First, I would like to thank The Advocate, for allowing me to express my opinion concerning the column, “Recalling a Tragic Anniversary” by Edward Pratt, printed on Saturday, Nov. 11, 2017. The column is about an incident that occurred on Southern University Campus in 1972. During a protest, two students were killed by gunfire. No one has ever been charged with the shooting.
I am not writing to argue the events that occurred that day. I agree this was a senseless tragedy. I take exemption though, to Mr. Pratt’s hope for revenge. Mr. Pratt’s wrote the following in the column: “I hope the person or persons who killed those innocent students have lived horrible lives. And I hope their children have suffered.”
Wow. Wishing for children to suffer? No society should accept these words, but Mr. Pratt wrote them, and The Advocate printed them. For historical context: The Allies never took revenge on children of Nazi leaders after WWII, same for the children of Japanese leaders. Even Israel has never tried to harm children of former Nazis death camp officials or the children of terrorist leaders. Only totalitarian governments punish children for their parent’s deeds, For example, in totalitarian North Korea, three generations of family members are punished when an individual commits an offense against the regime in power.
Believe we can all agree that this is wrong, except perhaps, Edward Pratt. I contacted The Advocate and asked for a retraction. They declined. I am disappointed that The Advocate pays Pratt to write a weekly column, but is unwilling to take responsibility for Pratt’s statement of hate and revenge. It is surprising that the publisher of The Advocate would allow this to be printed in his newspaper. If Pratt truly believes what he wrote, why is The Advocate paying him to write anything?