The dead can’t change
Changing the name of Saunders Hall does not change history. There was a Civil War and a respected professor at the University of North Carolina during that era, raised to believe and think as he did, was revered enough to have a building named for him. I dare say, if the man lived today he would be as staunch a supporter of civil cights as any educated, good man is. Renaming Saunders Hall does not change the temper of that time in history. The dead are beyond the ability to change their opinion.
Personally, I believe the renaming of Saunders was wrong, dishonest. It amounts to an effort to rewrite history. It cannot be done. History is history – what it was. The accepted attitudes of that era were as different from today’s as is our way of doing laundry, printing a newspaper, cooking our food, etc. The cost itself was ridiculous. Professor Saunders is beyond reprimand. He cannot change opinion or erase one line of his own autobiography.
There was an expression concerning the solid results of the digestive process that I heard in my youth.
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“The more you stir it, the worse it smells.”
Talking racism, citing statistics, comparing injustices, profiling, etc. just keeps it in the forefront of our minds. It does not correct the injustices that exist and encourages the foolhardy to do senseless things like defacing Silent Sam. Better that we direct our energies toward positive action.
Can’t we just concentrate on making “our” history a saner, more loving one, and “let the past dead bury the past?” Of one blood God made all nations. The color of our skins are beautiful to God. No one living today was part of what was. Let’s make our history better. Let’s concentrate our efforts and our attention on correcting the present wrongs, working to help one another, and as more a more humane society create a better one than yet known.
Sybil Austin Skakle
Elliott Cramer is wrong when he denies that “the disparities between blacks and whites in numbers of college and professional basketball and football players” reflect discrimination. Of course they do: discrimination in housing, education, job markets, etc. has a huge effect on the lives of all people of color. The discrimination is so embedded in the American culture and mind-set that a supposedly well-educated person like Cramer doesn't even see it. How sad; he should use his time to help figure out what to do about it instead of writing claptrap denying it.
Arthur L. Finn
Protect our coast
To drill or not to drill ... off the North Carolina coast. That is our question, and one of the most significant to affect North Carolinians and our coast in the 21st century. Repercussions will impact the future of North Carolina for years to come.
We, the citizens of North Carolina, should be very concerned. Oil royalties are a significant income source for the federal government, President Obama opened up the eastern seaboard for oil exploration ending a 30-year moratorium, and Governor McCrory is currently negotiating for a percentage of those royalties.
McCrory wants North Carolina to be a national energy leader. And I want to believe all North Carolinians, whether public official or private citizen, have the same goal to do no harm to our amazingly beautiful coast.
But McCrory’s focus on oil exploration is shortsighted and destructive to our coastal resources. It also ignores other energy sources. Our state can be an energy leader. North Carolina has the unique opportunity to pursue energy industries which are compatible with our heritage of coastal tourism and commerical fisheries.
There is a sense that the train is leaving the station regardless of whether the passengers have boarded. The Atlantic Coast states, federal regulators, and the oil industry are making plans for drilling off the coast. The first step is gauging the extent of the oil resources using seismic testing. While seismic testing in itself is not without risk, let’s say oil reserves are found. What amount of oil is worth the potential catastrophe and regular leaks inherit in the industry? What amount of oil is enough to “fuel” McCrory and the oil industry, making it much more difficult to stop this train later?
If you don't think offshore oil drilling is in the best interest of North Carolina, there is something you can do today. Contact Jolie Harrison, chief, Permits and Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service with comments. While not required by law, federal regulators are accepting public comments and information. Comments and information must be received no later than Friday, August 28. A decision on whether to issue the permits could come by the end of the year.
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