Letters to the Editor

04/01 What You’re Saying: Glenn Brasher, Robert Porreca, Michael G. Williams, and Charles Spears

Give historians credit

Re Frank Hyman’s commentary “Historians deserve a ‘D’ in teaching southern history”

We need some clarification here about who the author is defining as “historians,” because professional academic historians ARE teaching these exact things in college classrooms.

You won’t find the Lost Cause showing up in many post-secondary classrooms. Slavery’s role in secession is extensively explored. The agency of the enslaved and their resistance is stressed, as is the role of African Americans and southern white Unionists in the ultimate defeat of slavery and the Confederacy. And yes, the role that slavery played in the creation of the electoral college is likewise a feature of our lectures.

What the author is describing is perhaps college classes from 35 or more years ago. It is classrooms that are devoid of professional historians where the “Lost Cause” is all too often still taught, and that are partially to blame for why it still confuses many about the causes of the war. The author’s diatribe is therefore misdirected.

Glenn Brasher

via www.heraldsun.com

Pesky Bill of Rights

At first I was appalled that former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens would suggest repealing any part of the Bill of Rights, the first ten amendments to The Constitution that are supposed to be our inviolable rights. And then I thought why not just get rid of all of those pesky impediments to peace and order? Getting rid of one, of course, opens the door to getting rid of them all.

Not only would mere citizens not be allowed to own guns, much less carry them, critics of the government disturbing the peace and tranquility of the social order could be tossed in jail (or worse) without an expensive trial. So could thieves, murderers, and debtors. That would leave more time and money to conduct random searches of homes for anti-social, anti-government literature or criminal evidence. Media outlets could be reduced to one run by the government. Who trusts the news media anymore anyway? Imagine the money that would be saved by requiring homeowners to put up a few soldiers in their homes.

The benefits to society would be endless. For instance, I would not be able to write this sarcastic letter without fear of reprisal.

Robert L. Porreca

Hillsborough

Nothing to hide? Prove it

Given the FBI is now investigating ties between Cambridge Analytica and President Trump, and especially given the new revelations of foreign workers being brought in to work on Senator Tillis’ and other GOP campaigns here in North Carolina, I consider it even more important that the senator do whatever possible to (a) protect the Mueller investigation and (b) open his campaign records to a free, open, transparent, and aggressive investigation by some neutral third party.

If the GOP has nothing to hide, it should be willing to prove it. The Republican Party has repeatedly adopted policy positions which ask the same of regular citizens – drug testing welfare recipients, for instance – and it would make things look even worse than they already do (and they look VERY bad) were the Republican Party and its elected members to be seen as covering up the obviously increasingly complex network of ties between GOP campaigns such as Sen. Tillis’ and foreign workers or money.

I mention money specifically because of the NRA’s admission it has taken many tens of millions of dollars from foreign sources and the many millions of dollars it has given to your campaigns. The NRA can say offhand they don’t “think” they gave foreign money to any campaigns, but have they been audited to certify that? Has Sen. Tillis verified the sources of the millions of dollars they’ve given him?

Michael G. Williams

Durham

Taking responsibility

The article about low black male athlete graduation rates fails to look at the obvious.

Rather than explore whether the cause lies in the qualifications of those student-athletes to be admitted to college, or the effort they put forth in their classes while in college, it suggests, even posits, the problem is with the university. No evidence is provided to support that hypothesis.

People need to take responsibility for their own actions. That includes students. If they do not choose to devote adequate attention to their studies, don’t blame the university. If they are not capable of both being an athlete and a student, and they want to graduate, they should give up the sports. If they are unqualified to be a student at the university, then yes, blame is due the university for admitting them.

Charles Spears

Del Mar, Calif.

Speak up

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