Regarding “MLK gets drawn into debate over NC’s Confederate monuments” (Mar. 10): The argument that Confederate monuments and statues should be looked on in the same way as Martin Luther King Jr. busts and streets bearing his name is not just historically misguided. It also is a chilling reminder that for many, one way to “Make America Great Again” is to return to the good old days of Jim Crow segregation.
“If the Confederate statues have to be removed because they offend some people, the King ones should be as well because they offend some of us,” argues one man in a comment to members of the N.C. Historical Commission. A dark embrace of white supremacy is the only possible inspiration for comments expressing offense at King’s demand’s for equality and his extraordinary commitment to using non-violent means to achieve it.
Or is it? I actually hope that such reactions are rooted in something else entirely: a piercing guilt at every mention of King’s name or reproduction of his likeness.
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Keep the old
Regarding “Raleigh church plans to tear down historic-area homes for parking” (Mar. 9): Churches should be stewards of their neighborhoods, not tear them down. The charming historic neighborhood surrounding Hayes Barton Baptist Church will be left with a large gaping hole if HBBC tears down six beautiful historic homes for a parking lot on White Oak Road. A community thrives with homes and families, not parking lots.
Nearby White Memorial Presbyterian Church just cleared a big (formerly) beautiful lot of all its large old trees. So very sad. These community churches need to treasure Raleigh’s historic neighborhoods and grand old trees, not tear them down.
Ninety-one percent of children who die from firearm injury in the developed world are from the U.S. This year, we are on track for 130 U.S. children to die from flu, while 1,300 children will likely die this year from firearm injury. Therefore, firearm injury constitutes a public health epidemic.
Our political leaders should approach this epidemic as they would any other. In public health, when we confront an epidemic, we look to our evidence base and research to determine likely causes and solutions. Congress passed legislation 22 years ago forbidding the Centers for Disease Control to conduct research that would provide us with the evidence we need to address this epidemic of firearm injury.
Without research-based evidence, we cannot know what effect background checks, access to assault weapons, age of purchase of firearms or mental health system reform will have upon our ability to reduce the number of children who die from firearm injury each year in the U.S. Therefore, a first step in our efforts to prevent further firearm deaths to children is to adequately fund CDC research projects that address firearm violence.
David Tayloe, Jr., MD, FAAP
The op-ed “Divided government can have advantages over 1-party rule” (Mar. 11) identifies its benefits. Essentially, opposing sides in a divided government are forced to engage in meaningful exchanges. One-party rule eliminates the opportunity to be heard, the civility of any exchanges, creates an intolerance of different opinions, and polarizes rather than unifies.
With a divided government, legislation is achieved by compromise. The first step towards better government is to end gerrymandering. Unless this occurs, we are in for “more of the same.” What will it take for our legislators to support such legislation?
Allen R. Tew
Not just schools
All the articles and op-eds about school safety miss the largest point: Mass shootings in America are not a “school” issue. Are we going to harden concert venues? Train and arm ministers and rabbis? Install metal detectors at malls and movie theaters? We don’t have a school safety issue. We have a public safety issue: Citizens with easy access to military weapons.
The slaughter of our children is particularly tragic, and after Sandy Hook it seems to be a price we are prepared to pay. But none of us are safe in any public venue. If we “fix” the schools, parks, playgrounds and parades will be next.