Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Civic Fed: Accusation of Racism Against Johns Hopkins is Free Speech

Jim Humphrey, who submits columns written by Montgomery County Civic Federation (MCCF) members to the Sentinel, sent us the following statement about a recent column on Gaithersburg West. The column, written by MCCF Land Use Chair Arnold Gordon, alleged racism on the part of Johns Hopkins because their development plan created jobs in Montgomery County rather than Baltimore.

Adam -

In 2004, the Montgomery Sentinel newspaper extended a generous invitation to the Montgomery County Civic Federation to submit a weekly column, which we titled the "Federation Corner." The MCCF makes this column space available to its members to weigh in on issues of importance to them. The following disclaimer appears at the end of the column: "The views expressed in this column do not necessarily reflect formal positions adopted by the Federation."

In a recent column ("Gaithersburg West plan is a monstrosity," October 1, 2009), author and MCCF delegate Arnold Gordon posed a question regarding the possible motives behind the Johns Hopkins University proposal to develop the Belward Farm which the Federation did not raise in its official position on the Gaithersburg West Sector Plan. As the current coordinator of "Federation Corner" column submissions, I defend Mr. Gordon's right to pose whatever question he thinks is relevant to the discussion. The MCCF firmly believes that such a vehicle for free speech is useful and needed, while at the same time we must remind readers that personal views expressed in this column should not be mischaracterized as those of the Federation.

Jim Humphrey