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January 31, 2009, 04:00 AM
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The Oregonian's Betsy Hammond Tries To Get A VDARE.COM Reader Fired For Challenging Her Enthusiasm For "Diversity"

Joe Guzzardi comments: To help you navigate today's letters, I'll provide you with an overview.

We're posting four:

  • The first is from transplanted Portland OR resident Stephen Garland, currently living in Atlanta, to Oregonian reporter Betsy Hammond. It challenged her story promoting more diversity in Portland, which it claimed is "demographically out of step with 2009 America". [In a Changing World, Portland Remains Overwhelmingly White, by Betsy Hammond, The Oregonian, January 17, 2009]

  • The second is Hammond's letter to Garland's employer, a none-too-subtle effort to get him fired for truthfully reporting crimes he's been the victim of while living in diverse Atlanta. Garland expressed a longing to return to Portland.

  • The third is Garland's employer writing back to Hammond in defense of his employee.

  • Our fourth letter is Garland's reply to Hammond answering the questions she posed to his employer.

Note that Garland's original letter was posted under the pseudonym of Art Fowler. But because of the significance of these subsequent exchanges, Garland has given us his permission to use his real name:

A Georgia Reader Offers His Place In Diverse Atlanta To Oregonian Reporter Betsy Hammond

From: Stephen Garland (e-mail him)

Re: Steve Sailer's Blog: The Unbearable Whiteness Of Portland

I wrote to Oregonian reporter Betsy Hammond (e-mail her) expressing my displeasure at her offensive story about Portland being "demographically out of step with 2009 America" [ In a Changing World, Portland Remains Overwhelmingly White, by Betsy Hammond, The Oregonian, January 17, 2009]

In 2003, I moved from Portland to Atlanta, Georgia at the request of the major airline I work for.

If Hammond wants to live in a diverse metropolitan area, I suggest Atlanta.

Since arriving here, I've had my car stolen, my home broken into and have been robbed at gunpoint—all by the diverse people Hammond so admires.

Certain sections of Atlanta I dare venture into, even during the middle of the day. Because I fear for my children's safety, I've bought a new house an area that requires me to commute almost eighty miles daily as opposed to the two miles I traveled in Portland.

As soon as it is remotely feasible for me to do so, I will be running back to the Great White Northwest.

If Hammond cares to replace me in Atlanta so she can better enjoy the diverse culture she so yearns for, I'll eagerly to trade with her.

Oregonian reporter Hammond's letter to Garland's employer:

"I am a newspaper reporter in Portland, Oregon, and I received an email today from an employee of your firm.

"I would be surprised if a business such as yours could thrive in DeKalb County if the corporate image you project is that your employees wish they could flee to, quoting him, a 'GREAT WHITE' area to avoid diversity.

"Is this how you like your firm represented to the media?"

The employer's reply back to Hammond:

"Ms. Hammond, Stephen is an excellent employee with a great attitude. He is here every day and works long hours. We would hate to lose him but he's right about the safety issues in Atlanta. Feel free to call."

And Garland's response to Hammond after he received her e-mail forwarded to him by his employer:

"My employer forwarded me your emailed comments this morning.

"To more fully answer your question, this company is successful in this area (DeKalb), as it would be in any area, because of the owner's excellent leadership, who has always made the hard decisions necessary to keep this company viable.

"Amazingly, unlike almost every other business these days, he does this without handouts from the governmen. His modest, conservative lifestyle contributes greatly by not putting pressure on the company to perform beyond its means.

"You will be pleased to know that, without being mandated by the government, our company has assembled an employee base of 38 people that consists almost equally of white and non-white employees. This has not been accomplished by going out and intentionally seeking people of color, but by simply trying to hire the best-qualified people to fill available positions.

"On a more personal note I must admit that I am a bit confused by your logic and actions. You apparently desired to paint me as a racist to my employer for intimating that I would prefer living with people of my own race. Yet in your article, I perceived you to be almost giddy when describing the wine and cheese gatherings where persons of color were so excited to be able to co-mingle with others of like culture and race.

"Also, one of the major premises of your article was that minorities do not settle in Portland because there aren't enough existing minorities there to make them feel comfortable. Please—how is this different from what I expressed?

"Minorities in your article describe Portland as a great place to live where they are almost never ill-treated by the dominant white population, even in situations where they are a tiny minority.

"Having lived there, I know that to be true.

"Unfortunately, my personal life experience has been entirely different. Although I have never initiated a single misdeed against someone of color, members of other races, predominantly black and Hispanic, have repeatedly victimized me.

"I am by no means alone in this. Please research the crime statistics compiled over the past forty years by your own government and you will find that the rate of black on white crime is staggering and if you really wish to write something meaningful, why don't you do what none of your fellow reporters will do and write an honest piece on this issue. It's the dirty secret that no one in your business will talk about.

"Does it concern you that you are so full of hatred toward people who disagree with your point of view that you would attempt to get them discredited or fired? Liberals like yourself are always pointing fingers at others and calling them 'haters' yet most of the hate I encounter appears to be emanating from people like yourself and from those whose bad behavior you constantly defend.

"Am I a racist for wanting to live in a place where I am relatively safe from being victimized by those who live around me? I have simply pursued life and attempted to learn from the experiences that have come my way. If I live where I am being robbed and threatened and cannot change the problem, I move.

"In my case, having three children necessitates this more so than if I were living alone. If I am treated badly by persons of a particular ethnic background, I tend to avoid others of their ethnicity that I suspect might also wish to harm me. (You know, black or Hispanic males that lurk around wearing gang clothing and appear not to be engaged in something constructive.)

"If I hated, I would reciprocate by doing to others what has been done to me. I have the means and ability.

"For instance in your case, I could call or write Sam or Don Newhouse, the owners of your newspaper and the gentlemen I worked for when I lived in Oregon, and tell them one of their reporters tried to get me fired just because she was intolerant of my point of view.

"But you see Ms. Hammond, I have no desire to do this because unlike you, I AM tolerant. I have no problem with you having a different perspective than me or wanting to live in a diverse culture. Fortunately for you, there are multiple opportunities for you to do so."

"Can you imagine what would happen to me if I attempted to live in Southwest Atlanta which you could say was the reverse of a black person living in Portland? How long do you think I would survive before the police found my dead and disfigured body? Be honest with me here, please."

Joe Guzzardi summarizes: Garland told me that Hammond also e-mailed him separately relaying to him that she had lived in the Atlanta area for about 12 years and did not share his feelings.

During my twenty years as a California schoolteacher, several attempts were made to have me fired for my opinion columns about immigration. I can recognize Hammond's thinly-veiled efforts to do the same to Garland.  As Hammond conclusively proves, in today's liberal media, Freedom of Speech doesn't exist.

If you have comments about Hammond's behavior, here is contact information:

At The Oregonian:

Reporter Betsy Hammond betsyhammond@news.oregonian.com
Fred A. Stickel, Publisher (503.221.8140)
Sandy Rowe, Editor srowe@news.oregonian.com
Peter Bhatia, Executive Editor pbhatia@news.oregonian.com
Therese Bottomly, Managing Editor theresebottomly@news.oregonian.com
Bob Caldwell, Editorial Page Editor bobcaldwell@news.oregonian.com

Advance Publications owns The Oregonian. Contact information is here.