We have been united in sadness at the murder of three exemplary young people.
My own remorse has been deepened as I see the grief of dear Muslim friends, whom I have known only for their peace, patience, generosity, and insight.
Let us not lose this moment of commonality. It is all too easy to be distracted by other personal and public crises.
Let us move beyond sorrow and the shame that this could happen in what we like to think of as an idyllic town, and admit to the underlying thread running through our America – whether or not we feel it personally – of stereotyping all Muslims with the fears and rage that have saturated our lives from fiery images.
The way to break through labeling is by connecting people-with-people. To have just one Muslim friend begins to shine a light that grows to warmth for other Muslims.
Our schools, campuses, community groups, faith organizations can reach out to Muslim sister-groups to join in mutual visits, meals, community projects, where individuals can meet, find commonalities, and grow into friends.
Let us create an American mosaic where people are free to retain special identities in a larger, vibrant, rich community.
I read David Roth’s response to Wanda Hunter’s “The real scandal at UNC” and wonder how someone can be so callous toward citizens who serve their country? Even as an ardent sports fan, I agree college sports have become too big. However, his comparison to the military is confusing and misplaced.
It is one thing to rail against what he terms the “military complex,” or governmental decisions to employ military force, but to attack those who have served is way out of line. I know of no veteran or retiree who “expects” parades or pageantry, but do know most appreciate any acknowledgment of sacrifice, no matter how small.
It is not the service-member, retiree, or veteran who asks for anything in their honor – it is a privilege to serve. To find someone truly sad and shameful Mr. Roth, look in a mirror.
David S. Heesacker
Colonel, U.S. Marine Corps (Retired)
Concerning the UNC scandal, Jay Zenner wrote: “Neither the number of students involved nor the money that flows through the athletic program are significant in a major research university like UNC. Why it wants to turn itself inside out over this scandal is beyond me.”
I would suggest to Mr. Zenner an analogy between the scandal at UNC and rust on an automobile. A relatively modest spot of rust on a car, if left unrepaired, has the potential, over time, to degrade, and ultimately destroy, the entire vehicle.
Why any adult, in this day and age, would be at a loss to understand the corrosive effect of corruption in any organization, large or small, is beyond me.
Come hear Brantley
Our guest speaker for February’s gathering of the Friends of the Downtown is Steve Brantley, director of the Orange County Economic Development Commission and executive committee member of the Research Triangle Regional Partnership.
His topic “Unscrambling the Facts, Rumors and Politics – Realities About Our Local Taxes and the Future” will be of interest to everyone. Steve's Q&A session following the presentation will make this another "can't miss" downtown event.
Febraury’s gathering, open to the public, will take place at the 1789 Venture Lab, located at 173 1/2 E. Franklin St. (right in between Ye Olde Waffle Shoppe and Four Corners). Conversation and coffee begin at 9:30, with a special introduction to the 1789 Venture Lab by our host Jim Kitchen and guest speaker Steve Brantley starting promptly at 10 a.m. And an update on what's happening downtown if time permits. We encourage you to forward this announcement to your friends and colleagues who would be interested.
Meetings are free and open to the public, with nearby parking available in the Wallace Deck on Rosemary Street .
Friends of the Downtown