The recent appalling events in Charlottesville prompted action as reported in “Protesters topple confederate soldier statue in downtown Durham” (Aug. 14). It is never prudent to try and destroy or erase history as it is important to not just remember, but to own the scar of slavery, secession and treason that is an undeniable chapter in the history of North Carolina.
Advocates need to advocate not for the removal of these markers, but instead for them to be repurposed from a glorification of these atrocities to a reminder of how good people can make the mistake of taking up arms in the defense of an economic system that benefits only the wealthy through the ultimate form of exploitation. Let’s erect new symbols defining the struggles and triumphs of those who have been oppressed by this country since its inception. History is a story, and it is time not to rip out the pages, but instead add the chapters that will give future generations an honest look at who we are as a people, as a state and as a country so they will never repeat the shameful acts those statues represent.
A call for leaders
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Following the horrible events in Charlottesville and the president’s remarks on Tuesday, we’ve seen Sens. Thom Tillis and Richard Burr distance themselves from white supremacists. Yet their statements leave a lot to be desired – specifically, leadership. The people need leaders who understand that white supremacy rends the moral fibers of democracy. At the same time, the people need these leaders to acknowledge that these subversive principles were also woven into the fabric of America’s swaddling clothes. This is a recurring problem that is simple on the surface to condemn but complex to root out.
The people need leaders who call out the president by name and refuse any moral equivocation regarding the events in Charlottesville. The people need leaders who are quick to denounce unabashed, overt forms of racism and sexism, regardless who commits them. Most of all, the people need leaders who call everyone to their better selves rather than fulfill the minimum requirements of decency. The people need leaders who lead, who rise to the moment rather than fall for partisan politics.
I am an 81-year-old white male, Southerner, Christian, father, grandfather, minister, Evangelical who is appalled by the Charlottesville supremacy horror this past weekend.
I am further appalled by President Trump’s tepid response which suggests that the evangelical “laying on of hands” on him last month in the Oval Office didn’t do much good. The diabolical David Duke must have slipped his hand in also.
Robert P. Kennel