I prior engagement kept me from participating in a recent BonaResponds meeting, but Jerry et al did a wonderful job responding to a local sports writer in the Olean Times Herald. Here it their letter (I wish I could add my name to it!!)..
26 January 2007
Editor, Olean Times Herald
693 Norton Drive
Olean NY 14760
To the editor:
In regards to Tom Roof's article of 23 January, 2007 in which he stated “We won’t have to hear for the next two weeks about how needed this is for New Orleans. If you weren’t sick of the Saints and Katrina by now, you surely would have been by Feb 4.” The cruelty and insensitivity of this comment is unconscionable.
Yes, had the New Orleans Saints won the NFC championship we would have been subjected tocountless Katrina stories between now and the February 4th. I can understand why he might be glad that the Chicago Bears relieved him of the burden of hearing about this tragedy for a few weeks. Imagine then, how much happier the people of the Gulf Coast would be if they didn't have to LIVE with this tragedy day after day for the next decade. Mr. Roof could simply change the channel. They can not.
Mr. Roof could have used his position as a journalist to help the thousands who are living as "Prisoners of Katrina," but actively chose not to. Instead he his elevated discomfort, or even worse, his boredom, with the images of this tragedy above the suffering of those experiencing it."
Many in this community were sicked by the stories and images of Katrina. Unlike Mr. Roof, they treated the victims of this disaster as human beings, not as an inconvenience. They went to the Gulf Coast, listened to their stories, and helped them clean up and rebuild. They went back again and again.
I invite Mr. Roof to St. John's Church on Sunday February 11th where some of us that have recently returned from Mississippi will be sharing stories. If he can't wait that long, he can visit bonaresponds.org or ask any of us at St. Bonaventure.
Jerry T. Godbout
Department of Chemistry
St. Bonaventure University
St. Bonaventure, NY 14778
The following St. Bonaventure students also signed this letter