Letters to the Editor

2/17 Letters: Protests will continue at Confederate events

The Sons of Confederate veterans sell Confederate merchandise, give away stickers of the battle flag and talk about Southern history at the N.C. State Fair in Raleigh on Oct. 19, 2017. Volunteers working at the booth said they gave away thousands of the stickers every day.
The Sons of Confederate veterans sell Confederate merchandise, give away stickers of the battle flag and talk about Southern history at the N.C. State Fair in Raleigh on Oct. 19, 2017. Volunteers working at the booth said they gave away thousands of the stickers every day. cseward@newsobserver.com

No silence on racism

When organizations like the Sons of Confederate Veterans or United Daughters of the Confederacy host a reception for legislators, do they genuinely expect sympathy when constituents rally in objection?

For generations, these organizations have engaged in historical revisionism with impunity.

Confederate groups have a right to gather, but that right does not protect them or elected officials from the presence of lawfully assembled protesters.

Silence in the face of racism or bigotry is not an option. To that end, anti-racists will protest their political events. We will object loudly when they co-opt public spaces. We will counter their propaganda with messages of truth and justice, echoing Civil Rights leaders before us.

We will rally, lobby, write and speak out to hold them accountable for perpetuating white supremacy. They can either get used to our presence, our voices, and our unapologetic proclamations of shame, or they can find other aspects of Southern heritage to celebrate, as most Americans with their ancestry have done.

Heather Redding, Hillborough

No emergency

While most agree that comprehensive immigration reform is needed, a wall and getting one, in the face of Congressional opposition, by declaring a national emergency is a bridge way too far.

I only wish the president were similarly obsessed with genuine national security threats. Climate change, the exploding national debt, and Russian interference in the workings of Western democracies are compelling examples of existential threats to our national security.

The president’s disinterest and his resulting inaction in addressing these threats is unconscionable.

If any declaration of a national emergency needs to be made, it is one related to the presidency of Donald Trump, and not to those men, women and children fleeing from violence and lack of economic opportunity who are merely seeking to pursue the American dream.

Jim Witeck, Apex

Silent Sam

I do not understand how Maya Little can feel that her act of vandalism is acceptable and that she should not accept being disciplined by the honor court.

As her vandalism of Silent Sam was witnessed on television, there is no doubt as to her guilt, as well as others’ acts of destruction that were allowed to occur.

If there are no consequences for “mob actions,” then should anyone who performs those acts expect lawful recourse for similar acts against themselves?

Activism, used in a constructive and non violent way, can be very positive and encourage empathy and understanding. But, it is not positive to destroy property because of a personal feeling.

Mob mentality is being used to force knee-jerk reactions instead of allowing lawful and reflective decisions to be made.

Contrary to the concept that all monuments erected after the War Between the States must stand for oppression, some, like Silent Sam, represent the emotional feeling of mothers, daughters and sisters. The very unfortunate circumstance of racist groups participating in the dedications of such statues has marred the original intent of honoring the memory of loved ones.

Lynn Mosier, Raleigh

Polling places

I find the debate over using schools as polling places quite comical, and it shows the lack of insight by local politicians and officials.

I taught high school math in Connecticut for 47 years, the last 22 in a public school system that needed to use the high school, middle school and all 10 elementary schools as polling places. This guaranteed the opportunity for all residents to vote, all were on or within a couple of blocks of a bus route.

Unlike our Republican politicians who search for ways to restrict voting opportunities, Connecticut doesn’t.

Also, the concept of student safety is a non-issue as the schools are simply closed for the day and it is made up by adding a day to the end of the school calendar.

School calendars are controlled by the local boards of education, as they should be, which allows the community to make decisions that are best for it.

There is no intelligent need for additional legislation to ban their use.

David Pesapane, Durham

School closures

I commend Jane Wettach and Grace Thomas for their op-ed piece, “Bigger is better for school districts.”

We can also learn from other large school districts about how to deal with weather-related school closures when the forecast is very different in various parts of the district. In the Baltimore County school system, for example, there is a policy that schools in the northern-most area can be closed when the rest of the county schools are open, if the forecast suggests that wintry weather may be worse in this area.

This is a much more logical solution to this occasional problem in Wake County than the recent calls to dismantle the Wake County school system because of different weather patterns in this large school district.

Margaret McCann, Chapel Hill

Climate bill

No offense to Florida — I grew up in Florida — but the warning in the Feb. 12 article “Heading south: Warming to change how US cities feel in 2080,” which said without sharp reductions in carbon emissions Raleigh could soon feel more like Tallahassee, has got me sweating.

This is not change occurring in distant lands in a distant future. These are drastic changes right here at home within my own lifetime.

Luckily, there are solutions out there that are technologically, economically and politically feasible. Take the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividends Act recently reintroduced in Congress. This bipartisan bill reduces U.S. carbon emissions by 40 percent within 12 years, while spurring economic growth and protecting American families, farmers and businesses from burdensome energy costs.

We must seize this opportunity now.. If we wait until “Florida Man” is in our back yard, it will be too late.

Lisa Falk, Cary

Cowardly decision

Shame on you for dropping Non Sequitur.

This decision is cowardly. The freedom to show disapproval of public officials should not require the use of approved expression. In fact, the popular idiom is often the best way to criticize in a manner both succinct and unequivocal.

I may not use that language, but I am one of many who share the sentiment expressed.

Walter Whittemore, Holly Springs

Move Mallard

The (appropriate) banishment on Non Sequitur from the funny pages bring something else to mind: I have wondered ever since I moved here in late 2011 why the comic strip Mallard Fillmore is on the comics page and not on the editorial page.

I read the “funnies” most every day and am always rankled to see Mallard Fillmore there. Is it time for this strip to be moved to the Opinion pages just like Doonesbury was many years ago?

Christine Van Vleek, Chapel Hill