Letters to the Editor

What you’re saying: Paul Andrews, Byron Ellis, Janie Wagstaff, Sandra Korn, Joe Exum, Diane Standaert

Readers’ letters on ‘Dirty Durham,’ sanctuary, Trump and the Clintons, the media, and the DNC

Proud to live in Durham

Thanks to reporter Dawn Baumgartner Vaughn for the great Sunday column on the positive changes to downtown.

My wife and I moved to Durham over 25 years ago. We chose to live in Durham against the advice of others to avoid “Dirty Durham.” Back then downtown was abandoned and spooky. Just look at it now with new microbreweries, restaurants, apartments and hotels, not to mention DPAC and DBAP, which were just abandoned parking lots back then.

So I am more proud than ever to live and love Durham.

Paul Andrews


Commission supports immigrants

On July 11 the Human Relations Commission for the city of Durham unanimously passed the following resolution.

“We, the City of Durham Human Relations Commission, have learned of the arrest and imminent deportation of José Chicas, a pastor and father of four. Like many immigrants, he came to the United States fleeing a brutal civil war and has now taken sanctuary in the School for Conversion in an effort to remain with his family. Pastor José Chicas and other engaged and contributing immigrant residents are a low priority for deportation, and for that reason, we would urge that they be granted favorable exercise of prosecutorial discretion. Separating individuals from their families and local communities would go against our humanitarian principles. We, the City of Durham Human Relations Commission, value every member of the community and urge that immigrants seeking sanctuary be protected.”

To learn more about the Human Relations Commission, please visit our website, https://durhamnc.gov/1193/Human-Relations-Commission or follow us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/DurhamHRC/

Diane Standaert

Chair, City of Durham Human Relations Commission

Shocked, shocked! I say

I am shocked, shocked! to discover that the Trump campaign tried to get information from Russians to discredit Hillary Clinton. I’m sure the Clintons would never do such a thing. Instead they sent Al Gore to California during the 1996 campaign to collect piles of money funneled into the country from China. Since there was “no controlling legal authority” concerning this activity I guess it was OK back then.

Byron Ellis

Chapel Hill

Media must do better

The media, which has been devolving for years, is more influential in elections than Russia, Guccifer, Wikileaks and 400-pound hackers from their recliners combined.

Looking at coverage of health care reform alone, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) in 2010 was extremely unpopular even as journalists wrote down the president’s “you can keep your policy and doctor” lies like stenographers. Instead of investigating, holding the president and Democrats accountable for how they were selling the bill and reporting honestly to the American people, the mainstream media went along because it aligned with their ideology.

Today, media coverage of the Republican plans abounds with hysterical cries of “people will die!” Democrats and the media hype the Congressional Budget Office’s assessment that 22 million Americans will lose coverage with no skepticism. Yet the CBO analysis of the PPACA exchange enrollment predicted 22 million but actual enrollment was 10 million. Coverage of any change to the PPACA is largely negative and treated like heresy. No wonder people don’t like the Republican plans!

Also wrong was the CBO’s estimate that insurers would be quite profitable in the exchanges when in fact, billions of dollars of losses have caused companies to withdraw, leaving large swaths of the country with only one insurer.

CBO’s last projection of exchange enrollment before the exchanges opened overshot actual 2016 enrollment by 120 percent.

CBO’s estimate assumed that insurers would be quite profitable selling exchange plans since insurers with “excess” profits contributed to the program while those with “excess” losses received payments from the program.

The media wants to control what you think and how you vote. That’s why they’re so upset that President Trump calls them out for their bias and said they are “the enemy of the people.” It’s also why they have such a low approval rating.

Janie Wagstaff


How the displaced must feel

I am writing in response to your June 7 article, “Father of 9-year-old being treated at Duke for rare tumor faces deportation.” Mosa Hamadeesa is a Palestinian refugee who has lived in the Triangle for the last 10 years and applied for asylum here. More than a month after ICE agents detained him at his home in Raleigh, he is still being held at the Atlanta City Detention Center.

My religious tradition teaches that everyone deserves refuge and to live in peace with their families. As a Jew whose ancestors fled violent pogroms in Eastern Europe, I cannot imagine how Mr. Hamadeesa must feel to be twice displaced – first, a refugee from Palestine, currently under occupation by the Israeli military; now, torn from his family and sick daughter by an unjust US immigration system.

Even while anti-Muslim and anti-Arab rhetoric is on the rise across the U.S., we must keep our neighbors safe. Congressman David Price should do everything possible to intervene on behalf of Mosa Hamadeesa. Please join me in calling Rep. Price to take action for Mosa Hamadeesa: 202-225-1784.

Sandra Korn

Movement to End Racism and Islamophobia


DNC distancing needed

Not having sex with Monica Lewinsky spawned a propaganda machine the North Koreans would envy. Born in Silicon Valley in 1998 during Clinton’s impeachment, MoveOn.Org used social media to spread Anglophobic/Saul Alinsky vitriol and is often credited with the political success of Barack Obama and Bernie Sanders. Hollywood, Kathy Griffin, and the cast of Shakespeare in the Park would be disciples of this subversive cult.

John Hodgkinson was not playing Caesar in his violent effort to kill a Republican congressmen even though radicalized Democrats suggested Scalise got what he deserved. The Democrat Party has distanced itself from the KKK over the past 50 years: It is time the DNC distanced itself from the political intolerance and bigotry espoused at MoveOn.org.

Joe Exum

Snow Hill