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Friday, January 07, 2011

Leave the Harveys Alone

Written in response to Michael Paul Williams' column in today's (12/7/11) Richmond Times Dispatch.

Mr. Williams,

If you ever want to know if you are on the wrong side of an issue, check and see what Said El Amin is saying and that should give you a pretty good idea. Very sad to see you jump in on the Harvey Bridge issue. It is a memorial erected in a park they loved by their friends and neighbors. Yes they are joined with Baskerville family by their common killers and yes every murder is a tragedy, but to split this town by race as El Amin seeks is just wrong.

Should a monument be raised for the Baskervilles? Maybe, if their friends and neighbors choose to do so. I might even contribute. Their murder was an equal tragedy, but with a twist. They were betrayed by their daughter and she by their friends.

This is not about race and to make it so cheapens their memory. I am very sorry to see you and your paper give so much publicity to a man who should be long forgotten in this town.

I could express this much more eloquently and I could given the time, but you are wrong on this and I hope you can see why. One monument can’t be all things to all people. This one is a touching memorial to a family brutally slain and erected by those who loved them and were affected by them. If they didn’t care enough to create this, we wouldn’t even be having this discussion. Instead you and others are using this act of love to further divide this city. It’s a real shame.

Paul Hammond

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Paul Hammond said...

There were several typos and one serious mix up of names pointed out to me by an anonymous commenter. The typos have been fixed, I hope. The name mixup was between the Caspers and the Baskervilles/Tuckers. In a rush to get this out I did not catch this. My thanks to whoever pointed this out. I don't want this story to be about my typing skills or lack of proofreading. It is about the treatment of the Harvery anniversery and the lack of judgement by both the RTD and Mr. Williams who have given too much attention to a convicted felon and racial muckraker.

Someone pointed out on the Hills and Heights website that the Harvey Memorial was also dedicated to "…all the families of Richmond." Maybe we need another memorial to all the victims of violence in Richmond. We need to be reminded of the death toll in Richmond that continues to grow each year. That is something I would support.

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