11/13 Your letters: ACA enrollment, Gorka at UNC

Sign up now for Affordable Care Act

Now is the time to sign-up for the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Durham residents who visit the Durham County Department of Social Services can make an appointment to get assistance by visiting Lobby No. 10 in the Human Services Building, 414 E. Main St. The ACA enrollment period will end Dec. 15.

Durham County is hosting an ACA enrollment event series at the Lincoln Community Health Center, 1301 Fayetteville Road. The dates are Nov. 18; and Dec. 2 and 9. On each date the time for the enrollment event is from 8 a.m. until noon. Since the enrollment period has been reduced to six weeks, versus the 12 weeks we had last year, we are offering every Saturday during the enrollment period to help consumers get the assistance they need to get health care.

Essentially, during the ACA enrollment period, help will be available six days per week, to attempt to accommodate as many families as possible. If we have to stay a little late to help someone, we will do it. Consumers can also call 855-733-3711 to schedule an appointment to get help with the ACA. We hope that people follow-up on the assistance available.

Pamela R. Purifoy and Juan Colon

Durham County Department of Social Services

Undeserved platform

An open letter to UNC Chancellor Folt,

We would like to request the immediate cancellation of the UNC College Republicans upcoming event at UNC-Chapel Hill at 6 p.m. Nov. 13, with headlining speaker Sebastian Gorka, who formerly served as a deputy assistant to President Donald Trump.

In light of the continued rise in hate crimes against minorities in the United States and the Islamophobic rhetoric of the current administration, we believe that it would be patently irresponsible to allow Mr. Gorka to be given a platform to spew his hateful ideologies and racist viewpoints at a higher educational institution such as UNC-Chapel Hill.

To go forward with this event raises serious concerns in regards to campus safety and we worry that Mr. Gorka’s presence might increase the potential risk for violence from the alt-right or other groups, which we’ve seen in other recent incidents in Charlottesville, VA as only one example of many.

Mr. Gorka’s racist views are well-known and readily available online. In a recent interview with the Breitbart News Daily radio show Mr. Gorka was asked to discuss Muslim related issues as a “real” threat to the United States. He said, “It’s this constant, ‘Oh, it’s the white man. It’s the white supremacists. That’s the problem.’ Go to Sinjar. Go to the Middle East, and tell me what the real problem is today. Go to Manchester.”

The first amendment, in no way, stipulates that an educational institution should risk possible violence to students or others by giving a well-known hatemonger an open platform to further marginalize and ostracize minority members of our communities. Further, even though this is an event organized by members of the student body, it is our hope that you will look toward the precedents that have already been set by educational institutions like UC Berkeley who this past September cancelled the student-organized “Free Speech Week” as it featured Milo Yiannopoulos as its main speaker. Like Gorka, Yiannopoulos engages in hateful rhetoric and holds racist viewpoints that have no place in America.

We ask you to withdraw the invitation to Sebastian Gorka for the UNC-Chapel Hill event on November 13, 2017. We ask your educational institution to show support for minorities and to quiet those voices that seek to sow hatred and discord amongst us all.

It is a privilege for anyone to speak at UNC-Chapel Hill and Sebastian Gorka does not deserve such an opportunity to further spread his message of hate.

Faisal R. Khan

Director, Carolina Peace Center

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