Letters to the Editor

05/27 What You’re Saying: Calvin Deutschbein, LuAnne Latta, Marcia Harris, Ihab Mikati, Joe Exum and Alan Culton

It is up to men

On May 21 millions of young people returned to schools not only after the 22nd and 23rd mass school shooting this year, but also after a disturbing report from the LA Times (lat.ms/2rYtXEN) examining one shooter's motivations.

The Times tells a story of a young man repeatedly harassing a young women and who, when the young women at last had no choice but to stand up to him, came back a week later in a murderous rage armed with military-grade weaponry.

The discussion around gun violence, school shootings, firearms and more is ongoing, but this new report shows how the danger can affect any young woman in any school across the country. Each time young women face harassment from young men about their relational or sexual autonomy, the threat of extreme violence will accompany the harassment whether the young men intend it to or not.

Having been a young men in high school myself who engaged in behavior that I now easily recognize as deeply inappropriate, I speak from experience when I say that, men, we need to do better.

Men, we must do better.

There seems many men who, for whatever reason, view women in an unhealthy way and are past the point where women can safely reach out to them. It is up to the men of this country to reach out to our brothers, fathers, sons, and friends about treating others – women especially – with respect, and about keeping each other from paths toward violence.

Calvin Deutschbein

Chapel Hill

Not for sale

Re the news story “Durham's Walltown residents ask: How can we save this neighborhood from change?”

I get these letters too and they irritate me too. My home is my home and not up for sale. These offers make you feel like you are living in an ugly house in a bad neighborhood.

If you want to sell your home you notify a realtor and not the other way around.

Just another nuisance.

LuAnna Latta

via www.heraldsuncom

Stoking anti-Semitism

As a white person, I would never presume to tell someone who is black that “I know racism when I see it.” Why? Because in many cases, I DON’T see it! However, I am willing to respect, learn from, and believe my black friends when they point out racism to which I may be oblivious.

And yet, at the April 16 hearing on “Demilitarizing Durham,” some members of the Durham City Council who are not Jewish had no problem saying “I know anti-Semitism when I see it,” while denying that it was staring them in the face. This was done even after hearing from many members of the mainstream Jewish community in person and by email, who tried to educate the council that the statement that they were about to pass (and indeed did pass) was anti-Semitic.

Why was the statement against “militarized training” of the Durham police by international police forces anti-Semitic? 1.Because of all the countries in the world, Israel was the ONLY one specifically banned from providing training by its police force to Durham’s police – even though there were no plans to have such training! Applying a double standard to Israel over all other countries meets the State Department’s definition of anti-Semitism. And 2.Because putting only Israel on trial, as was done inappropriately and unnecessarily at the April 16 hearing, is anti-Semitic.

As the misnamed Jewish Voice for Peace (which neither represents the majority of Jews nor strives for peace), the initiators of the petition leading to the hearing, rejoiced in their “victory,” the council’s actions provided a permissive atmosphere to those wishing to engage in anti-Semitism, resulting in the posting 10 days later of vile, blatantly anti-Semitic posters in downtown Durham and on the Duke campus.

Please, Durham Council members, recognize the harm you have caused in the community, and rescind your statement .

Marcia Harris

Raleigh

The right decision

Last week’s events in Gaza, where thousands of Palestinian protesters were wounded by Israeli Defense Forces (IDF), make it as clear as ever that Durham City Council made the correct decision by forbidding police exchanges with foreign militaries last month. We’ve seen what the “counter-terrorism” taught in such exchanges really means.

On May 15, the IDF’s official Twitter account posted an image captioned “Hamas can turn anything into a weapon of terror.” Among the terrifying objects listed were “children” and “disabled civilians.” The end-goal of this state-endorsed position is clear: If you criminalize an entire people, you don’t need to worry about criminalizing their actions. Every challenge from Palestinians in their open-air prison, even their mere existence, becomes a violent threat in the eyes of these heavily-armed forces.

America has had enough with criminalizing people’s existence. The United States has a history of oppressive policing that extends much further back than modern Israel’s. Our jails overflow with those committing the crime of existing in poverty; our streets have seen blood shed from those committing the crime of existing while black or brown. The Durham City Council has rightly recognized that we have nothing to learn from practitioners of such oppressive philosophies.

Ihab Mikati

Durham

Presidential plot line

Barack and Michelle Obama have signed a contract with Netflix to produce movies and documentaries. Their first project will be about a popular socialist president who uses the FBI and the CIA to spy on his domestic political opponents. Personally, I don't think that kind of plot line could work, its just not believable. That kind of thing could never really happen here.

Alan Culton

Chapel Hill

A passionate pastor

On June 3, 2018, Rose of Sharon Baptist Church will honor the Rev. Jeffrey D. McCarthy and celebrate his silver 25th ministry anniversary. Dr. Charles “Charlie” Cooper, senior pastor of First Baptist Church, Sylvania, Ga., will be the guest speaker.

In 1879, Rose of Sharon Baptist Church had its beginning in a predominantly agricultural community in northern Durham County. For the past 25 years, the Rev. Jeffery D. McCarthy has faithfully served seven years as youth/education minister and then as senior pastor for 18 years.

The Durham community has dramatically changed but Pastor McCarthy reminds us that our mission is the same: impacting all generations in our community and world with the message of the hope of Jesus Christ.

Pastor McCarthy has a passion for reaching people for Christ and has led teams in inner-city ministry in Savannah, Georgia. His missions involvement includes Haiti, South Africa, Guatemala, France and his activity with North Carolina Baptists on mission/disaster relief. His love for the Durham metro area motivated Pastor McCarthy’s leadership in partnering with Faith Community Church, an African-American congregation, his support for a local Filipino church plant and his work with Yates Baptist Association. His wife, Ilene, has a passion to share the gospel with the French people and is an advocate for victims of Domestic Violence.

Rose of Sharon Baptist Church,”A Place Where You Can Grow,” says “Thanks” for Pastor McCarthy’s 25 years of service.

Frank Shipp

Hillsborough

Like Birmingham

Recent events in Gaza were reminiscent of TV scenes from Birmingham during the Sixties civil rights struggle. Palestinians using slingshots in the face of “shoot to kill” orders from Netanyahu's military left 60 dead and 2,700 injured. When such events take place in Syria, Nikki Haley describes them as atrocities and a violation of human rights. In this case, Haley blamed Hamas, adding Israel acted with restraint.

U.S. foreign policy based upon defense of human rights must be viewed by the international community as hypocritical at best and cynical at worst. Establishing a homeland for victims of the Holocaust in Palestine was noble in principle and miraculous in success. It is not clear what moral compass guides Middle East policy today. The desire to “Rescue us from becoming the evil that happened to us,” (from Steven Daugherty’s “Experiments in Honesty”) would seem essential to any hope for peace.

Joe Exum

Snow Hill

Speak up

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