Chapel Hill: Opinion

What you’re saying: Kelsey Byerly, Ellie Kinnaird, Barry Freeman, Mary U. Andrews, Diana García

Where does it end?

Regarding the Dec. 1 story “Protesters oppose corporate ownership” (N&O,

Too often, we are seeing universities abandon tradition for modernity. The potential privatization of UNC-Chapel Hill’s 100-year-old campus bookstore is just one example of the problem.

Let’s look at N.C. State University as an example. Beginning in 2014, renovations began on historic Reynolds Coliseum, and Harrelson Hall, the first cylindrical building on a college campus, is slated for demolition beginning later this year.

It is crucial that we take a look at what is happening on our college campuses and ask ourselves exactly where does this end? History isn’t something that deserves to be brushed over and replaced; it deserves to be preserved.

Kelsey Byerly


Legitimate questions

As the decision for a site for the IFC food pantry and kitchen in Carrboro is made, there are several factors to consider.

Some Board of Alderpersons have been criticized as uncaring because they called for a discussion of all the ramifications of putting the kitchen in Carrboro. The critics say Carrboro should not reject the facility because we should all welcome the homeless and others needing the meals provided by the kitchen.

But there are legitimate questions with locating the kitchen in downtown Carrboro. Now that there is no more daily temporary shelter for the homeless – the new shelter is only for men willing to participate in long-term recovery and rehabilitation programs – many will be on the street. If the kitchen is built in Carrboro the homeless will congregate around it following their meal and will likely remain, since there is no temporary shelter. If the IFC doesn’t have a facility for them, it will just be a repeat of the present Chapel Hill situation.

The placement of a community kitchen calls for a community-wide, thoughtful solution, not quick knee-jerk reactions.

Eleanor Kinnaird

Chapel Hill

Imagine no NRA

An open letter to our legislators,

Please imagine what it would be like for you to stand alone, tall, confident, with no Republican or Democrat influence, no National Rifle Association members or anti-gun protesters around. Just you.

What position would your conscience lead you to take regarding the epidemic of assault weapons in the hands of civilians?

Whether our loved ones (yours included) are at school, a holiday party, a movie theater, a neighborhood café, or a church, we all deserve to know they are safe from such weaponry. If you stood alone without compromising influences, would you still block the need for research on gun violence? Would you still refuse to advocate for stricter gun laws? What are you thinking as you stand alone?

Many issues you deal with every day are not easily discernable but assault weapons in the hands of civilians make no sense at all. That seems clear to most of us.

To paraphrase ee cummings , …more, more & still more, what the hell are we all morticians?   

Mary U. Andrews

Chapel Hill 

False perceptions

We don’t know anyone, really. Our perceptions and ideas of others are often times false, based on snippets of half-listened to conversation, what others might have said about this or that person or what they may have said about themselves but that we misinterpret. We often see others through a lens that is convenient.

What are these assumptions we make based on exactly? Photos and posts seen on Facebook? An anecdote told or overheard into which we read far too much? Whatever our stories may be of other people, they’re often just feeding our delusions or fear, our jealousy or aversion, our name it.

It seems the most respectful thing we could do for anyone is to engage as if we know absolutely nothing about them and simply allow the interaction to inform what is being revealed in the moment.

People are capable of change, and in fact we are always changing as we move toward the inevitable, whether we want to acknowledge it or not. To assuage our own feelings of self-worth or to satisfy an insecure need to establish a sense of order, we prefer to put people (including ourselves) in little boxes and label them.

But in truth, all people are both greater and lesser, stronger and weaker than we think. We are a microcosm of the world in its totality. Good and bad, perhaps, but then again, so much more.

Let’s respect that and not be presumptuous in thinking we know more than we actually do about anyone. Let’s look each other in the face with wonder and a mind that is open to all the possibilities. And when the moment has passed, let it go.

The person you encounter the next time, whether it be your spouse, child, parent, friend or acquaintance, may have grown into someone else altogether, and wouldn’t that be a wonderful thing?

Diana García


A better democracy

Most of the press, the political establishment and some candidates seem to love attacking Bernie Sanders for his “socialism” as if it were some demonic doctrine. In truth it is a doctrine of community as opposed to dog-eat-dog capitalism.

Capitalism is dragging more of us into poverty. Some of us still remember the leadership of Franklin Roosevelt as he brought the United States out of despair into hope with programs such as Social Security and public work programs. These programs were labeled by the opposition as socialistic and are still despised by many Republicans today.

Let us not be blinded to the possibilities of a better form of democracy by the propaganda of the 1 percent and its controlled media. There is a better form of democracy.

Barry Freeman

Chapel Hill

Let the children in

One partial solution to the crisis of Syrian and other refugees is found in the model of the kindertransport of Jewish children during World War II.

In the American case, refugee parents would allow their children to come to the United States to live with vetted host parents for the length of the crisis in Syria. It is understood that these children would return to their families in the future. The children would attend school, perhaps even college or other post high school education, returning home with skills badly needed in their countries.

If only children under the age of 12 were allowed to participate, some of the fears of admitting terrorists to our state would be mitigated. We would thereby fulfill the promise of America.

Karen L. Shectman


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