In response to this interview, Wells immediately wrote a letter to the editor of the Westminster Gazette. The paper printed it the following day. Wells chastised Willard and Somerset for their attempts at a lighthearted tone, which she said proved their "indifference to suffering" and the "terrible subject of lynching."
Wells made clear what she understood as the stakes of the conflict: the brutality and oppression faced by black people in the American South, and the apathy of white people who claimed to be their allies. She wrote:
The concluding sentence of the interview shows the object is not to determine how best they may help the Negro who is being hanged, shot and burned, but 'to guard Miss Willard's reputation.' With me, it is not myself nor my reputation, but the life of my people which is at stake, and I affirm that this is the first time to my knowledge that Miss Willard has said one single word in denouncing lynching or demand for law.
The fact is, Miss Willard is no better or worse than the great bulk of white Americans on the Negro question. They are all afraid to speak out, and it is only British public opinion which will move them, as I am thankful to see it has already begun to move Miss Willard.