Regarding the Feb. 20 editorial “ Legacy of shame”: Please spare us your indignation over the recommended shutdown of Gene Nichol’s Center on Poverty, Work and Opportunity. If closure occurs, the fault lies entirely with its director.
Given the media coverage of the BOG center reviews, it is probable the center was indeed poorly run. The center’s bloated advisory board is in itself an indicator of inefficiency, no matter how distinguished the members.
Now we have the predictable reaction by The N&O and almost laughable angst from some of the UNC law school faculty. Even if the center were the epitome of sound management, Nichol’s insistence on spewing venom at Gov. Pat McCrory and the Republican legislature as though poverty in North Carolina began when they took office clearly demonstrates he strayed from the center’s advocacy mission. His attacks became personal and self-righteous while he tried to cleverly cloak himself around the First Amendment and tenure (his most recent writings bear that out).
It is sad because even though some of the center’s statistics are dubious, poverty is indeed a serious problem that requires the combined efforts of government, churches, charitable organizations and personal responsibility to mitigate. Accusations and divisiveness from the top doomed the center – not political retribution or censorship.
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David S. Heesacker, Chapel Hill