Respect the flag
As a veteran and a U.S. citizen, I find it disheartening to see professional athletes and team owners taking a knee during the National Anthem. The anthem and the flag are treasured, if not sacred, symbols of many freedoms and positive values – not just one – that should not be treated disrespectfully. Rather, they should evoke a sense of gratitude and pride and be upheld as goals toward which all Americans should continue to strive.
While I share the concern for those not yet fully experiencing the American Dream, my hope is that we Americans would choose a more respectful and less divisive means of protest. Perhaps players could meet with key local, state, and national leaders; hold press conferences; issue press releases; or find some other less objectionable way to gain support for their concerns without disrespecting the flag and creating another controversy.
American democracy is not perfect but our nation deserves that we all work in positive, less divisive ways to make it work better for all our citizens.
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Great people power
I’ll always remember September 25 gazing with disbelief at over 100 motorized wheelchairs at three entrances of the Hart Senate Office Building in Washington, D.C.. before 7 a.m. These highly motivated disabled people were bent on getting a seat at the Senate Finance Committee hearing room at 2 p.m. Their life was the issue. A handful were permitted in, but hundreds packed the entire hallway in anticipation.
“Don’t repeal Obama’s Affordable Care Act! Vote NO on the Graham-Cassidy Health Bill.”
These folks with life threatening pre-existing conditions came from Alaska to Wyoming to be heard, as we loudly chanted “Kill the bill! Don’t kill us!” “Don’t cut Medicaid! It is our security!” and “Shut it down!”
Republican senators walking past heard, “Shame! Shame!” repeated. Our voices were heard inside the meeting room and police threatened arrest. The activists inside were thrown out and arrested and many in the hall refused to be silent or leave. This free speech, non-violent action resulted in the death of the Graham-Cassidy Bill and 181 arrests for “Crowding, Obstructing, or Incommoding,” and we were required to return in 24 hours to pay a $50 fine.
When working together non-violently for a just cause, we have great People Power.
No reason to be ashamed
Back in 1861, North Carolina Gov. John Ellis put out a call for volunteers to defend North Carolina from invasion by the United States. By the thousands, patriotic men heeded the call, not to defend slavery, but to defend their state, homes, and families. These men fought bravely and endured unbelievable hardships. Many lost limbs, eyes and other body parts, and their property. Thousands lost their lives.
After the war, the South lay destitute and was further punished by so called “Reconstruction.” But as soon as they were able, Southerners erected memorials to these brave men. And contrary to what some try to tell us, a number of them were black volunteers.
Today, we have a “Governor” who, in order to please Communist-front organizations, wants to throw our ancestors under the bus and hide their legacy. The Communist Party USA knows that Confederate history will be easier for them to finish erasing and rewriting because they have so many useful idiots ready to destroy it without really understanding it, and so many others who, for some reason, are ashamed to stand up for it.
If we allow them success in this, they will begin erasing the rest of our history, icons, and heroes so we won’t resist a Communist takeover. Already they disrespect Columbus, Washington, Jefferson, and our flag and have thrown Christianity out of our schools and government.
You have no reason to be ashamed of your Confederate ancestors; you should try to see that they would have no reason to be ashamed of you.
Kelly Bryant’s example
Eddie Davis’ column (Herald-Sun, Sept. 24) on Kelly Bryant was a refreshing reminder of a long and well-lived life. We especially appreciated Eddie’s reference to Mr. Bryant’s “collection of printed funeral obituaries of famous and not-so-famous African-Americans in Durham,” which he gave to the North Carolina Collection of the Durham County Library.
Mr. Bryant’s thoughtfulness and generosity provide an example for others with papers and artifacts reflecting Durham’s rich history. The North Carolina Collection of the Durham County Library welcomes such donations. The renovations underway at the Main Library will provide ample, climate-controlled, well-supervised space for these items.
Our fellow citizens should consider this facility as the repository for their local-history treasures. Why? Because, in Shirley Abbott’s words, “the past matters, ... history weighs on us and refuses to be forgotten by us, and ... the worst poverty [people] can suffer is to be bereft of their past.”
Lynn Richardson and Willis P. Whichard
Editor’s Note: Lynn Richardson recently retired as the director of the North Carolina Collection at the Durham County Library. Willis Whichard, founding president of the Durham Library Foundation, established an endowment in the Foundation to benefit the Collection.
Great first step
The initial tax reform framework is a great first step to overhauling our broken and antiquated tax code and allowing the American economy to unleash its full potential.
I’m encouraged that the framework follows similar principles that we implemented in North Carolina: simplifying the tax code, lowering rates, and broadening the base. North Carolina’s tax reform has been incredibly successful, leading to more jobs, more revenue, and more growth.
This success can be replicated at the national level, and it’s now time for Congress to get to work and fufill our promise to reform the federal tax code.
Sen. Thom Tillis
Not that complicated
In her op-ed of Sept. 10, Amy Rosenthal accuses Davidson and Shive (Herald-Sun, Aug. 25) of hypocrisy. She believes no one should criticize the wrongdoing of any country without criticizing all countries that do similar things.
This is blatantly false. Israel receives $10 million U.S. taxpayer dollars every day, totaling $130 billion dollars to date. No other country, good or bad, has received or continues to receive this much U.S. support. We have a responsibility not to support countries whose policies are illegal. It is interesting that none of the defenses of Israel recently published in this paper, i.e., Ms. Rosenthal’s op-ed and two letters, mention the illegal Israeli settlements, which house 650,000 people and have displaced the Palestinian owners of the land.
Contrary to widespread propaganda, this issue is not complicated.
According to United Nations decree and International Law, the West Bank occupation, the blockade of Gaza, the East Jerusalem annexation are all illegal. The settlements are illegal. The wall is illegal. Israel has a legal right to exist within the pre-June-1967 borders, but not to occupy or blockade any part of the Palestinian Territories, nor to build settlements or roads, establish checkpoints, build walls there, nor to extract water from those Territories. Currently, Israel takes 83 percent of the water that lies beneath Palestinian land. Palestinian homes are demolished and olive groves continue to be destroyed regularly. Every conflict results in far more Palestinian than Israeli casualties. It is apparent Palestinians are fighting for their very lives.
The BDS movement is not about destroying Israel. It is about bringing ethical norms to U.S. spending and using this pressure to end Israel’s illegal and egregious human rights violations. The goal is a two-state solution, with dignity and respect for Israelis and Palestinians alike.
Joan F. Walsh
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