Letters to the Editor

5/21 Letters: Don’t put Silent Sam back up. It’s not like this is a new conversation.

Silent Sam, a statue of a Confederate soldier on UNC-Chapel Hill campus.
Silent Sam, a statue of a Confederate soldier on UNC-Chapel Hill campus. News & Observer file photo

Frustration felled Sam

The op-ed by UNC Board of Governors member Joe Knott (“Don’t let a mob decide on Silent Sam,” May 19) treats the Silent Sam issue as though it popped into being quite recently. That’s not true; it’s been festering for decades. In 2015, a heavily gerrymandered and non-representative state legislature passed a law preventing the removal of that statue, and others, under almost any circumstances. It became clear to reasonable people, trying to achieve a reasonable goal, that reasonable tactics had no chance to succeed. So reasonable people formed a mob and achieved their goal. That happens sometimes, and it will happen again if the statue is put back up.

Frances G. Dennis


More than sexism

Regarding Colin Campbell’s and other columns decrying the firing of Kim Strach from the State Board of Elections: I worked at the Durham County Board of elections for 11 years. I left before Kim was appointed director, however I had occasion to interact with her and thought she was competent and qualified for the the job. However since then, I have been rankled by the actions of her husband, Phil Strach. Not due to the specifics of his actions, but simply because of his relationship with the SBOE Director.

There are regulations concerning spouses and election work. They cannot work in the same precinct. If a family member is on the ballot, one cannot work in that election. When one takes such a position as director, the state of North Carolina becomes, in effect, one’s precinct. When Strach was appointed either her spouse should have stopped his partisan elections work or she should not have accepted the position. For Campbell to call that reasoning “sexist” is just not correct.

Joseph Fedrowitz


Impartial service

The removal of Kim Strach after more than 20 years of diligent and impartial service to the Board of Elections of North Carolina is a surprise and disappointment to a lot of people. Why would you want to replace someone who has done such a fine job for so many years ? It appears the Democrats are more interested in plain old politics than good government.

Marshall Matthews


Adversity scores

Regarding Sunday’s article: “Duke, NCSU, UNC-Chapel Hill to get SAT ‘adversity scores’ for applicants,” May 19. It seems a little one-sided to me. My son had a friend that applied to one of these schools. Both of his parents had graduated from the same school, he played two high school sports, made straight A’s in high school and had a good score on the SAT. And after he worked so hard, he got turned down. Now these schools want to use an “adversity” score. If hard work cannot get you there, I would encourage parents to discourage their children from applying to these schools. The New York Times said counselors had been swamped with calls from parents concerned that this may help disadvantaged children but not those on the other end of the socioeconomic spectrum. Something about this is just not right.

Debbie Harmon


No Iran threat

By no stretch of the imagination is Iran a threat to U.S. national security. John Bolton, Israel and Saudi Arabia want the U.S. to attack Iran. But to what end? What will be accomplished, apart from destroying Iranian infrastructure and killing people? The current sanctions on Iran are already causing starvation and death of those who are unable to receive needed medications.

We know for sure that death, suffering, and misery are always the products of warfare. Before committing our country to a foolish war with Iran, Bolton and our political leaders should think about the men and women in military service who will die or be maimed and the suffering it will cause their families.

Joe Burton


Alabama abortion law

This new abortion law in Alabama is hard for me to understand. Is it true that a 13-year-old girl who is raped and becomes pregnant is required to give birth and take care of this child? Hence, she will need to drop out of school? Has the Alabama legislature also authorized millions of dollars of assistance to girls in this situation so they can have a somewhat normal life? What? They haven’t! Amazing! Have all the nice people left Alabama?

Marvin Maddox


Great patriots?

I was thoroughly amused reading May 20’s “Trump’s ‘great patriot’ farmers follow him into a trade war.” I wonder how enthusiastic they would be if he had not given them the $11 billion in relief and more to come. If they decry socialism, then stop taking taxpayers-funded hand-outs.

Thu Ostrander