Last week, I shared a rather disturbing e-mail from someone upset about our airing the Pledge of Allegiance by a predominantly Hispanic class of elementary students. I promised an update.
When we receive e-mails or calls, I deem it to be very important that we respond. I never want anyone to think their opinion falls into a dark hole or is filed away. Our culture is to respond. Responding means you care, and at least from my vantage point, too many television stations and media companies have stopped listening to their audience, an audience who, by and large, are a bit more informed and, granted, a bit more vocal due, I think, to social media.
So it is with the person who wrote in about the pledge. Michael Oder got the first e-mail, and then, a follow-up. The concerned viewer and I had a spirited exchange. The note says:
"I just received a very nice, understanding email from Mike Wright. He informed us that the video of the children reciting the Pledge of Allegiance was actually a school spot, an on-going segment of legal students. I am sorry that I was so hard on you, Michael, but when you said these were our future (and we did not know that these children were legal), it set many of us off. I truly apologize. What it appeared to be was that your station was legitimizing the entrance of the illegal Hispanics who will someday take Texas back. We had no idea these were legal. We've just had so many people fighting against us for the sanity of the preservation of our nation, that we are very much on the defensive now. It is hard to know who is our enemy and who is our friend. There are those who are surprisingly too left-leaning on this issue when it really should be a non-partisan subject. Too many are willing to sell our country off for votes. We are struggling to keep our head above water here. We work hard to make ends meet and do as the Good Book and the Constitution dictate and here we are the traitors. Here we work hard and are good people only to be taxed so others who are illegal can have what we ourselves deserve and or cannot afford. Yes, we are angry. It has nothing to do with prejudice but reasonable and sane preservation. Again, I am very sorry, but we were not aware that you have segments on the schools here. We just saw these kids popping up, all Hispanic, and you saying these are our future. Deja vu all over, like all the left-leaning networks advocating amnesty to those who never waited in line as the law dictates. It was too much for us to bear, Michael. To think that you, a seemingly reasonable and sane network, would fall in step with these irrational advocates was absolutely devastating to us here. Please forgive our quick assumptions and my intense reprimand. In my heart I knew it had to be a mistake and I am so relieved that my inner stirrings were right. I would be so disappointment to find that this decent city isn't as decent as I had thought and I would be especially hurt to find that your station is not as reasonable and wise as I have assumed. We look forward to watching you every morning!"
And so, some resolve, or perhaps an understanding. In general -- me included -- I just want to be heard, and I want to know my opinion matters. If communication were sincere in Washington now, perhaps we would all understand we don't live in a black and white world. Sometimes, communication brings understanding. Sometimes.
Do be in touch anytime. Your opinion does matter to the family of KBTX News 3.