Regarding “Trump wants to slash food stamps and replace them with a ‘Blue Apron-type program’” (Feb. 13): In 2011, North Carolina ranked number 19 in the nation in education. Now it is number 40. In that same period of time, there was a 25 percent increase in child poverty. Our state now has the 11th-highest child poverty rate in the country, tied with Texas and Kentucky. With one in six people “food insecure,” North Carolina is the 10th-hungriest state in the nation.
This situation is a scandal, and it is a direct result of the policies of our gerrymandered General Assembly. The president’s proposed budget would radically restructure the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as food stamps, which works very effectively and efficiently to provide nutrition for our state’s most vulnerable people. This program brought $2.2 billion dollars in federal assistance to North Carolina’s economy last year; this budget would cut it by $213 billion dollars over the next 10 years.
During that same period of time 82 percent of the recently passed federal tax cuts will accrue to the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans. We must rise up and hold our elected officials accountable to our most cherished values.
Rev. Karen Ziegler
Honor civillian ‘heroes’
Regarding “A Trump military parade would be worth the cost, Duke professor says” (Feb. 9): If Mr. Trump wishes to celebrate those who work to secure our country, he need not turn to the military. He should elevate the heroes and heroines that daily preserve and strengthen our country and our democracy.
They are the first responders, the teachers who stress the essentials of true democracy and equality and how to sustain them; the scientists who work to guide us through climate change and epidemics; our diverse communities who over generations have and continue to build the social and physical infrastructure of our homeland, from enslaved and indigenous peoples to today’s refugees and immigrants; the social and commercial entrepreneurs who work on community problems; the people of faith or no faith who open their arms to those in need, regardless of who they are, where they come from, or who they love.
Instead of a parade that would glorify the Commander-in-Chief, let the president of the people recount how all Americans, citizens and others, have made us prosperous and secure; let him say how he is going to strengthen our democracy and move us forward together.
University of North Carolina Chapel Hill
Regarding “Officials discuss protecting Silent Sam after video of attack surfaces” (Feb. 10): A solution to the controversy over Silent Sam: Leave it in place. But replace the current plaque with a new one that reads, “Young men were sent to war by their elders to defend a way of life in the South founded on slavery. This young soldier fought for a cause that we today find reprehensible. Every time we pass by this statue may it remind us of the cruelty human beings can impose on others and inspire us to oppose racism in all its forms.”
Such a plaque honors the desire to “preserve history” but does so honestly. And it also honors the desire to reject slavery, racism, and all human exploitation.
Words matter. Words can reframe the meaning of Silent Sam and also speak a truth that all ought to be able to agree to.
Save red wolves
Regarding “Can red wolves be saved again?” (Feb. 5): This article echoes the heartfelt concerns of a people deeply invested in the welfare of the red wolf population in Eastern North Carolina. The rising concern that red wolves are dangerous creatures is unconvincing and carries not a semblance of the rugged gentleness that these animals embody.
A grassroots effort is the most visible hope for the preservation of the wolves and would be in line with Mosotti’s statement that “we should be shouting about [it] from the rooftops.” We should be proud to be privileged with the task of protecting the red wolves. If not the people, then who will extend their compassionate reach to a disappearing population of beautiful animals?
There is no excuse to abandon hope now; not after plans and people were mobilized to protect the remaining population. Education and unification of communities is a formidable force, and it should be used as a shield to give the red wolf its best chance for first surviving, and then thriving.
Melissa R. Lincoln