Can we let the florid prose of Roy “I-never-met-an-adverb-or-adjective-I-wouldn't-use” West be the final word on L. Douglas
Wilder (“Inglorious Bastard,” Back Page, Feb. 17)? I appreciate Mr. West's reason for fulminating so forcefully, but at this
point Wilder is nothing more than an old hack without a platform or a constituency, and there just doesn't seem to be much
value in anything he says anymore. Let's let the old bastard fade away gently, ignore any proclamations he issues forthwith,
and turn our attentions to more current and productive endeavors.
John C. Ficor
Whom is Roy West trying to impress? It is obvious to me that he lives in the dictionary and the thesaurus. Is he writing to
the general public or to English majors? The common man would find it very difficult to understand what he has written and
the educated would need a dictionary and a thesaurus close by. In my opinion he is the prime example of the teaching of
Willie Lynch, a slave owner. Willie Lynch met with other slave owners on the banks of the James River in Richmond in the year
1712, and offered his fellow slave owners a program that, if taught, would keep the slaves enslaved for the next 300 years,
and if taught correctly maybe two thousand years. It would appear that Mr. West endorses those teachings.
What I read was nothing more than hate, jealousy and envy. For Mr. West to have the audacity to refer to Gov. Wilder as
“inglorious bastard” was totally disgraceful, distasteful and reeking of hate. [Editor's note: This was the editorial's
headline, not West's words.] For Mr. West to suggest that Gov. Wilder, while in office, should have done more for Afro
Americans suggests a racist mindset. The governor's job was to represent all the people of Virginia and not just a segment of
the people, and to compare him to Clarence Thomas is really comparing apples to oranges. If Mr. West feels that Gov. Wilder
should have done otherwise, then I question his motives.
If Mr. West wishes to get his message across then he should keep it simple and leave off the verbosity. The past is past, we
can't change it, but we can learn from it. If Mr. West has a solution for the problems, he should spell it out or keep quiet.
John & Yuvonne Hewlett