On February 9, Alabama State Representative John Rogers provided an open letter to the people of Alabama to The Birmingham News. This letter defends Scott Beason for the way he has been treated by some media outlets for months. This letter was co-signed by Representatives Mary Moore and Juandalyn Givan. Since then, these three Representatives have come under fire for their defense of Beason.
Since the News only printed ten of the actual 345 words in their article regarding the open letter, we thought we’d bypass their political agenda and the provide the actual content of the letter to the general public so people can make up their own minds about the issue. The text of the letter is below and here is a .pdf version of the original document.
February 9, 2012
Open letter to the people of Alabama:
We have seen a lot of media misinformation during our years of service in Alabama Politics, but we have always thought it was just part of the system. Misleading information usually blows over quickly because of its lack of credibility, but we are troubled by the treatment that Scott Beason has received this past year.
For months now, some media outlets have continually tried to make people believe that Scott Beason is a racist. We have known and served with Scott in the legislature for several years. While we usually disagree with his policy positions, and we are in different political parties, the hysterical accusations against Scott are patently false. We know the man and Scott is not a racist.
The part that bothers us more than the incessant attacks is the fact that we were not asked our opinion of him by the Birmingham News. We told the News that Scott is not a racist and that we did not take particular offense to the word aborigine. We actually told the reporter that we hear worse than that in the legislature. For some reason, our statement was not considered newsworthy. It apparently did not fit the template needed to attack Scott Beason. For the record, the term aborigine is not a racial term.
We understand that there are people who do not care about the truth if it gets in the way of an agenda, but we are the kind of people who believe people should know the truth. While we disagree a lot, Scott Beason is our friend and there is no excuse for how he has been treated by writers who do not even know him. Every one of us makes mistakes, but Scott’s failure is small compared to the premeditated and ongoing effort by some to destroy a man personally over one comment. (A comment that according to the papers was played in court, but actually read off a transcript and never played.)
John W. Rogers