Letters to the editor

May. 05, 2013 @ 07:30 PM

Whose interests does our democracy serve?

The Texas fertilizer plant explosion killing 15 folks and leveling several blocks of homes is a classic case of not enough regulation. After all, it’s Texas, the true land of the free.  Why spend money trying to enforce a safe workplace? The truth is that no newspaper is interested in a story in which no one is hurt or injured.  

In Bangladesh, an entire eight-story building collapsed. I’m sure that, if regulation had been in place, the builder would have had to actually use rebar in the concrete he used to construct the building. If regulation had been in place, the police would have had the power to shutter the building when huge cracks began to appear in the days prior to its collapse. 

Business interests seem to drive most of the political decisions here in the U.S. Notice the quantity of recaps you see littering our roadways. Recaps were outlawed years ago for cars, but trucks can still use them. A woman was killed in Raleigh in a rollover some time ago when she tried to avoid a huge recap in the middle of the beltline. 

Cars are damaged, accidents happen and people are killed but recaps remain allowed on all but the front two truck tires. There is no practical way to track the owner of the recap so that a civil suit can proceed. At some point you have to wonder whose interests our democracy actually serves.

 

Larry Bumgardner

Durham

 

Many of us come from immigrants

The United States is a nation of immigrants. Other than the Native Americans, our families at some point immigrated to the United States.

Whether it was for religious freedom, political freedom or economic opportunity our families are in many ways the same as our present population of immigrants in the U.S.A. However, there is a difference that I would like many people to understand. Most of the students attending elementary schools across the country - whatever racial background their families have originated from - are here legally. They were born here and they are just as American as you think you are. They pledge allegiance every morning to the flag, they speak English, and they have most often never seen the country their families came from.

They have a right to be regarded as citizens and treated with respect. Their parents may not be fluent in English, and some came here without the proper procedures, although we use their labor.

With each passing generation, their children are educated and contributing to our society, and this is no different than what our families have accomplished. Our families came here in meager circumstances and worked their way up and into society. My grandparents built bridges, roads and dams and came here after the war. Our current immigrants need your support, not your self-righteous condemnations. Don’t ever forget where your families came from and why they came to the U.S.A.: for new and better opportunities.

 

Anne Zerrilla

Durham