Durham News: Opinion

What you’re saying: Darius Little, David Price, Jasper Cobb, Raymond James, Patty Fitzhugh and Hamilton Harper

An incredible man

When I was first getting involved in politics – as a young, naive and dumb young man – I was encouraged (by some women that presented themselves as caring for young people, but that I later learned were mean-spirited individuals, driven by selfish ambition, jealousy and strife) to run for office against Mr. Clement.

After I was soundly defeated by Mr. Clement, he and his wife privately invited me over. That day, my life changed.

Howard Clement requested that I visit and stay in touch. This wasn’t political verbiage, as Mr. Clement later offered to pay my college tuition. He and his wife, additionally, spoke to me about the gifts they saw in me and how if I stayed away from individuals with bad motives, the sky was the limit.

Mr. Clement then told me I was the best lawyer that never went to law school and that if I ever decided to try such avenue he’d also help get that done.

I decided business consulting was more lucrative, and with Mr. C’s blessing, I entered corporate consulting.

He personally made the call which led to my first large client.

This was an incredible man, and I thank God for his heart of love – and for being what I’d never experienced until that day: a loving father figure.

Darius Little


Pivotal player

I am deeply saddened by the news of Howard Clement’s death. I have known and respected Howard since I returned to North Carolina in the 1970s, and I have been honored to work alongside him over the years to help build a better future for the City of Durham.

Howard played a pivotal role in Durham’s rebirth as a thriving economic and cultural hub for central North Carolina, and the community has benefited greatly from his decades of leadership.

U.S. Rep. David Price

Chapel Hill

Thanks, iNSIDEoUT

When I was in eighth grade at Smith Middle School in Chapel Hill, I realized I wasn’t a girl or a boy. I then started to identify as gender non-binary. What helped me find a definition for myself, was the Internet, and iNSIDEoUT.

A year before my coming out, my friend and I started Smith’s first Gay Straight Alliance. iNSIDEoUT greatly supported us and helped us start it.

iNSIDEoUT is a youth run organization in the Triangle that creates a safe space for LGBTQ teens and younger kids. We also try to connect QSAs (Queer-Straight Alliances) and GSAs in high schools and middle school across the Triangle.

I’m in ninth grade at Chapel Hill High School, and I’m on the youth board of iNSIDEoUT. I’m part of iNSIDEoUT because I have been very lucky with the community I’ve grown up in, and it’s made my coming out much easier than other teens’.

I want a space for teens and younger kids to feel safe to be themselves. North Carolina’s legislature and their current laws make safe places even more needed than they were last year.

The iNSIDEoUT youth board is looking for more members. We also have some exciting events coming up!

On Friday, June 3, we will be having our Queer Prom. Rising eighth graders to graduating high school seniors are invited!

On Sunday, June 5, iNSIDEoUT will be holding a banquet and gaiety at the LGBTQ Center of Durham! It will be a public celebration of our 10th year as an organization, where we will give out awards to powerful youth activists and raise funds to support our work! We also will be releasing the Decade Book, about 10 years of queer youth organizing in the Triangle.

People can learn about these events and sign up for our newsletter on our website at insideout180.org.

Jasper Cobb


Methodist rejection

I was somewhat disillusioned when I saw the news article “Methodists avoid schism over LGBTQ stance – for now” (N&O, May 22) and discovered the powers that be in the Methodist hierarchy had determined at this year's General Conference that the church would not allow the LGBTQ community to be ordained, nor may Methodist bishops or pastors join same-sex couples in matrimony (a constitutional right extended recently by the United States Supreme Court).

Perhaps the Methodist hierarchy is taking cues from our legislature. As a member at Duke Memorial United Methodist Church, I was disappointed a few months back when our church voted to not become a reconciling church (this from a church that is “sharing Christ from the heart of Durham”).

While our church's welcoming statement, indeed, extends an open invitation to the LGBTQ community, the undertones of rejection to become a reconciling church intimates that is nothing more than lip service.

I would hope that some of those hard hearts sitting in our pews on Sunday morning remember that Christ ministered to "all, " not just those who look like us, dress like us and live like us.

Raymond James


The real priority

Durham’s new government buildings have a total cost of around $1 billion, yet very little new tax revenue is heading for K-12, after school programs, addiction treatment, or improving neighborhoods in low-income areas.

We have a shortage of police and a high rate of violent crime, but the problem is the city leaders want to improve THEIR condition before the condition of the poor. All the fancy downtown buildings do nothing but aggrandize our ineffective government.

The answer is not “less police,” nor is it to allow the existing headquarters to fall into complete ruin. The proposed station would be the least expensive of the new government buildings, but given the current building’s state of disrepair it is probably the most necessary. That said, I hear the protesters’ concerns and wish they had spoken up earlier.

The real problem is that city officials are not prioritizing the undeserved districts in Durham.

I hear from locals about kids who only have one meal per day, and local charities are struggling to meet the gap. A new library will not solve the literacy problem, nor will the new police station dissuade teens from joining gangs, but a focus on better schools, neighborhood development, public transportation, addiction treatment, and vocational training and opportunities from the city would be a great start.

Hamilton Harper

via www.thedurhamnews.com

Helping women start over

I’d like to introduce community members to the first ever “Helping Women Start Over Empowerment Expo and Community Resource Fair” on Saturday, June 4, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Woods Charter School at 160 Woodland Grove Lane in Chapel Hill. The event is free and open to the public.

This premiere event focuses on assisting women and families, especially those who are recently divorced, with finding service providers and community resources that will guide them through the process of rebuilding their lives.

Why is this forum so important for community members? Because it will offer information about health care, counseling, crisis intervention, financial counseling, career development, family support services, income opportunities, housing and legal services.

Community partners include Domicile Realty, Reliv, The Walking Company, Flawless Day Spa and Wellness Center, Papparazzi Accessories, Child Care Locator Services, Laundry Care, The Produce Box, Compass Center for Women and Families, Triangle Bike Works, NC Housing Finance Agency, Legal Aid NC, Dress for Success Triangle and Family Victims Rape Crisis Center.

I encourage women and their families to discover what their community has to offer them with needed support and resources. It’s all about finding a path to successfully relaunching their lives.

Patty Fitzhugh

CEO and founder

The Mid-Life Resource Center

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