Week of January 14, 2004

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Baton Rogue
Enough about Bob: I have been a faithful reader of the Riverfront Times for many years, but never was I more appalled than when I saw the cover for the December 31 edition. Baton Bob? I for one am sick of the glorification the media has given this clown.

I work in the Central West End and have seen Bob more times than one person should ever have to in their lifetime. He has every right to walk where he wants to and dress the way he wants to. And the color of his skin and what he does behind closed doors make no difference to me.

I have seen Baton Bob giving people the finger. Just last year he hit someone with his baton. I have been at a stoplight with clients when he has been next to the car slapping his ever-growing butt. I have been sitting at a restaurant when he has stopped in front of the window and gyrated his pelvis almost on the window glass. I have driven through intersections where he is in the street dancing and almost got hit.

Yet all the smaller press loves him. And is quick to jump behind him when he manipulates them. Anyone that doesn't like him is "anti-black" or "anti-gay." I am neither but I do know that I am sick of him and I know that there are others like me that wish I would never see or hear about him again.
Mike Sniegocki

More About Earl
Earl Holt III, in context: Kudos to Mike Seely for earning brownie points with your editors for taking a letter with substantive points and straining them right out of it ["Happy Kwanzaa, Earl!" November 26]! You must have fallen all over yourself in adolescent delight to have found Earl Holt's e-mail, so you could test your new "naughty-word" magnet. In the meantime, the reason Earl was enraged enough to write a letter punctuated with such language was because he was involved in the hopeless effort to make sense of the insanity and thievery associated with the St. Louis school board, and his frustration was fueled by a clueless critique.

His original e-mail reflected the facts but was purposely left out of your article. Earl's views on race and "colorful" language aside, I'm a taxpayer in the city of St. Louis, and I'd like to know if my hard-earned dollars are being wasted or stolen. If you're going to write an article to an audience of intelligent readers, you should give them all the facts, not just the ones you find titillating -- or else get a job with the National Enquirer.
Sharon Wolfe
St. Louis

Earl Holt III, in more context: The Anti-Defamation League must respond to Mike Seely's recent article about Earl Holt. Much was left unsaid in the article, and we take this opportunity to provide the following information for your readers.

The Council of Conservative Citizens is not merely a national advocacy organization that "opposes government sponsored race preference programs," nor does it merely "[stand] against the tide of nonwhite, Third World immigrants swamping this country." The CofCC is an organized hate group led by Gordon Lee Baum with a background that hearkens to the pro-segregationist White Citizens' Councils of the 1950s and 1960s. Its ideology is that of white supremacy and white separatism. It presents its bigotry in the form of hot-button conservative advocacy on issues such as immigration, gun control and affirmative action. It has sought to position itself as reasonably mainstream enough to attract the attention of prominent politicians such as Senator Trent Lott, former Georgia congressman Bob Barr and Mississippi governor-elect Haley Barbour. Its traditions are standard Southern racist traditions, and it should not be portrayed as anything approaching reasonable conservative-issue advocacy. Rather than burning crosses, the CofCC relies on political and economic pressure to trumpet the "Southern way of life." WGNU (920 AM) is not to be congratulated for its continued willingness to give airtime to Baum and Holt.

Another WGNU personality who has ties to the CofCC is Frank Weltner, better known as "Couch Potato," who has also used the pseudonym "Von Goldstein Mohammed" and runs the anti-Semitic Web site Jew Watch. Jew Watch organizes its anti-Semitic materials much in the same way a popular Web directory might group more benign information. Weltner presents accusations that Jews were behind the terrors caused by Russia's Communist regime in "Jews, Communism, and The Job of Killing Off the USSR's Christians." "Jewish Genocides Today and Yesterday" describes an alleged Jewish plan to deport non-Jews from the United States in 1946. "90% of All United States Newspapers Are Owned and Run by Jews" repeats the oft-heard charge that Jews run the media and "The Rothschild Internationalist-Zionist-Banking-One World Order Family" claims that Jews control the world of finance. Adolf Hitler's writings, transcripts of Father Charles Coughlin's anti-Semitic radio broadcasts, and the text of Henry Ford Sr.'s bigoted International Jew are all available at Jew Watch as well.

Mr. Seely's article masks the purpose of the Council of Conservative Citizens, which has an extremely negative impact on racial reconciliation in this community. Our society already seems to have a hard enough time addressing myriad social-justice issues, without mistaking "hate" for advocacy.
Karen J. Aroesty, regional director
Anti-Defamation League

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