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RFT readers are worked up over Sylvester Brown's ouster as Post-Dispatch columnist and the Final Exit Network 

His act grew old and stale: Mr. Brown embodies everything that is wrong with the soon-to-be defunct Post-Dispatch ["Post-Dispatch Put Sylvester Brown on Paid Leave over Alleged Pay-to-Play, Till Today When He Said, See Ya," Kristen Hinman]. I have read every article Mr. Brown has penned in the past three years. If you are not familiar with his work, he has really one main theme, with two subplots.

Main Theme: Race. Mr. Brown believes the majority of St. Louis whites are racist bigots and that blacks are oppressed. He is completely opposed to personal responsibility in any form; there is always someone to blame.

Subplot 1: Law enforcement officers are racist thugs who can do no right — even with a black police chief.

Subplot 2: Mayor Slay is the Devil. Even people who urinate in trashcans are above Slay.
Ron, via the Internet

Pay your own way!: He put a high-profile position at risk for chump change. He should never have accepted money for the trip. Spending $258 and cab fare is a hit that a newspaper columnist should be able to afford on his own. He sent the message that he's for sale — and at a cheap rate — and that has cost him dearly.
Anonymous, via the Internet

Get over it, Sly: While Sylvester Brown had the right to write about anything he chose, I found him to be a bigot and racist. He came across as hating Caucasians and blamed a whole race for the African American problems. It's time to get over slavery, Sylvester, and force people to take responsibility for their lives.
Louis Farakhan, via the Internet

Suicide decisions are private: I thought the article was well written and well thought out ["Death Watch," Aimee Levitt]. Personally, I feel like the more we can talk about this topic, the more acceptance there will be to address issues of depression, mental illness and rights of personal choice. I have given this issue a great deal of thought since my father died in 2002. He suffered from a terminal and very ugly disease. I have already made up my mind that, should I be diagnosed with this disease, I will be the one to decide when I choose to take the final journey. No one else has the right to decide for me.
Steve, Denver, via the Internet

Critical of suicide chart: I cannot believe RFT would put step-by-step directions [on how to kill yourself with helium] out there on the streets. This is the most ridiculous article, and so damn inappropriate!
Erica, St. Louis, via the Internet

Point well taken: Erica — are you really under the impression that anyone truly suicidal is just waiting for a how-to guide?
SaucyB, St. Louis, via the Internet

Friend of the network speaks out: As a proponent of the Final Exit Network, I read with interest your article. I am privileged to be a friend of both Dalton Baker and James Hoggard. I challenge anyone to find two more caring and compassionate gentlemen. I fervently hope that should I at some future date be stricken with incurable and mind-numbing pain, I will be able to find a similar individual to ease me through that "final exit." There is a tradition in my family that we do not keep members alive when a doctor or doctors have told us that there is no possible chance of recovery. We have refused further useless treatment and have availed ourselves of the right to have "Do Not Resuscitate" entered on our beloveds' records. Why then deny that same option to any individual of sound mind and suffering indescribable pain, with no hope of release?
Garnet A. Thies, Washington

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September 23, 2020

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