Letters to the Editor

9/01 Letters: This NC voting rights law criminalizes African Americans

Discriminatory law

As an attorney who represented one of the individuals prosecuted for voting in Alamance County, I was disappointed by “Data shows few felons are convicted of illegal voting,” (Aug. 24). While it mentioned the law’s “toxic racist origins,” it omitted its racist present.

Statewide, over 68 percent of individuals referred for prosecution for allegedly voting while on probation in the 2016 general election were African American. In Durham, 90 percent were African Americans.

The law is unconstitutional because its intent and current use are both racially discriminatory.

The legislature that came to power in 1898 was open about its goals, and the law continues to serve its purpose of criminalizing African American voters. The real number of prosecutions under this law in the year 2019 should be zero.

John F. Carella, Durham

Help NC farmers

Passage of the federal Farm Bill in 2018 — monumental legislation legalizing hemp production — represents a huge opportunity for farmers.

In North Carolina, this watershed moment couldn’t have come at a better time, as decreasing commodity prices and increasing tariffs have taken their toll. Hemp is a lifeline to farmers desperate to stay afloat.

A newly released poll of N.C. voters shows strong, bipartisan support for the hemp industry.

Sadly, the legislative process around the N.C. Farm Act’s hemp provisions has been marred by political games, and lawmakers continue to ignore their constituents’ clear opinion on this matter.

State lawmakers should follow the lead of the federal government and the will of N.C. voters by passing a Farm Act that allows farmers to take full advantage of hemp’s massive economic potential.

Doing so will deliver badly needed relief and set farmers on a path for long-term success.

Scott Ballard, Sanford

Ballard is a fifth generation Lee County farmer.

Act on debt

Last week the public debt clocked $23 trillion. Our beloved nation deserves better. A little sober thinking is in order.

Assad Meymandi, Raleigh

Protect water

Heather Stapleton’s research into the contamination of our waters was another eye opener into the state of the environment and the impact of pollution on our health. (Aug. 26)

Why should we have to invest in costly home and municipal filtration systems that are not necessarily foolproof?

The ill-advised and waste of money on SolarBees installed in Jordan Lake did not address, nor solve the problem.

The legislature must provide regulations to protect our waters from pollution. In the long run, everybody is affected, even the polluters.

A common comment is that if pollution rules were implemented it would be too costly and stifle growth, thus hurting the economy. It makes more sense that a healthy society is a productive society.

Amelia Casey, Cary

Family values?

President Trump’s inhumanity is in the spotlight again. He has dictated there will be no more medical deferment action for immigrants.

People under care for serious illnesses will be required to return to their home countries within 33 days, in many cases to die. Most are children with cancer and other diseases. And there will be no flu shots for those filling the cages at the border.

This is cruel and inhuman treatment for anyone. I don’t understand how Republican “Christians” with their family values can justify this inhumanity and why they are not speaking out against this cruelty.

Thomas Oriel, Garner

No to ACC Network

Regarding “Does your cable company carry the ACC Network? What you need to know,” (Aug. 29):

The new ACC Network with ESPN has limited selection of sources and if you do not have one of the identified sources, you have to pay about $50 per month to get one.

After growing up in Durham, graduating from N.C. State, and watching basketball and football since the late ‘50s, I find it offensive to have to pay $50 a month for that privilege while helping the ACC make even more money.

Don’t think I will do it.

Joe Stone, Anderson, S.C.

Food insecurity

Food insecurity is a problem in every corner of America. In North Carolina, 14.6 percent of the population, approximately 1,503,050 people, are food insecure.

Publix takes its responsibility to feed people, all people, seriously. That’s why Publix Super Markets Charities is committing another $5 million to food banks and other programs across the Southeast to ensure our children, veterans, seniors and families have enough to eat. Publix is grateful to Feeding America member food banks, schools and other nonprofits for programs that allow our neighbors to eat and pay their bills.

When our neighbors go hungry, it affects every aspect of their lives and limits their potential. It is incumbent upon us – all of us – to make sure they have full plates, so they can reach their full potential.

Todd Jones

CEO of Publix Super Markets

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