Voice of the people: Ben C. Toledano

May 14, 2014 10:14:25 AM

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Emancipation and DUI 

 

Anyone who has read almost any "Slimantics" column by Dispatch Managing Editor Timothy "Slim" Smith would know that he served a prison sentence for, I think, multiple convictions of DUI. He wears it like a badge of courage and knowledge, so much so that his thoughts on the history of Columbus's "8 O' May" stir "meditations on the nature of emancipation." [Slimantics, May 8, 2014] 

 

Because of his time in prison, Smith writes that he has "a frame of reference that gives" him more insight into how the black population felt when they learned they were emancipated 149 years ago. He compares that feeling to "my personal Emancipation Day" when he was released from prison. 

 

My point is simply this: Smith was imprisoned for cause, for breaking the law on multiple occasions. Black persons were not enslaved because of any illegal or improper actions by them. They were innocent; Smith wasn't. Yet, he would have us believe that his imprisonment in some way qualifies him to know what it was like "to be a black resident of Columbus on May 8, 1865." 

 

Recently, in response to his article about the loss of a close acquaintance ("Missing Mike," April 6), an appeal was made to Mr. Smith to get a grip on his self-absorption. That article contained the first person nominative pronoun "I" 32 times. Whether he took the advice or not, "8 O' May" only contains 21 "I's." Even so, I'm afraid the I's still have it. 

 

Ben C. Toledano 

 

Columbus