Letters to the Editor

Letters: We could all use a little hesitation amid the political rhetoric

Act with hesitation

If we’re going to celebrate diversity in our community, why doesn’t that concept seem to extend to our brains?

All it takes is a quick scroll through social media to see opinions clashing hard these days, often leading to sour resolutions or even tragic results in some cases.

For better or worse, however, the U.S. is a still an intermarriage – a melting pot that joins (but not always blends) people from widely different backgrounds. It’s what the country was founded on in many ways, so it shouldn’t be surprising to know our neighbors have different views when it comes to things like sex, religion or even – gasp – college sports teams (Go Wolfpack though, I’m quite serious about that one).

Maybe it’s the centrist in me, but I’m tired of seeing good people get caught up in the political rhetoric and start demonizing one another when progress is at stake.

So, what’s the answer? That’s a tough question, but I think there’s something beautiful in the act of hesitation today – humbling ourselves enough for a moment to explore humanity and understanding amid the often-manic information life cycle. That’s no small task when answers are quick, but not necessarily easy to come by.

Ryan Boger

Durham

Words do matter

An open letter to Durham Mayor Steve Schewel:

Regarding your letter to the Durham community, I couldn’t agree with you more, that words do matter. This applies to both President Trump’s words and your words.

When you spearhead the charge to single out Israel regarding its alleged policing tactics, in a document that you drafted, your words as a Jewish leader give comfort to and incite local anti-Semites. Thus, it should not be surprising that someone at the April 16 hearing regarding this issue felt free to refer to the “synagogue of Satan.”

Your words, your fellow council members’ words, and the petition sponsors’ words on April 16 made no mention of the abusive policing tactics in Egypt, Indonesia, Serbia, or Haiti, just four of 27 nations that have police exchanges with the U.S. Instead, Israel was singled out. It should then not be shocking that vile anti-Semitic pamphlets were posted around Duke and downtown Durham shortly after your proposal became town policy.

It’s very true that, at the federal level, President Trump’s frequently inflammatory words may be giving comfort to anti-Semites. The horrendous tragedy at the synagogue in Pittsburgh should give you and the council a vital reason to reconsider using similar inflammatory tactics to single out, demonize, and delegitimize Israel at the local level. After all, doesn’t it sound like we agree that words do matter?

Josh Ravitch

Chapel Hill

Ho, ho, no!

Last December, Republicans in Congress played “Santa Claus” to the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans: they gave them a $1.5 trillion tax cut. There was little, if any, discussion as to how they planned to finance this windfall. The consensus among the GOP seemed to be “Ho, ho, ho — Merry Christmas ! “

Only now, the cat is out of the bag — surprise! They’re coming after your Social Security and Medicare, to indulge their insatiable greed! It is comparable to this: you buy yourself a new, luxury vehicle, with no disposable funds in your budget to finance it. So, you pay for it by not buying groceries for anyone in your household except yourself. You tell the spouse, the kids, the elderly parents, “I got mine — now you go get yours !“

It’s a fact, sad but true — if you are a senior citizen and vote Republican, you are cutting your own throat.

Mike Christian

Efland

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