Letters to the Editor

Proud to be a Tar Heel the morning after Silent Sam comes down

Demonstrators and spectators gather around a toppled Confederate statue known as Silent Sam Monday, August 20, 2018 at UNC-Chapel Hill. Demonstrators surrounded and obscured the statue with large banners before toppling it.
Demonstrators and spectators gather around a toppled Confederate statue known as Silent Sam Monday, August 20, 2018 at UNC-Chapel Hill. Demonstrators surrounded and obscured the statue with large banners before toppling it. jwall@newsobserver.com

Proud to be a Tar Heel

The best time to tear down a confederate monument is 100 years ago. The second best time is now.

I am elated to hear that protesters pulled Silent Sam off his podium on UNC’s campus. This monument to white supremacy was erected by avowed racists and celebrated by Julian Carr’s boast of his assault on a black woman 100 yards from the statue’s base. The Confederacy should live in history books, not in a towering armed monument that keeps watch over UNC students.

It was difficult to feel pride in my school knowing that the administration and board of governors have spent the last 100 years ignoring pleas for the statue’s removal. On Monday, the students and community organizers who gathered on McCorkle Place showed that UNC is not a home for white supremacy. I woke up this morning feeling proud to be a Tar Heel.

Ansel Dow


Include all Jews in forum

An open letter to the Jewish Federation of Durham-Chapel Hill:

We are Jews who are building vibrant Jewish life in the Triangle in many different ways. We have grown up in the Jewish community here, taught at religious school, and prayed with you. But the Jewish Federation of Durham-Chapel Hill thinks we aren’t part of the Jewish community.

This Sunday, August 26, the Jewish Federation and the group Voice For Israel are holding an event called “Durham City Council Statement Singling Out Israel: Jewish Community Responses.” This event purports to be about the Jewish community, but the list of speakers says otherwise. Speakers include the CEO and the president of the federation; two members of Voice For Israel; and a representative from StandWithUs. The list also includes a Christian pastor.

Glaringly missing are left-wing Jews, let alone the many Jews who were involved in getting the Durham City Council’s policy passed in the first place.

We call on the Jewish Federation of Durham-Chapel Hill and Voice For Israel to include the entire Jewish community in their event this Sunday, and invite members of Jewish Voice for Peace to speak. We lead services at your synagogues, study with you and live with you. Our own responses and reactions as supporters of the Demilitarize! Durham2Palestine campaign are important, illuminating and undeniably present in the fabric of Jewish life in the Triangle. By leaving us out of the Jewish community’s responses, you are presenting a false narrative to the Jewish community and to the people of the Triangle. Don’t erase us.

Esther Mack

Abby Weave

Jewish Voice for Peace-Triangle

Another unhealthy ‘choice’

The editorial ”Yes, We Make Bad Health Choices, But Other Forces Can Push Us That Way” was spot on. And as with tobacco, another unhealthy choice is made by even more of us. And like tobacco, there are other forces pushing us that way — forces with a financial interest in keeping us addicted.

By using cell phones and Wi-Fi, and passively accepting the “Smart” utility meters deployed by utility companies, nearly everyone is “choosing” to expose themselves to dangerous non-ionizing radiation found nowhere in nature. These man-made emissions cause health problems both chronic and acute.

Big Tobacco funded research designed to find no harm, Big Telecom has been perpetrating a nearly identical misinformation campaign. Thousands of independently funded studies, however, have found that wireless emissions can cause cancer, infertility, ADHD, mood disorders, autism, microwave sickness, diabetes, memory and other cognitive problems, obesity, sleep problems, and more. Every system of the body is affected at the cellular level.

The dangers have been known since the 1950s, but Telecom companies choose to ignore this knowledge and deceive us instead. We have some control over our home environments — such as whether we use cordless landlines or corded, Wi-Fi or hardwired internet, and whether or when we use cell phones. However, unless we insist on it, we have no choice about whether our children are exposed to Wi-Fi in schools and so-called Smart Meters. Let’s not blame the patient when they’ve been tricked and/or forced into accepting life in this dangerous radiation smog.

Ellen S. Whitaker


Speak up

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