Letters to the Editor

10/15 Your letters: Vernetta Alston, T. Anthony Spearman, Margot Carmichael Lester, W.B. Turner and Lori Taylor

Invest more in people, less in policing

I wholeheartedly support the educators and the stories in the article “What teachers say students need from Durham’s next mayor and city council” (Sept. 27).

I agree that our decisions as a city affect every person in Durham – even the youngest among us. If Durham can better serve all our residents, whether through housing, safety, or public amenities, we will provide critical support to our schools and courageous teachers. As the teachers highlighted in the article, everyone has a place in our community and the city must ensure that.

Policing has undeniable effects on our students and their families. When family members are in jail or prison, the young people in their lives suffer – both emotionally, economically, and educationally. The city should invest less in policing and more in our people through jobs, vital health services, accessibility, youth engagement, educational and empowerment opportunities. We must trust in our people to create safe communities and schools play a vital role in that community building process.

The work that DPS, the school board, and the Durham Association of Educators have done to support immigrant students and families should be commended and supported by everyone in the city. To honor that work and create safe communities for our young people and their families, the city should refrain from cooperating with deportation exercises. Local cooperation makes communities less likely to attend school, seek health care, and report crime, including domestic violence matters, for fear of deportation. Furthermore, Durham should become a sanctuary city for all people of color, LGBTQ people, and all undocumented persons living in Durham.

Finally, our young people look to us to help shape their own voices. We must be uncompromising about our beliefs and willingness to stand up for the rights of all people in Durham.

Vernetta Alston

The writer is a candidate for Durham City Council Ward 3.

New NAACP leader: ‘We aint’ skerd’

It is with the highest joy emanating from my heart, the deepest love arising from my soul and the sincerest respect anchored in my spirit for the entire membership of the NC NAACP that I pen these words.

I am grateful that I have been voted into the presidency; grateful that my predecessor and friend, the Right Rev. William J. Barber II, president emeritus, has left the state conference in such a good place, and grateful that so many are responding to the mantra, “Forward Together, Not One Step Back.” This state conference is woke, and we ain’t skerd.

As I campaigned across this state, I tuned into ways the State Conference can improve its service. Along with Dr. Terrance Ruth, our executive director, one of our goals is to ensure that the branches are nourished and nurtured. The five-point justice vision that we are fighting to achieve includes:

▪ Pro-labor, anti-poverty policies that ensure economic sustainability

▪ Educational equality that ensures that every child receives a high-quality, well-funded, constitutional, diverse public education

▪ Health care for all by enduring access to the Affordable Care Act, Medicare and Medicaid, Social Security and by providing environmental protection

▪ Fairness in the criminal justice system by addressing the continuing inequalities in the system for black, brown, and poor white people

▪ Protect and expand voting rights, women’s rights, LGBT rights, immigrant rights, and the fundamental principle of equal protection under the law.

God’s Word compels us to defend poor, disenfranchised, and needy people. We are obligated to create effective strategies to ensure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights of all people. As such, we must defeat the forces of race based discrimination and religion-based bigotry.

Among other issues, criminal justice reform must remain a priority. This State Conference must prevent entering into a state of rest until Dontae Sharpe is set free. We must be vigilant, even reaching back to pull Glen Edward Chapman and others who have been released but not exonerated, from receding to the margins because their paperwork got bogged down on the desk of the governor’s office since Beverly Perdue’s administration.

We will continue to stand with our Latino sisters and brothers by protecting and expanding immigration rights; stand and push health care reform and stand and deplore ecological devastation.

Forward Together! Not One Step Back.

Rev. Dr. T. Anthony Spearman

The writer is the newly elected president of the NC NAACP

Voting for Foushee in Carrboro

It’s vital that we vote our values, so I’ll be voting for Barbara Middleton Foushee for alderman.

Barbara is an effective advocate for social justice, voting rights, acceptance, economic opportunity and gender and racial equity. She also devotes a significant amount of time and effort working in the community through the First Baptist Church’s Community Awareness and Political Action Ministry, and as a mentor for K-12 and college students.

Her experience on several town and county committees, including the OWASA and Carrboro Human Services boards, means she understands how local government works – and how to make it work better. I know she can hit the ground running on day one of her term. Barbara’s also approachable and engaged, and genuinely committed to governing well. Please join me in voting for Barbara Middleton Foushee for Alderman.

Margot Carmichael Lester


Love overcomes hate

The Democrats are their own worst problem. Evidently they are listening to Pelosi and Schumer, who seemingly are in charge of their party. If Democrats in Congress and Senate know what’s good for them they need to think for themselves and stop being controlled by those that hate Trump.

The majority of the American people are behind the Trump administration because they can see the progress that has been made and the direction this country is going.

Sure, we have had some of the worst hurricanes we’ve had in years. Most American people’s thoughts and prayers go out to all the people whose lives have been turned upside down. Saving lives has been this administration’s first priority.

Serving in WWII I saw the devastation of cities and towns but some natural disasters are seemingly worse. Many young people have left their jobs and physically given their time and talent to help those in need. I believe God is watching how we respond to these disasters. This administration has responded faster than any previous administrations that I can remember. I believe God covets our prayers but I believe he also wants us to be self-involved.

Seemingly some in the Democrat and Republican parties don’t want this administration to succeed, including the liberal media. I may disagree with you but I will not hate you. Love overcomes hate.

W.B. Turner


Trump has right to free speech

Regarding the news story “Could national anthem protests spread to local high school sports events?” Sept. 25:

First, get the facts correct. Mr Trump did not demand that team owners fire or suspend players who acted out in a small-minded way.

Mr Trump also has a right to free speech. Oh, maybe not , he has a skin condition! The very people who started and continue to use race of only one color are the racists. If you do not want to respect this country’s flag and anthem, then leave all your overpaid jobs and go where you can act like someone who is grateful for what this country has afforded you. You are no longer a poor, discriminated person! Look around and see the facts about your narrow minds.

Yes, some injustice still occurs, BUT not just because of your skin color or race. Every race has been treated very badly. Don’t judge me. My family had to leave in the dark of the night because of the KKK. The color of my skin does not matter.

Lori Taylor



Please snd up to 300 words to letters@heraldsun.com. All submissions may be edited for space and clarity. Thank you.