Regarding “Law passed over Cooper’s veto helps consumer loan industry” (Aug. 30): A more accurate headline would be: “North Carolina state senators and representatives vote to kick people when they are down – favor loan sharks.” Details can be provided on the income and employment categories that utilize payday loans, which is what they used to call high-interest rate consumer loans.
Have we really come so low as a society that we favor the moneylenders to such a degree? I find it incredible that the members of the General Assembly who voted for this can sleep at night and say they are doing the people’s work. There are no people benefiting from this type of legislation except those who are operating at the very edge (if not over the edge) of ethical business. Our state should not be encouraging business that exploits people who are already in distress in any way, shape or form.
Remove Silent Sam
Regarding “UNC chancellor Folt’s choice to keep Silent Sam is baffling” (Aug. 26): Historians have shown with clear empirical evidence how Confederate monuments were erected in early 20th-century North Carolina to affirm the ideology and social system of white supremacy. People therefore have good reasons to be angry about the enduring presence of the Silent Sam statue at UNC-Chapel Hill; and the law that bars local governments or public institutions from removing such monuments is wrong and should be repealed.
It is also wrong, however, to describe Chancellor Carol Folt as a “tinpot autocrat.” She is constrained by a law that autocratically prevents communities from making decisions about their own public spaces, but Folt’s adherence to this law does not make her an autocrat. Autocratic officials typically ignore laws. Gov. Roy Cooper and the UNC Board of Governors should immediately ask the North Carolina Historical Commission to take action that would give Folt the legal ability to remove a statue that has become a danger to the safety and educational mission of the university.
Professor of history, UNC-Chapel Hill
Make fair districts
A fair and impartial election system is the foundation of democracy. The drawing of electoral districts should be done with an eye to the responsibility that implies. When maps are drawn to favor the party in power or to weaken the voices of specific voters, the very bedrock of our country’s principles are violated, and the America that stands for equality, fairness and playing by the rules fades in to the past.
I need to be able to tell my children that regardless of whether they agree with government, they can trust the system that elected that government, and this I cannot do at present. I call on the N.C. State Legislature to honor American democracy and their responsibility to it, and produce fair, clean districts for the state of North Carolina.