GOING THROUGH old files today, I came across a printout of a column I wrote for The Houston Post in April 1993, a couple of years before that paper died.
That column was never published. It was killed by my editor (without even the courtesy of notifying me he was going to do it), who threatened to “yank” my column and my job if I didn’t behave, by which, I’m sure he meant if I didn’t begin to write bland columns like his.
The column was about complaints by a woman named Anita Hause – a white conservative reader whose letters were always getting published in the paper – that The Post’s two minority writers, Bob Newberry and I, “seem to always champion the rights of blacks and Hispanics.”
Hause wondered if The Post had any columnists who did the same thing for other races.
I’m not going to include the entire column, but I thought you might be interesting the last few paragraphs:
“WHILE I LONG ago gave up hope that my columns would at least cause these critics to rethink some of their narrow views, I am not going to lose any sleep or change how I write and what I write about to keep them from getting indigestion two mornings a week.
“It’s about time these folks understood and accepted the reality that this city and this world are changing. It’s about time they understood that for every one of them, there are two, three – or hundreds – more who do appreciate what we write, and who do understand the need to have voices that are not content to follow the official establishment line.
“You may not hear from them as much as you do from the conservative crowd, but that’s because they’ve got more important things to do – like earning a living – than sitting around and writing letters after letter to newspapers.
“Bob and I are not here to make the Anita Hauses of the world comfortable in their xenophobia. There are too many other columnists in this country doing that already. We are here to make the establishment as uncomfortable as possible in the hopes that they will do something about the world’s injustices and the misery those injustices cause.
“Yes, there’ll be lots of yapping, but as Don Quixote told Mr. Panza, ‘If the dogs are barking, it means we are riding.’
“I don’t know about Bob, but I still have a lot of riding to do.”
OF COURSE, AS we all know, my riding days ended a little more than two years after I wrote those words when Dean Singleton sold my horse to the Hearst Corporation and Hearst put it to sleep.