Letters to the Editor

Letters: Silent Sam was a memorial to a treasonous rebellion

Silent No More

If the Silent Sam statue needs to be returned, it should be to the rightful spot it occupied Aug. 20, 2018, face down in the mud.

This statue was a memorial to the treasonous rebellion against the United States of America. It was dedicated over a century ago in a ceremony glorifying the vicious beating of one of our African-American citizens. The war the United States of America fought to defeat the rebellion freed over 3 million people held in slavery in the southern states.

Yes, there does need to be a statue commemorating our southern heritage. Rather than a soldier engaged in rebellion against the USA, the statue should be a person freed from slavery by the USA.

Ed Levin

Chapel Hill

Durham Boy in Gray

One day, over 20 years ago I walked past a statue in front of the old courthouse in downtown Durham. I stopped to read the inscription: “In Memory of the Boys Who Wore the Gray.”

I could not believe what I was reading. I had just been elected to the Durham City Council. I had defeated a white incumbent in the primary and a former mayor in the general election.

The irony of the situation gives me great pause. Thinking back, I would have loved to have had a picnic in front of our “Durham Boy In Gray,” in memory of course.

Brenda Buie Burnette


The E-cigarette epidemic

Dear North Carolina parents, your kids are under attack. E-cigarette companies are reaching more of your children than ever before. Just last month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stunningly reported that one in every five of your high school students are smoking e-cigarettes. Simply, this has become an epidemic.

These e-cigarettes contain addictive nicotine, harm your kids’ developing brain, and evade your attention through their small size and quickly disappearing vapor. These devices are also leading your adolescents to quadrupling their chances of smoking conventional cigarettes. Despite this, one of the most frightening realities is that North Carolina is contributing zero funds to combat this issue.

Thankfully, I made it through high school without ever smoking. Now as a a college student, I see how rampant this addiction truly is among young people.

Join me and support NC H.B. 276. This bill would follow 13 other states by creating a specific state program to tackle this e-cigarette issue. Do this for your children and their generation. If not, who will?

Brady Hanshaw

Chapel Hill

Paying for the wall

Donald Trump is again threatening a government shutdown if Congress doesn’t appropriate $5 billion to start constructing his “beautiful” border wall.

But remember all the rallies and speeches where he repeatedly promised that Mexico would pay for the wall? “Believe me, Mexico will happily pay,” he said. Why? Because, he claimed, he’s an “incredible businessman” (despite much evidence to the contrary).

Well, Mexico hasn’t paid — and has always said it has no intention of paying — for the wall, and now he wants to burden American taxpayers with the cost. It’s likely he always knew Mexico would refuse to pay for the wall, but nevertheless continued to make his outlandish promise hoping his supporters would forget about it when 2020 rolled around. Let’s hope Americans have a better memory than he thinks they do.

Jack Hicks

Chapel Hill

Acting like thugs

The recent deportation of Samuel Oliver-Bruno by ICE demonstrates once again that the people charged with protecting our borders are acting like thugs.

When the law is applied without regard for basic human decency, we as a society must reassert control over a clearly broken process. Separating parents from children, removing a spouse who is caring for a gravely ill partner, and violating the sanctuary extended by a church community to a member in need are despicable acts.

Congressional oversight must be restored. We need full public disclosure on how this process is working and how it is affecting the people being harmed. We need to see where bias and racism are affecting outcomes. We need to see where human rights are being violated. We need to see all this to ensure we provide a system that lives up to our country’s ideals.

Peter van Dorsten