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I am writing in response to people asking me what kind of feedback I've received from my article in The State Journal ("Focus on the present, not past," June 11).

In the article I basically said that we should all learn from the past and move forward in a positive and constructive way, being responsible for our own actions and not history, while trying to make the world a better place to live in. After this statement, I intend to let the matter rest.

To date, I've received eight emails, including one from two individuals who are associated with Ed Powe's local group, Focus on Race Relations. A letter from them was published in the paper a couple of days after mine.

Also I've had eight personal encounters with people out in public. Most of the emails (at least one from a black or biracial person) and some of the personal encounters involve people I don't really know.

Discounting the FORR email, which was civil in tone, all 15 responses were in total agreement with my article. And the running theme in each of them was something like this: "Thank you for having the courage to say what so many people feel but are afraid to say publicly." 

I think the results of this feedback (perhaps one might refer to it as the voice of the "silent majority") and this reoccurring theme speaks for itself on the issue. (I might add here that one has no control over this kind of feedback and anyone who writes commentary for the newspaper knows and accepts this situation.)

What is sad, I think, is that so many people in this community and the country itself feel afraid to publicly speak their opinions. Hopefully my rather groundbreaking column, which The State Journal admirably didn't hesitate to publish, will open up the subject of race relations in this community in a positive and productive way without anger, bitterness and hatred and especially without violence, which we are unfortunately witnessing around the country.

Bob Gullette, of Frankfort, is a retired state government employee. His email address is rwgrwg3232@hotmail.com.

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