I really don’t want to hear from you if you are going to hide behind the veil of secrecy called the U.S. Post Office or hide in cyberspace. I encourage you to stand up, have an opinion and believe in your opinion, believe in it enough to sign your name to it. If not save your time and mine and whine and moan at home about “Talk to Danny” and the Sentinel.
So, whether you agree or disagree, now more than ever, I really need your input. I need to hear from you. I need to know what is going on in our community. I also need to know what other stories we need to tell, and what is on your mind. I really do want to hear from you, I want you to “Talk to Danny.”
Sincerely,Danny J. Bakewell, Jr.President & Executive Editor