Chapel Hill: Opinion

What you’re saying: Mya Glubpanny, David Brook, Alan Culton, Betty Buller Whitehead and Randy Johnson

The problem with ‘civil rights’

Regarding the news story “Supporters rallying behind UNC’s civil rights center,” (CHN, May 10)

The problem with a “civil rights” center is that it does not help everybody, but only those defined as “victims.”

In the work world, many are discriminated against, despised and harassed, but they don’t qualify for “civil rights” help because they are not pre-determined “victims.”

The problem with “victims” is they often make poor workers, having fewer skills, more feelings of entitlement and a lesser education, and a feeling that they have the job, not that they must DO the job.

In reality, the employer can treat you as he pleases, and you are free to go. This is the reality for most all employees, but civil rights is not the reality for most all employees.

So, in short, the taxpayer must foot the bill for “civil rights” for the few, while sucking it up at their own jobs.

Mya Glubpanny


Making distinctions

Regarding the news story “Supporters rallying behind UNC’s civil rights center,” (CHN, May 10)

This is a matter needing deep consideration by the Board of Governors in regard to lawsuits brought by civil rights center. A distinction needs to be made between basic practical experience for law students and de facto platforms for public advocacy. Correspondingly, one must ask whether social activism in the courtroom is a function of public universities – whether it is on the left or the right?

It seems that the civil rights center is only interested in those civil rights between “A to L” that fall within the center-left to left lexicon and not “A to Z.”

Would the center represent an Asian-American student who is rejected for admission because of his or her race (see Students for Fair Admissions lawsuits against Harvard and UNC), or a white working-class fireman who is rejected for a merit-based promotion because of his or her race even though he or she overcame a disability (See Sonia Sotomayor’s opinion in Ricci v. DeStefano), or the parents of a child murdered by an undocumented foreign national harbored by a sanctuary city (look up Kate Steinle)? Probably never given the ancestry of the victims.

Ideology aside, what law gives a university the power or mission to litigate on constitutional or social issues that do not directly involve the university?

We have other federal and state agencies that are charged with enforcing civil rights and environmental protection laws. There are also strong private-sector social activist organizations that support the center such as the American Association for Affirmative Action, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, the NAACP, La Raza, The Open Society Institute (funded by billionaire George Soros), the N.C. Chapter of the ACLU, and the N.C. Justice Center.

Why are these agencies and organizations not carrying the ball? Could not law students receive clerkships with the aid of faculty for credit from those organizations and from their conservative counterparts? Civil rights protections for all of our citizens should not be dependent on the decisions of a few UNC faculty members.

David Brook


Treated water protects

Regarding the guest column “OWASA board unfairly dismisses fluoride concern,” (CHN, May 10)

There is no proof that drinking optimally fluoridated water over a lifetime results in any damages to thyroids, bones, kidneys, brains and causes cancer.

Water is fluoridated to protect teeth and reduce the level of dental decay and related health problems in a community.

Fluoridation opponents who have an irrational, self-inflicted fear of low levels of fluoride ions are free to remove it from your water as are any citizens who dislike ingesting residual disinfectants, disinfectant byproducts or any of the other chemicals that are found in regulated, safe amounts in nearly all public water supplies. All water treatment processes are implemented to protect and improve the health of citizens who are fortunate enough to have treated water.

Randy Johnson


An imagined conversation

I called my Russian contact Boris.

Me: Nobody thought Trump would win, how did you formerly red Russians pull it off?

Boris: You’re just being kind. Did you see the county-by-county electoral map? It was a sea of Republican red. Did you think we could afford a KGB man in every county?

Me: You exposed Hillary’s emails.

Boris: And as a result the voters learned that Wasserman Shultz was fixing the DNC for Hillary. Hillary as much as said so, that her voters were scared off. She meant Bernie’s people, who were angry at her.

Me: But you guys wanted Trump to win.

Boris: We would have accepted the woman who sold us the uranium after she hit the reset button. We work with what we get.

Me: And Trump?

Boris: If half of your voters think we put him over that will weaken him, we work with what we get.

Alan Culton

Chapel Hill

‘I need a raise’

Regarding the news article “State retirees upset Senate budget won’t boost their pensions to keep up with inflation” (N&O, May 12):

I turn 70 in two weeks. I worked for 35 years in public education. I have not had an increase in my pension in a long time. The price of everything is going up. I need a raise. Raises for retirees have traditionally been pegged at a fraction of teacher raises. But that did not happen last time. I need a raise.

Frank D. O’Neal


Hog farm law ‘shameful’

Regarding the Under the Dome article “Veto override on hog farms” (N&O, May 12):

As a North Carolina resident, public health professional and member of Medical Advocates for Healthy Air, I appreciated Gov. Roy Cooper’s veto of a bill protecting North Carolina’s hog farms from lawsuits. The North Carolina House and Senate both overrode the measure and it has since become law.

This new law limits the amount of money people can collect in lawsuits against hog farms for odors, headaches, flies and other aggravations.

North Carolina has more than 2,000 hog farms. Many of these farms are known as CAFOs, or concentrated animal feeding operations , with thousands of hogs confined to buildings and millions of gallons of waste collected in open lagoons. Farmers may spray the waste on cropland as fertilizer.

This shameful law was designed to protect the hog farm industry over people. I love my twice-cooked pork, but I don’t want to enjoy it at the expense of my neighbors’ health. At least the governor cared.

Jin Yan


Trump’s reasons questioned

Regarding the May 10 news article “Comey dismissed as head of FBI” (N&O, May 10):

If we believed President Donald Trump’s reasons for firing FBI Director James Comey – that it was related to the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s emails – instead of the likelihood that Comey was closing in on the relationship of the Trump campaign/administration to Russia and its interference with the election, then I’ll bet Trump knows about some investment property in the Ukraine.

Betty Buller Whitehead

Chapel Hill

Public schools need funding

Regarding the point of view article "Private-school scholarships benefit low-income students" (N&O, May 13): Should private schools be supported by taxpayers using school vouchers?

The article stated that nearly 33,000 scholarship applications for private schools were submitted since the program began. How many were funded? What was the total cost and percentage of the public school budget? What standards and accountability must private schools meet? Some private schools may be excellent, but should they be supported by taxes at the expense of public schools, which are the only option for most?

Public schools desperately need more funding and more options for students. The money for vouchers should be put back into public schools. I want public education for all to uphold the highest standards: Teach language, science, math, history, geography, civics and the arts, and pay teachers a professional salary, supply adequate benefits and provide opportunities for professional growth. This would benefit all students equally, rich and poor.

E. Diane Anderson



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