Dear Mr. Schnatter,
This is up close and personal. I want you to know that I understand how you can be put into a situation that leads to thoughtlessness. I also want you to know that I realize events and people can set you up for a downfall. In your core, I do not believe you are a racist. As Ricky Jones has pointed out, you have done much good for others. Unfortunately, some will turn their backs on you, some of the very ones you hoped to help – even some of your own community that you love and wanted to support. They didn’t understand who you really are.
Should you have experienced consequences for your actions? – probably. Should the consequences negate all the good that you have done? – probably not. You have accepted consequences with grace – I admire you. I see your sorrow. You have apologized. Some of the very people yelling the loudest have committed wrongs equal to or worse than yours. What people are wondering is – will this bring about change in you?
I want to make this even more up close and personal. I have watched a school corporation hurt children. They will not even acknowledge their wrongs. They continue in glory and rave evaluations. No one will dare to even address their wrongdoing. While you have used thoughtless words – they have used actions. Even when the wrongs were pointed out – they continued for their own glory and success. No consequences have been afforded to big organizations such as this. They are Goliath, and there is no David to fight.
Mr. Schnatter – I offer you a proposition. My organization has thought long and hard about this, and some of us have varying viewpoints on the matter. But in the end, we have decided to seek you out and ask for the money that you would have given to the Jeffersonville Field House, $800,000 - to be donated to our organization – York Academy of Discovery. We will not put your name on anything – we have our own name; this name bears the name of a slave. We ask only that we be accountable for how we spend the money with no other strings attached. You will see all expenditures, and will be invited to all functions. You will have opportunity to meet the children you have touched. We offer you the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of children. We are starting with nothing, as you did so many years ago.
No matter what you decide – I believe that your heart is good. I believe you have made a mistake. I know you are suffering the consequences for your words. Now, use your actions to make a difference for children. Here is our website for your view: www.yorkacademyofdiscovery.com. We hope you agree with what we are doing for children, and will contribute to our cause.
I also know the backlash I may receive for writing this. I say – bring it on. I know that bad situations can be made into good!