Dear Editor,

I feel the need to address "head on" a very sensitive subject: the inadvertently live comments made by Orin Harris and Holly Kusserow-Smidt on November 28.

I was truly hopeful that we could all "move on" by now but that does not appear to be the case.

I want to be very clear I do not in any way condone those comments which definitely had a racist tone.

But I think we all need to listen to a very wise young man and learn from his mature and empathetic approach to this situation.

Nikolas Padilla is a Hispanic young man and a member of the Eagle Grove basketball team.

He was mentioned in the Harris/Kusseriow-Smidt comments.

In a post on Facebook Nikolas he said he didn't want Mr. Harris to be known for his "devastating remarks" and "I accept his apology and I want him to move on with his life as I will with mine."

I see a bright future for this young man and I wish him all the best.

But as he suggests, we all need to move on and we must not define Orin and Holly by the unfortunate and very much regretted comments, but rather we should surround them with friendship and love and focus on their lives of service to countless athletes and young students.

Bear in mind both were terminated by KIOW and Holly lost her job with the Forest City School.

I very much regret there seems to be an undercurrent in the media that Forest City may be a "racist town" and perhaps our students are even somehow implicated.

There seems to be an effort by the media to sensationalize the situation.

In an article, in the January 15 issue of Time, Bill Gates makes the case there is much reason to be optimistic about the future of our country and the world but then asks: "So why does it feel the world is in decline?

I think it is partly the nature of news coverage.

Bad news arrives as a drama, while good news is incremental and not usually deemed newsworthy.

A video of a building on fire generates lots of views, but not so many people would click on the headline "Fewer buildings burned down this year.'

A headline in the January 7 issue of the Globe Gazette reads "'Sorry' is not enough for school."

The article states leaders at the Eagle Grove School District initially rejected the apology from KIOW but the headline masks that the article later states that a second apology was accepted and an Eagle Grove School official said he was "fine with the resolution."

I have lived in Forest City nearly 49 years and I know Forest City is not a "racist town."

I have often commented in prior articles I am fortunate to be a friend/mentor to a number of our high school students.

These are quality young people and they find any type of racism or other form of prejudice or bullying to be abhorrent and unacceptable.

They tell me such behavior is absolutely not tolerated in our school.

As a member of the community, I am so sorry this happened but I ask everyone follow Nikolas' advice to "move on."

Please resist what appears to be a temptation to "label" an entire community, a school district or its young people because of remarks made by two people while working for KIOW.

From a Christian perspective, read John 8:1-12, in which a woman caught in adultery is brought to Jesus. The law of the land was to stone the woman for her actions.

Jesus said: "Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her."

Does anyone out there feel that he/she should throw the first stone?

Sincerely,

Raymond M. Beebe

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