Letters to the Editor

03/25 — What You’re sayting: J.R. Hardy, Dorothy Potter Snyder, Morningside School, Charlotte White, and Laurie Laurraine Kreger

Yankee aggression

My great-grandfather was Allen Tilley, a Durham County farmer. Allen and two of his sons fought for the Confederacy during the Civil War. When the war ended Allen came home. He wanted to continue fighting. Allen’s two sons never came home from the war.

My great-great-grandfather was Lt. William A. Bray. He lived in Surry County, North Carolina. He thought the war was very bad. While leading his men in battle he was killed at Gettysburg. None of my ancestors owned slaves. In fact 90 percent of the Southerners did not have slaves. The majority were opposed to slavery They believed it was wrong for one person to own another person.

Some Southern politicians favored slavery. They catered to plantation owners and some business people who used slaves for cheap labor. Slavery was on the way out when the Civil War started.

The North had one culture and the South had another culture. The North controlled the Union, so the South seceded from the Union. Abraham Lincoln declared war on the South in an attempt to force the South back in the Union. That is why the war started, not because of slavery, but because of the Union. The Southern states wanted to be free and independent from the Union.

The Confederate soldier fought Yankee aggression. They fought to remain free an independent of the Union.

If Lincoln had to have left the South alone 620,000 Americans would not have died on the battlefield and another 50,000 Civilians died during The War. The majority of those who died were Northern soldiers. Lincoln would never have declared war on the South because of slavery.

J.R. Hardy

Hillsborough

An act of aggression

Re Tammy Grubb’s excellent coverage of the Orage County Planning Board’s proposed rule changes on large signage and flagpoles on private property (“Southern culture deserves better: Residents ask county to limit Confederate flags, March 21):

I am proud and pleased that Commissioner Reneé Price and others have the courage to stand for the dignity of all the citizens in Orange County through open discussion about the meaning of the Confederate flag, its long history as a white supremacist symbol, and the legal precedents that might prohibit ACTBAC from funding the installation of a massive flagpole and Confederate flag on private property here in our town. This is an act of racist aggression that the fair-minded citizens of Orange County will not tolerate. The fact that neither Gary Williamson, nor Mr. Hall (who offered the property he jointly owns with his mother for this purpose) nor any representative of ACTBAC were present at this public forum says volumes about who they really are.

Lawmakers are right to take very seriously the intrusion of white supremacist organizations from other counties into our own, as well as their duty to protect Orange County citizens from these displays of hate imposed from outside. Speech stops being free when it causes damage to others. This horrible flag and flagpole would do damage to many people personally, and would also make people think twice before investing in our county and establishing their families here. I publicly challenge supporters of this flag proposal to commit to attending or (at the very minimum) sending a representative to attend all future meetings on this topic that they have thrust upon us.

Dorothy Potter Snyder

Hillsborough

The antithesis of justice for all

While Confederate monuments should remind us of a time in history that must not be forgotten or repeated, they should not be allowed to stand in a place of government. The Confederate movement exemplifies the antithesis of justice for all people.

We must not forget our history and wade back into the swamp of human suffering in the name of profit. Let us put these monuments on boulevards or in parks where we might be free to contemplate the impacts of that time in our own way, rather than standing at the seat of government as if equal to Lady Justice. Our government needs to fully represent all of its constituents in fairness and justice for all.

The office of the state is bound by freedom of speech and expression, however we would not expect to find Nazi, or marijuana propaganda in front of a courthouse though they may reflect the desires of certain individuals. The Confederate effort is nothing more than a failed franchise selling forced slavery on whose scarred backs the wealth of this region used to rely.

This is the opinion of one older white woman. At my core, I believe that the decision should be cast by those whose very existence was – and is still – threatened by the mores of this historic movement, but this is, after all a republic of the people, for the people and by the people- All of the people.

Laurie Laurraine Kreger

Wilson, N.C.

Children’s rights – what kids think

As a preschool teacher, I have watched the nation be called to duty by a student-led movement to create safer schools, yet have realized that given the age of my students, they continued to have no voice in this movement. However, no voice in no way means no opinion. In fact, young children have a great deal of opinions, some which could help spur policy ideas along were they to be heard.

In preparation for the March 14 student walkout to protest gun violence, my co-teacher and I began a discussion with our 2- to 5-year-old students. We told them that big kids all over the country were working to let grownups know how important it was to have safe schools. We then offered them the opportunity to tell us what it meant to have a safe school, and what other rights they thought children had.

They created a long list and then asked us to send it “to ALL the big kids.” We sent their letter to all the principals and heads of school in the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools system as well as to a couple of charter and private schools. To date we have received two responses. We hope that the information shared in the children’s letter did in fact reach other children, and we hope it moved administrators to take action and listen to the voices of the children in their care.

Here is the list, to which I will add that one Right of Children is TO BE HEARD.

The children's letter:

Dear Schools in Chapel Hill and Carrboro,

We wanted to share some information with you that we think is important.

We heard that some big kids were letting grown ups know how important it is for kids to have safe schools, and we wanted to let you know that we think this is true. We also made a list of other things we think kids have a right to, which means something that HAS to happen. Here is our list.

Children have a right to:

▪ safe schools

▪ snacks (food)

▪ toys

▪ playgrounds

▪ A right for their families to be safe

▪ A right for their houses to be safe

▪ Medicine

▪ A right to be themselves

▪ teachers’ beds so they can rest too

▪ A right to say no if you don’t want to play a game or do something

▪ clothes

▪ A right to play

We hope you will share this with all the big kids.

Thank you, The Morningside School in Carrboro (ages 2-5)

submitted by Sadie Bauer on behalf of students at Morningside School

#CHCenough Leaders

My son, Kai (Chapel Hill High School), and nephew, Max (East Chapel Hill High School), were two of the student leaders of the district-wide walkout. They succeeded in “creating a unified message across all the high schools in the district.”

Most media coverage didn’t illustrate the “cool” factor and what made this walkout unique. These students met days after the Parkland shooting. They had no plan, many didn’t know each other, and some didn’t know exactly why they were there. They discussed in small groups and presented ideas to the larger group. They all agreed on one thing: to participate in the National School Walkout.

They met weekly and gathered students from all four high schools. The group grew. They reached out to teachers, school administration, local governments and media. They learned that collaborating gives grander results –and grand it was – with all schools wearing custom #enough T-shirts paid for by community donors. This wasn’t a bunch of kids skipping class. It was an inclusive, organized, and powerful 17 minutes.

I witnessed: quiet students find their voice; schools come together; friendships grow; and leaders emerge. They’re empowered. They don’t like feeling unsafe and they’re committed to enacting change. Let’s see what they do next.

“This movement does not end at the walkout, our voices will no longer be silent, the time is now because enough is enough.” #CHCenough Leaders

Charlotte White

Carrboro

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