For the regular eight or nine of you who read my rambles, this week may come as a bit of a surprise. For anyone else who has just happened along, the surprise is that I don’t normally respond to criticism or argue with readers. My view has always been, I’m lucky enough to have a spot for my two cents each week. It’s my point of view and no one else’s (which, I think, I’m entitled to). Therefore, as logic goes, so is everyone else. If they agree or disagree with something I wrote, that’s their God-given right – and why should I have a problem with that?
Besides, my grandpaw taught me a long time ago to never answer criticism. He said your friends don’t need it, and your enemies’ll never believe it. He was a wise man, my grandpaw.
I almost always heed his advice, but today, on the topic of race, I just can’t let this one pass. It’s kind of like comedienne Ron White says, I have the right to remain silent, I just don't have the ability.
So this week is the exception, and for that I apologize. However, it seems to me that it’s important to set the record straight. Folks get to have any opinion they like of me and my scribbles. But what they don’t get to have is their own facts.
At issue is a couple of columns I’ve written of late. A few folks have responded that I’m a racist and a pig and a few other things. I’m not going to debate the pig part, but racist? Sorry, but I’m not.
Tell you what, though. The columns are out there in the public domain. They are on our web site, www.thepaper24-7.com. If someone believes that what I wrote is racism, then go grab it and show me. Better yet, you can have space on our web site or on our front page – the same space I have – to make your point as to why I am a racist. Only stipulation is, you have to show specifically what I wrote that qualifies as such.
Oh yeah, and you need to put your name and face behind it, same as me.
That’s all. Seems pretty simple, doesn’t it?
Take your time – I’ll wait.
I’m kind of guessing that the folks who wrote some of those comments and left the phone messages are figuring they really got to me. They might think since I’m writing a whole column about this then they really yanked my chain!
They’re probably giggling about that.
They would be wrong.
Truth to tell, if I wrote something that really did come across as racist then shame on me! No way would that be OK.
But if I didn’t – and I don’t believe I did – then we have to stop this silliness of screaming about non-existent charges. We clearly have problems in this country. Real ones. But how in the world are we ever going to solve them if we can’t even have the conversation? How are we going to move forward if everyone is more worried about covering their behind?
If we are to solve the issue then it has to start somewhere, and honesty seems to be a fair place. People of all races have some strong feelings, and the color of no one’s skin makes their opinion more or less valid than anyone else’s.
I guess that’s why I’m answering critics this week. It’s well past time we fixed a lot of things in this country, including letting folks get away with claims that have no merit. We’re never going to get anywhere if we can’t have honest conversations.

Two cents, which is about how much Timmons said his columns are worth, appears periodically on Wednesdays in The Paper. Timmons is the publisher of The Paper and can be contacted at ttimmons@thepaper24-7.com.