Letters to the Editor

12/03 Your letters: C.P. Mangel, Vicki Ryder, Alan Culton, Anne Hamilton Daye and Stacye Leanza

Moving and eloquent

Thank you for Katie Mgongolwa’s moving and eloquent essay on racial identity (Nov. 26). As a parent of a child of color, I found her essay especially meaningful. The questions she asks are compelling and essential, such as “We need to examine how our institutions are breeding grounds for violence in the form of racism and sexism.”

However, asking any of these questions will be futile endeavors until we demolish the machinery of racism right in front of us.

We have a president who despises persons of color. Witness his defense of “very fine” white supremacists and Neo-Nazis, and his relentless denigration of African-Americans including professional football players, a congresswoman, pregnant Gold Star mother and father of a college athlete. We have an attorney general who has been an ardent segregationist, who has taken every possible opportunity to marginalize, disenfranchise and suppress the civil rights of African Americans and who now injects his blithe racism into the Department of Justice to dismantle statutory protections for persons of color. We have a state legislature that architected cartographies of gerrymandering so extreme as to render void and meaningless the voting rights of African Americans in North Carolina.

The clarion and unequivocal admonition to all children and young adults of color in our state and nation is this: You are worthless, you are nothing of consequence, you are invisible.

Demolition must be our starting point. We must raze the racist governing institutions. Every vote is priceless. Vote by vote we must dismantle our existing unconscionable state and national legislatures and our presidential administration. We must rebuild state and national governmental institutions supported by stanchions of tolerance, empathy, understanding and humanity. Only then will we be able to collectively consider Ms. Mgongolwa’s imperative questions.

C.P. Mangel

Chapel Hill

Why we go to war

I’m not rich enough to play the stock market, so I don’t often read Malcolm Berko’s investment advice column when it appears in The Herald-Sun. But the headline on his column of Nov. 23 reeled me in as it proclaimed “War is good for Lockheed Martin profits!”

I wasn’t really surprised, except to see the true reason for our nation’s addiction to perpetual warfare so blatantly exposed. Despite what our politicians tell us, we don’t go to war to create democracies in other nations, liberate people suffering under the rule of brutal dictatorships, or preserve our freedoms here at home. No, it seems we sacrifice our young so that weapons manufacturers like Lockheed Martin can rake in billions selling war planes like their F-35s that break down, are shot down, or otherwise need constant replacement, to the tune of $136 million each.

Berko writes: “Lockheed’s corrupt influence-peddling, using tax-payer dollars to line the pockets of flagrantly crooked congressmen, is why the cost of a single F-35 exploded by $87 million in five years.”

War profiteering once was a crime. Now it’s merely considered good business. Our wars have killed millions of innocent people, caused incalculable suffering and destruction, and created millions of refugees, but none of this seems to matter when corporations like Lockheed Martin, with $50 billion in revenues, can continue making obscene profits and stashing them, tax free, offshore.

Kudos to Berko for raising the question with which he sarcastically concludes his column: “Isn’t war wonderful?”

Vicki Ryder


People we’ve never met

Henry Lewis Gates Jr. has a show on PBS where he brings in a celebrity and researches the genealogy of the guest and puts it all in a book and the quest shows great emotion over dead people they never met. It’s fun.

So lets put Elizabeth Warren on the show and find out if she has any American Indian in her. If she does we can impeach Trump for being a racist pig, and if she doesn't she can make a speech saying she wish she did. And how as long as she feels like an Indian we should impeach Trump for being a racist pig.

Alan Culton

Chapel Hill

Proud to be a Duke patient

I want to give special recognition for a very interesting documentary that aired on WRAL-TV on Nov. 28. “Mission of Mercy,” filmed in Uganda, was the best piece of positive information that I have seen in a while.

It provided a very positive view of the extraordinary work that our Duke medical staff is voluntarily doing to answer the desperate medical needs of the people of Uganda. There was no age limit. The very needed and very competent medical assistance was provided to residents with the greatest needs and the greatest chances of survival.

It was a heart-wrenching experience to see all of the people in Uganda in such need. It was rewarding though, to see how meticulously the Duke and Ugandan medical staff prepared the hospital for these very complex surgeries and shared annotative consultations.

I am so very proud to be a patient in the Duke System. I wish every one could view this documentary and appreciate the wonderful lifesaving contributions these volunteers at Duke are making.

I sincerely appreciate WRAL-TV for providing us with positive informative news.

Anne Hamilton Daye


The art of making art

For 25 years, Chatham Artists Guild members have opened their doors and invited us into their creative sanctuaries. The first two weekends in December mark the silver anniversary for the longest-running N.C. studio tour, and this year’s artists are bringing the spice to brighten up any boring corner of your life!

Maybe you’re looking to fill your home with vibrant functional art pieces with stories and history to replace boring, broken, factory-stale things that are cluttering your living space. Maybe you need a little inspiration and encouragement from a welcoming art community. Or maybe your special someone on your holiday shopping list doesn’t even know that a hand-made fine art piece is the cure for the blues that ail them. Art heals. We all need more art!

The tour – from noon to 5 p.m. today, 10 a.m to 5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 10, and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, Dec 11 – is self-guided with no cost to participate. Brochures with studio descriptions and maps are available at businesses across the triangle and a printable PDF is online at: www.chathamartistsguild.org. Since it lasts for two weekends, you can pack in as few or as many of the studios as you wish! The 49 participating studios span the county, along beautiful country side roads and nestled into quant towns, all no more than half an hour from the Triangle’s bigger cities.

The artists on the tour earned their place through a jury process that focuses on high quality, original art. Of the 49 artists featured, 11 are brand new to the tour this year. Tour-goers will meet painters, sculptors, fiber artists, glass artists, jewelers, potters, wood-workers, and even gourd artists who have created some of the very best artwork you’ll find in North Carolina – maybe even the country! Artist interviews for many of the participating studios are posted on the Guild’s online blog.

Art isn’t easy. Especially in America today where there’s an illusion that it’s safer to blend in, fit in, or fade away. And yet, artists break through – courageously offering their visions of a beautiful, painful, scary, and/or inspiring world. Their creations are a gift – whether we enjoy them for a moment, or bring them into our lives to enjoy for a lifetime – we are all made richer by their work. It’s an honor to have this invitation into the spaces where the creative magic happens. If you’re lucky, the magic will stick with you for a day, or a month, or even a lifetime!

Stacye Leanza

Chatham Artists Guild

What you’re saying

Please send up to 300 words to letters@heraldsun.com. All submissions, only comments and posts on The Herald-Sun and editor Mark Schultz’s Facebook pages may be edited for space and clarity. Thanks.