Letters to the editor

Jul. 04, 2013 @ 03:11 PM

Republican contradictions

The 4th of July is the date we Americans celebrate the colonists who experienced grave sacrifices in their pursuit of independence from the British Kingdom. It is also the date North Carolina was readmitted to the Union following the harsh punishment imposed by radical Republicans in Congress.

(President Andrew Johnson, a southerner from Tennessee, did not agree with congressional Republicans who wanted to give full citizenship and civil rights to the freedmen (former slaves), including the right to vote. Under the Reconstruction legislation Johnson vetoed, a veto congress did not let stand, the radical Republicans placed southern states under military rule except for the president’s home state of Tennessee.

Many former Confederates were denied the right to vote while male freedmen were given a place at the ballot box. The rebellious states were forced to re-write their constitutions that gave freedmen rights that included property ownership and civil rights. Southern states were required to approve the 14th Amendment to the Constitution. The amendment granted citizenship to “all persons born or naturalized in the United States.”

At the time, the legislature was primarily made up of Republicans from western North Carolina who chose not to participate in the War Between the States, in large part because their economy did not rely on slavery, and freedmen from eastern North Carolina.

There appears to be a strong contradiction between the Republicans who control today’s legislature and the Republicans of yesteryear who granted citizenship and civil rights to African-Americans.

Charles L. Recktenwald

Durham

Hold prisons accountable

I know the Republicans are looking to save the state money. They need to take a hard look at our prison costs and what we are getting for our money.

The objective should be getting these men and women back into society in a productive way. The recidivism rate is way too high. Ex-offenders’ being shunned when job hunting is not helping to get them reintegrated. Long sentences for various crimes, many of which are non-violent, are counterproductive.

It seems to me a cost of $30,000 a year to imprison someone is excessive. We don't need to have an environment where it is easier to have a life in prison than out of prison. Common sense says we need to try policies that work elsewhere, that are cost effective, and might be even the morally right thing to do.

If school principals and teachers can be fired for poor results, why not put the onus on prison superintendents and their staff? They need to set an environment that breeds success. Recidivism rates should be compared prison to prison and those with poor results should be let go.

Larry Bumgardner

Durham

Whiny hypocrites

It’s amusing how the left is crying that the GOP is shoving their morals and beliefs down the throat of every resident of North Carolina, yet when it comes to abortion on demand, free contraception, removing prayer from schools and so on its perfectly alright for them to do it.

The lefties literally lose their mind when their own tactics are used against them. What a bunch of whiny hypocrites.

Anthony Socha

Durham