Chapel Hill: Opinion

What you’re saying: Dana Mangum, Irene Briggaman, Christine Foote, Robert Porreca and Michael Strong

Our culture of violence

I appreciate the attention that Judge Marcia Morey brings to domestic violence in her opinion piece “The epidemic in Courtroom 5A” (CHN, Oct. 5).

As she correctly asserts, “it will take more than court orders to stop this violence.” Members of our criminal justice system, advocates, researchers and other professionals in the state work endlessly to expand intervention and prevention efforts in their communities. These efforts strengthen the message that domestic violence, most prevalent as violence against women, is unacceptable.

Hand in hand with these efforts, we must continually work at an impetus of violence: our culture. A child can’t fully address the bully on the playground with only playground rules and punishment – there must be a commitment at the school and societal level that bullying is not tolerated. There must action when we pledge to treat one another with respect and equity.

Just like on the playground, this means that to get at the heart of domestic violence, we need to address our culture of violence, and continue to shift it toward one of equity and respect for one another. We think, how is this possible with daily reports of shootings, oppression, hate and war? To change anything culturally is complicated, seemingly impossible with its tangles, motivations, its effects and impacts.

We start with holding ourselves to a standard of treating all people with equity and respect, which takes self-awareness, work and willingness. Then we educate and bring accountability to the attention of friends, family, neighbors and the larger community. We engage with larger peaceful movements and educational programs that target the youth population to bring this sensibility to the masses. We identify the systems and institutions that play a role in the various manifestations of inequity, such as with criminal justice, health care, education and business, and call for the leadership and decision making to create a change.

A culture of equity and respect addresses poverty, homelessness, racism, homophobia, sexism, and reduces power and control, thus limiting the perpetuation of violence. These efforts begin to shift the needle – and you will have made a difference toward ending domestic violence.

Dana Mangum

Executive director

N.C. Coalition Against Domestic Violence

Eat out Nov. 8

Roses to the local restaurateurs who were honored recently for their years of participation in the RSVVP (Restaurants Sharing Ten Percent) hunger-relief fundraiser. Restaurants contribute 10 percent of their total proceeds on RSVVP Day to the Inter-Faith Council for Social Service’s FoodFirst programs: the Community Kitchen and Food Pantry.

On Sept. 20, the IFC held an awards ceremony at the Top of the Hill to honor restaurants for milestone anniversaries. Restaurants were honored for 10 years – Guanajuato Mexican Restaurant and Nantucket Grill & Bar (Farrington Road); 15 years – Caffe Driade, Domino’s Pizza (Carrboro), La Hacienda and Mama Dip’s Kitchen; 20 years – Captain John’s Dockside and the Top of the Hill; and 25 years – Elmo’s Diner, Hunam Chinese, La Residence, Subway (Glenwood) and Ye Olde Waffle Shoppe.

Since 1989, this popular fundraising event has raised over $481,000 to alleviate hunger in our community. Given recent trends, this year should put the cumulative total raised at over $500,000. So, please remember to eat out early and often at participating restaurants on election day, Nov. 8! Look for the complete list of participating restaurants in the Chapel Hill News or at

Irene Briggaman

Chapel Hill

Vote for Goodwin and Cabe

I have heard Wayne Goodwin often in person and in recent TV interviews. Goodwin should be re-elected N.C. Insurance Commissioner.

Wayne Goodwin has no ties to insurance companies, keeps our car insurance down, and has successfully worked against health insurance rate problems in North Carolina. He is effective.

We should also elect Samantha Cabe to District Court. Cabe is smart, experienced in the courts and community, and is committed to long-term fair treatment for all families.

Goodwin and Cabe deserve your attention. Please Vote. Do not take any outcome for granted.

Lynne Kane

Chapel Hill

Editor’s note: All letters about the elections and bond referendums must reach us by Friday, Oct. 28. Thank you.

What matters to McCrory

Gov. Pat McCrory and his budget cuts have been detrimental to North Carolina public education for years, yet he has been spending taxpayers’ money on a campaign that boasts of raising teacher pay. We can all see this is just one of McCrory’s re-election tactics because that is simply not true.

The slight pay raise that teachers will see next year was only a ploy by McCrory’s team to make it look like he’s trying to improve public education, but the governor just sent out a memo that reveals his plan to make education cuts again following this year’s election. McCrory says one thing and does the other, and this memo proves to us that education reform is his last priority.

McCrory also fails to mention that teachers were forced to give up tenure and the administration ended pay for a master’s degree.

North Carolina is ranked 41st in the nation for teacher pay and is ranked even lower in per-pupil spending. Now, in spite of these already frightening statistics, McCrory has made plans to reduce next year’s education budget by 2 percent.

Education is such an important issue and is the foundation of our economy, but McCrory has made it clear that education only matters to him when he’s trying to get re-elected. We need someone in office who cares about our teachers everyday, not just when he needs our vote.

The current administration has embarrassed us enough. McCrory and the GOP led state legislature must go!

Christine Foote


‘Moral thuggery’

Nelson Johnson and Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove claimed in the Point of View “A governor with no give and take” (N&O, Sept. 20) to hold the higher moral ground and demanded that Gov. Pat McCrory agree with them or feel the cold steel of the sword of public denunciation on his neck.

This was nothing more than thuggery wrapped in pretty tissue declaring the moral high ground was theirs and offering the governor a chance to be a fool or an idiot.

The cleverly worded justification for it reeks with intolerance and wallows in a self-satisfied declaration of oleaginous superiority. If they had wanted an “honest” answer, they would not have made the question fallacious and thereby unanswerable by any prudent political figure.

What they really wanted was to get publicity and be able to declare themselves morally superior and the governor either hypocritical or prejudiced.

Either way he answered the question, as posed by them, would have been unsatisfactory.

We see this kind of behavior from people intolerant in the extreme. It’s the same as a religious or political extremist declaring a nonbeliever to be so wrong as to deserve a gory, painful, horrible, death. These folks need to look up the meaning of “morality.”

Robert L. Porreca


Trump no role model

During the gubernatorial debate last week, Gov. Pat McCrory said he considered Donald Trump to be a role model for our kids.

By now everyone is familiar with the previous week’s recording of Donald Trump boasting that he can get away with kissing and groping women without their consent. Does McCrory believe Trump bragging about sexually assaulting women makes him a role model?

In various speeches given throughout his campaign, Trump has discredited an American judge for having Mexican heritage, launched and dragged out the racist birther movement against President Obama for years, encouraged open discrimination against Muslims, and said African-American communities are hopeless and have nothing to lose. Does McCrory think Trump is a role model because he is racist, saying bigoted things about African-Americans, Latinos and Muslims?

Or perhaps McCrory thinks Trump is a role model because of the terrible things Trump has said about veterans, disabled people, and most recently, disabled veterans.

Donald Trump is a racist misogynist, not a role model, but Gov. Pat McCrory has endorsed Trump for president. I cannot vote for McCrory in good conscience unless he removes his support for Trump, rescinds his endorsement, and apologizes for calling Trump a role model.

Michael Strong

Chapel Hill

Election letters deadline

All letters about the Nov. 8 elections and bond referendums must reach us by Friday, Oct. 28. Thank you.