Letters to the Editor

What you’re saying: Durham Committee on the Affairs of Black People, Sons of Confederate Veterans, Patrice Nelson

Not in Durham

The Durham Committee firmly believes that robust public debate and policies should promote community development that benefit all citizens and residents of Durham.

Speech that promotes racial hatred, political discord and cultural fragmentation is destructive and leads to violence. Such hateful speech found expression in Charlottesville, Virginia, last week and resulted in the loss of live and injuries to persons and property.

We will not have that in Durham, North Carolina!

Groups like the Ku Klux Klan, Neo-Nazis and White Nationalists, who advocate speech based on racial hatred are terrorists and should never be allowed to parade the public venues of our great city. We should not give them license to sow seeds of racial hatred, political discord and cultural fragmentation in our hometown.

The Durham Committee calls on all state, county and city local administrators to affirmatively denounce these hateful racist groups and deny them license to engage in lawless mischief in our City of Medicine! Durham citizens and residents will not be intimidated or bullied by reckless rhetoric. The Durham Committee calls on all city and county officials to send a clear message to the Ku Klux Klan and their friends:

Your hate is not welcome. Your racist rants will not be licensed. Your tactics of intimidation will not be tolerated. You are not welcome.

The Durham Committee on the Affairs of Black People was established in 1935 as The Durham Committee on Negro Affairs. Its purpose is to serve as a public forum for discussion of community affairs, and, especially, the affairs of the Black community. The Durham Committee seeks to arrive at a consensus for the general improvement of African Americans and their communities.

Submitted by Keith A. Bishop

on behalf of the Durham Committee on the Affairs of Black People

An unholy crusade

Last week the world witnessed a complete disregard for law and order as the Confederate monument standing on the old Durham County courthouse grounds was pulled down by an unruly mob. Meanwhile, in violation of their oaths, law enforcement personnel silently stood by and observed.

The North Carolina Division, Sons of Confederate Veterans denounces the destruction of property and those who use their freedoms of speech and expression as weapons of oppression and destruction. The members of the mob who flagrantly violated the law are a mass of hypocrites who use violence to rewrite history to their liking. Theirs is an unholy crusade that if left unchecked, will mean the end of American liberty and democracy. A society that is governed by the whims of a bigoted mob is not a free society.

We will do everything in our power to pursue prosecutions under the law for these cowardly acts committed in the lawless streets of Durham. We will also seek proper replacement of the monument.

R. Kevin Stone

Commander

Sons of Confederate Veterans

Godwin, N.C.

Leave the statues, buy more books!

As an African American female Durhamite in my 60s, I notice that Durham and North Carolina are no less racist than they were before the Confederate statues were removed or damaged from the county building on East Main Street and Duke Chapel on the university campus.

More importantly, our struggles to address racist and oppressive issues have not improved. Their destruction did not address gerrymandered voting districts that have led to an elected leadership of staunch conservatives to the exclusion of a more representative government, did not address the North Carolina legislature’s continued refusal to fight for health care for all, did not address discriminatory hiring practices, provide affordable housing or increase educational opportunities for all of our children.

The Southern Poverty Law Center recently identified over 1,500 statues, streets, parks, schools and other places named after the Confederate leaders of our country’s past. The amount of money, time, administrative changes, signage and angst that would be involved in removing all of these symbols will undoubtedly be astronomical! It is a waste of our resources and more importantly, takes the focus off of the real work and fight to overcome injustice that is vital to the prosperity and future of all of our citizens, especially our children.

I pray our leaders and people of all colors, will learn from and grow strong in spite of the evils of our country’s past, while diverting calls for the removal of simple symbols and instead mobilize the resources needed for real change.

Patrice Nelson

Durham

What you’re saying

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