Thursday, September 17, 2009
Letter to Joe Wilson
Joe Wilson, Member
United States Congress
212 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, D. C 20515-4002
903 Port Republic Street
Beaufort, South Carolina 29902
I am an 80 year old mother and my older child is 51 years old; but, if ever I were to hear him call anyone a liar or rudely and obstreperously tell someone they were telling a lie, I would slap his face. My two children, 41 and 51 respectively, are very well reared as was I. I can remember as a little innocent child calling someone a liar. I only did it one time because the lecture in the form of a lesson in proper decorum sank in, and to this day, I have never called anyone a liar. My mother considered this the ultimate in rudeness and disrespect, not only for the person I called a liar, but for me, myself.
Having learned that lesson at such an early age, it made me cringe when you, at age 62, and a former military man, yelled to the President of the United States of America, “You lie.” As a military man, you know the chain of command; and, you were addressing the Commander in Chief of the United States of America. Of course, President Obama who is a very refined gentleman did not respond and he kept right on target delivering the most brilliant speech I have ever heard. I can say this with a degree of authority because I have been witness to every presidency since Herbert Hoover. Never in the hallowed halls of Congress have I witnessed such coarse, gross, despicable behavior.
I don’t know if your mother is alive or not, but if she is, I’m certain that she hung her head in shame knowing that all over the world you have disgraced her, yourself, your wife, your four sons, your office, your constituency and your country. Children of good breeding, who are properly reared carry the teachings of their parents throughout their lives. At 80 everything I do is tested against, “what would my mother think of that?” I would never defame her precious memory by demonstrating lack of self control and a knowledge of the social graces that separate women from ladies and men from gentlemen.
My mother was a proper Southern genteel lady who commanded respect because of the way she carried herself. I would think that your being from the South, you would have gotten some of that good ole Southern hospitality and gentility that seems to be characteristic of intelligent people of the South.
I do so hope you will listen to the foreign media as I did late last night. You are an international disgrace because from Ireland to China and England, your crudity was the main topic of conversation.
I note that you have a law degree. I wonder how proud your alma mater, University of South Carolina Law School , was of you tonight as you showed to the world that education without character is vacuous and meaningless. There is a popular expression of people with degrees who lack common sense, they are referred to as “educated fools.”
If you were playing to the media and to the camera for attention, you succeeded because your worldwide lega cy will be that you were the ill-suited and ill-placed person who demeaned himself in the halls of Congress for the first time in U S history.
Written with embarrassment for my country,
Helen L. Burleson, Doctor of Public Administration