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Boyle attack on Edgerton wasn’t about free speech
By Kirk Lyons

Posted: Feb 01 at 01:30 AM

John Boyle doesn’t get it. Probably never will ("See Asheville(NC) Citizen-Times, Jan. 27, John Boyle's "Column angered many"). Boyle tries to cast the storm of e-mails and protest caused by his Jan. 20 article dumping on H.K. (Edgerton)(See AC-T Jan. 20, 2001, "There is no honor or dignity in slavery") , as a "free speech issue&Well, there are no stouter champions of John Boyle’s right to espouse his abysmal ignorance in the pages of the Asheville Citizen-Times than H.K. Edgerton, myself or any of the crowd that joined our protest in front of the Citizen-Times Building last Wednesday. (See Photo)

The point is not free speech!

John Boyle abused his position as a columnist, to unfairly attack and mischaracterize the deeply held convictions of our friend, H.K. Edgerton. John Boyle ridiculed a man that has done more for all the citizens of Asheville than John Boyle could do in three lifetimes. John Boyle mocked a man who is one of the architects for a rational and workable plan for racial reconciliation between Black and White. John Boyle wrote his column without any background attempt to truly understand why H.K. embraces the Confederate Flag. When Columnist Boyle "messes" with our friend, H.K. he "messes" with all of us.

We realize that John Boyle is probably beyond being educated to the truths of history and reality, that objectivity to Brother John is just a word in the dictionary. But we hope that Boyle and the Citizen-Times take note that every time they unfairly attack our friend, we will respond. We will be there, visible, with placards and e-mails to embarrass the journalistic attacker and continue our Southern Civil Rights movements’ outreach to ALL people of goodwill.

Nothing personal, ladies and gentlemen of the press, but that is the way it will be from here on. It is a new day in Dixie!

Kirk D. Lyons is chief legal counsel for the Southern Legal Resource Center. He lives in Black Mountain.

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