Opinion

03/21 – What You’re Saying: Geoffrey Eugene Gadsden, W.B. Turner, Ellie Kinnaird, and Beth Bruch, Lara Haft, bex kolins, Sandra Korn, Suzi Pietroluongo, Noa Nessim, Noah Rubin-Blose and Emily Unger

Defending NCCU School of Law

It is with sadness and trepidation that I write in support and defense of the admission practices and quality of the legal education provided by faculty and staff at the law school at N.C. Central University.

I am honored to have had the opportunity to be trained and consequently make a living as a result of the professionalism, intellectual competence and care that was instilled in me at NCCU. It’s sad that the brilliant jurist Julius Chambers is no longer alive to tell his story. Our first-year courses involved rigorous training instilling in the entire student body what would be needed to prepare us for a career that would involve our intellectual, emotional and professional acumen.

I don’t think it fair or equitable to take the sampling of students who “washed out” during their first year as being indicative of either the quality or inequality of the legal training at NCCU. Traditional and non-traditional students have been exposed to the same rigors. The Socratic Method remains alive, and black students, many of them friends of mine, have proven that the bar exam remains a historic racial hindrance. Furthermore, to assume the admission standards are diminished is absurd given the depth of analysis into legal theory and its practical application that prevail at NCCU and other like institutions.

NCCU continues to provide an unsurpassed legal education for its students. If it had not been for the legal education procured from the law school, I would not have been able to weather the ongoing 36-year fight against the institutionalized bias and racism that permeates the admissions process and procedures inherent in the North Carolina Bar Association that I discovered during my efforts to acquire the most simple and basic expectation of a legally trained professional, which is admission to the practice of law after successful passage of the bar examination.

My concerns included reports of black students being blacklisted as I was in search of the opportunity to run for political office here in my home state. The admission to the bar at NCCU and other institutions is, in historical context, a disgrace to the philosophy of everyone, minority applicants too, to be admitted to the profession as a means of enhancing diversity. The lack of transparency and the secrecy under which bar admission officials operate leaves far too much room and opportunity to malign applicants of color through the admission process while allowing the bar to publically pronounce its desire to increase “diversity.”

Geoffrey Eugene Gadsden, J.D.

NCCU School of Law, Class of 1982

No inividual needs an automatic

I’m a born-again Christian conservative who believes the Bible is the Instruction Book for my life. I’m also a sinner who believes that Jesus Christ is savior of the world. In His word, He taught me to love everybody regardless of what they believe. The word also taught me that marriage is between a man and a woman. It also taught me that all have sinned and come short of the Glory of God but forgiveness comes from believing in God’s only begotten son.

I said all that to say that I am a WWII and Korean veteran who was a rifleman in WWII and was taught all the basics of handling the M1 rifle. Each clip had eight bullets, and it was not automatic. One had to pull the trigger each time a round was dispensed. In war we had automatic weapons including machine guns. That to me is the only reason anyone would need an automatic gun. Personally I believe no individual needs to own an automatic weapon because it is a weapon of war. Guns don’t kill. Only people behind the gun kills. I believe it’s important to have a gun for one’s own safety of his or her own family.

What we’ve seen going on in the schools today is God’s word has been kicked out and satan has free rein, especially for those who have emotional or mental problems. My prayer is that we’ll get back to the Instruction Book.

W.B. Turner

Hillsborough

Fighting fascism everywhere

As queers deeply involved in Durham’s Jewish community, we are writing in response to Peter Reitzes’s letter accusing Jewish Voice for Peace of being an anti-Semitic and anti-LGBTQ organization.

We love our people so much: both our Jewish community and our queer community. That’s why we pour our lives into fighting fascism wherever we see it – from Charlottesville to the Muslim Ban. And we work to dismantle Israeli apartheid, which commits human rights abuses against Palestinians (including Palestinian queers), African Israelis, and asylum-seekers in our names. Conflating anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism is an old political tactic that insults our identities and our Jewish values.

Reitzes frames JVP as an anti-queer and anti-Semitic organization – a strange accusation, since we’ve never seen him at an LGBTQ event and rarely at any of our Jewish community institutions. There have always been Jews with differing opinions about Israel/Palestine. Our bodies and our sexualities cannot be used as a wedge to divide the Jewish community.

We are proud to support the Demilitarize! Durham2Palestine campaign, which seeks to end deadly police exchanges between the Durham police and the Israeli military. As queer people, we know that it’s not the police who keep us safe – it’s our solidarity with other oppressed people. We are proud to join with Muslims and Christians, Latinx and Black people, and others fighting the militarization of U.S. law enforcement. We hope that all who love peace and justice will join us in advocating for Palestinian liberation and a Durham beyond policing.

Beth Bruch, Lara Haft, bex kolins, Sandra Korn, Suzi Pietroluongo, Noa Nessim, Noah Rubin-Blose and Emily Unger

Durham

What Scalia said about 2nd Amendment

Contrary to what the NRA and other gun enthusiasts say, there are the limits to the Second Amendment’s right of individuals to keep and carry guns.

Justice Scalia, the conservative author of the landmark Heller decision wrote, “Like most rights, the right secured by the Second Amendment is not unlimited ... nothing in our opinion should be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms.”

There have been almost 100 court decisions upholding gun control laws by cities and states. In each case, the Supreme Court has refused to review those decisions, leaving the gun control laws in place.

Additionally, the Second Amendment states, “A well-regulated Militia, being necessary for the security of a free State ...” Are we to believe that the reason thousands of guns purchased by their owners is to join the militia?

A large majority of the public support reasonable gun control, as opposed to members of Congress and our legislature who are influenced by NRA money and support to get elected than what the public wants. Now that our young people are involved, will Congress and our legislature act? Or will the power of the NRA prevail over what their constituents want?

Eleanor Kinnaird

Chapel Hill

The writer is a former N.C. state senator and Carrboro mayor.

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