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Letter to the Editor: Voting allegation is racist charge

Thursday, April 19, 2007

To the editor:This is an e-mail sent to reporter Rudi Keller regarding an allegation made by an Alexander County, Ill., official against me and my wife in an article printed last week about the Cairo city elections.

All of this is about black voter disenfranchisement and a general anti-black attitude from people like Angela Greenwell, who is leading this racist charge to prevent the black vote that doesn't support her political agenda. Frankly, it's none of her business -- or anyone else's for that matter -- where else I or my wife choose to make a living or place as our address. If we have 10 residences in this country, the only thing that matters is that we are U.S. citizens, at least 18 years old and have lived at the address noted in the precinct for the past 30 days. Greenwell is promoting this smear campaign in hopes of preventing a shift in the status quo in Cairo (white rule over the black majority).

I really think you should take note of your sources (i.e., Greenwell) in writing your articles, because it really puts into question your credibility. I am not concerned about her questioning my right to vote, because that's been the plight of black people in Cairo and in America since Jim Crowism swept the South with poll taxes and literacy tests for black voters back in the 1870s. I do not need her or any other white person's validation to assert my rights within this society.

CHARLES J. KOEN, Cairo, Ill.