Claiming ‘hate’ is just way to censor speech


I am writing in reply to Elyse Semerdjian’s special to the Union-Bulletin (Aug 2).

In her article (Blaming all Muslims for terrorism ignores the facts), Elyse essentially asks that my rights to free speech be censored.

Using the same techniques as many politicians these days, she claims my opinion is hate speech and incitement to violence. At a minimum, if this were the case, I am sure that the Union-Bulletin would not have printed my article.

The maximum amount of words for any letter to the editor is 400, which my letter complied with. Somehow, Elyse received permission to essentially write a letter to the editor that approaches 900 words to condemn my opinion. When I send letters to the editor (and Editorial Page Editor Rick Eskil reviews them), I have researched the facts and draw a conclusion based on those facts.

The reader may not like my conclusions. The First Amendment to the Constitution concerns freedom of speech and is what the United States of America was built on. I hope my grandchildren will be able to exercise free speech so they also may live in a country of liberty and freedom.

As a retired Army infantry officer, Army Ranger and Vietnam veteran, I am proud I served all United States citizens and protected their right to free speech.

Many of my friends and colleagues were killed and wounded in supporting this right. I will never ask to have anyone censored even though we may disagree.

Most people are getting tired of calling someone who a person disagrees with “haters,” when it’s so far from the truth.

Craig Buchanan

Walla Walla


VinoTinto 2 years ago

Craig, while I appreciate your right to free speech, the rest of civilized society has the right to comment on your letter. Your point of view is ignorant and hateful. Now we've both exercised our right to free speech!!!


downhillracer 2 years ago

Mr. Buchanan, may I suggest you exercise your right to remain silent. Thank goodness you can't share your horribly twisted, racist and fact-less views with our school children any longer. The demographic you represent is slowly fading out, and not a minute too soon.


PearlY 2 years ago

Just curious, which ""demographic" are you happy to see fade out? That term usually refers to some unchosen category like sex, race, age, or combination of those.

If you mean the 'demographic' of racists, sadly I fear you are mistaken that it is dying out. Young people in their late teens and early 20s, even though more likely to have acquaintances of other races, seem to me to be far more racist than people of that age were in the 70s, 80s or 90s.


namvet60 2 years ago

Great letter Mr. Buchanan - it's really hard telling who is calling who racist and being a bigot. Your explanations are well written but people that are narrow-minded have trouble comprehending.


MyFamNews 2 years ago

Sorry, namvet, but Mr. Buchanan is the one with the narrow mind. It has been my experience that attempts to broaden the thinking of like minded folks, is met with: "I have a right to free speech" which is true, but others also have that right and are free to call out inaccurate notions, especially when those notions are directed at innocent people.


namvet60 2 years ago

MyFamNews - question: What type of verbiage do you find appropriate to use in disagreeing with another party? Do you use the same type that you are disagreeing with or do you try and find a higher ground to respond on?


JustWondering 2 years ago

Ms. Semerdjian was writing a column. Rick Eskil accepts guest columnists. A 'guest' is allocated many more words than the 400 word limit given to those writing Letters to the Editor. As a scholar, with relevant credentials, she is well qualified to educate those interested in learning. In the context of being a good citizen in our richly diverse country, she also pointed out the harm in irresponsible use of the First Amendment. Mr. Buchanan seems to have focused on the latter element (and objects) because of comments he made in an earlier Letter to the Editor. Here he opened our eyes to the creeping influence of Muslims/Jihadists in our airline cleaning crews, the local school system and in foreign and domestic policy. The UB does print many Letters to the Editor that are far from factual, literate or logical. That Mr. Buchanan's letter was all those things was not a reason to omit it. However, the UB does need to be cautious about being used as a podium for those who would promote taking action against those we would identify by attire, religion and perceived dislike of Christians.


namvet60 2 years ago

My question still remains - do you respond and in responding use language that is just as irresponsible and condemning as the letter that your responding to. I'm not saying Mr Buchanan is correct but are the people responding anymore responsible or as detestable as the letter writer?


MyFamNews 2 years ago

namvet: as soon as you figure out where the high ground is, you can use it in your comments, instead of nitpicking everyone's comments . It is never my intention to use language that is not respectful. You are free to disagree.


namvet60 2 years ago

MyFamNews - Let's speak for one self - I only comment on posts that is in relation to my posts trying to degrade me or whatever I'm posting on. I don't need some of you people thinking that you are the highter heirarchy of the U-B to nitpick my posts without some type of response. If you comment on a post fine - just don't bother reading mine then you wouldn't feel the need to think that your the only one with ground to walk on. Higher or Lower.


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