Letters to the Editor

12/08: Your letters: Shelly Green, Thom Tillis, G.K. Butterfield, and Stewart Epstein

The gift of your time

If you’re like me the holiday season is a reminder of all the things I’m grateful for. Of course at the top of my list is an appreciation for the Durham community and the people who make it great. So I want to do a plug for the organizations that support our sense of place and nurture the people who live here – all year round.

I’ve been enriched by experiences working as a volunteer in many organizations throughout my 18 years living in Durham. Whether helping with meals at organizations like Urban Durham Ministries, or adopting families through Share Your Christmas, these opportunities have enriched my life.

If you’d like to learn more about volunteer opportunities around Durham, a great resource is the Triangle Nonprofit & Volunteer Leadership Center (formerly the Volunteer Center of Durham), who work with over 5,000 volunteers and more than 1,000 agencies each year.

Another great way to get involved in the community is by joining our Wayfinders program. These folks volunteer at DPAC events, festivals, and meetings throughout Durham.

As you contemplate these opportunities I encourage you to consider giving the gift of your time. There are needs throughout the year, not just during the holiday season, so if you are traveling, consider making this your New Year’s resolution.

Shelly Green

President & CEO

Durham Convention & Visitors Bureau

On Trump and Jerusalem

U.S. Rep. G. K. Butterfield (D-1st District): President Donald Trump’s decision is reckless. It runs counter to nearly seven decades of U.S. policy and puts the stability of the entire region in serious jeopardy. It also creates greater security concerns for American travelers and diplomats in the region and increases the possibility of violence against our ally, Israel.

This move by the president is purposefully provocative. It will severely harm future U.S. efforts to bring about a negotiated settlement for a peaceful and lasting two state solution. It does nothing to further U.S. foreign policy in the region or improve U.S. national security or the security of our ally, Israel. In fact, I believe his decision could incite violence and endanger lives.”

Sen Thom Tillis (R-N.C.): I applaud President Trump for reaffirming our commitment to our greatest ally in the Middle East by recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, following through on years of advocacy on the part of leaders from both parties. The United States and Israel have a special relationship that is rooted in shared common principles and core values, and the president’s defining action will further strengthen the bond between our two great nations.

Report harassment

When I was a 25-year-old college student back in the 1970s, I was very badly sexually harassed by a female college professor who had a lot of power over me. But that is not what I want this letter to be about.

I want to share what I have learned from the experience with all present, past, and future victims and survivors of sexual harassment so that they will feel better about themselves than they may feel now, and so that they will, I hope, feel less inner pain and inner hurt than they may feel now.

I have been there. It is vitally important to immediately report your sexual harasser to people in positions of authority so that this predator will never prey upon anyone else in the future. I deeply regret that I did not do this. Please do not make the same mistake that I did.

In addition, it was not your fault that you were or are being sexually harassed. You did not do anything to bring this predatory behavior about or to encourage it. Do not blame yourself for it. Also, speaking as a former alcoholism, drug addiction, mental health, and marriage and family therapist, I want you to seek counseling/therapy if you feel you can benefit from it, but try not to wallow in self-pity forever. Please do not give the harasser this much power over you.

Instead, do whatever you need to do to feel better, but also be a positive force for good in society and in the lives of others. Use your voice to make positive contributions to society. If you do this, you will win and the harasser will lose.

Stewart Epstein

Rochester, N.Y.