On June 17, 2015, an armed terrorist murdered nine black worshipers at a church in Charleston, S.C. His stated aim was to incite a race war. While the legislatures in South Carolina and other states took immediate actions to relieve racial tensions, the good ole boys in the N.C. GOP decided to take a different tack. They instead passed a bizarre law protecting monuments erected to white supremacy and segregation.
Now here we are three years later, and as a result of that bizarre law UNC-Chapel Hill is proposing to erect a new building to honor people who waged war against the United States of America. Taxpayer money to honor outright treason. In 2019. You can’t make this stuff up. Sadly. But it’s important to remember how we got here.
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The temporal juxtaposition of the Bladen-Robeson counties absentee ballot allegations with the voter ID requirements being considered by the N.C. General Assembly could lead one to conclude that we are now in an interesting escalation of the voter fraud rationale for voter suppression. Bladen County has had several allegations of absentee ballot voter fraud by both parties.
However, the current allegations seem to focus on Republican-related groups. Does this mean we now have a political party that has shown clear focus on increasing voter suppression, which will use its own voter fraud to mandate even more voter suppression? It appears to me that laws on the books make the absentee ballot irregularities a crime. Maybe we should prosecute the criminals rather than passing more laws suppressing the right to vote.
The December 2018 issue of Smithsonian magazine included an article entitled “The Costs of the Confederacy.” Throughout the South, states are spending about $40 million a year to maintain Confederate statues, parks and museums.
A.H. Stephens, vice president of the Confederacy, in a speech in Savannah in 1861, stated clearly that the foundation of the Confederacy “rests upon the great truth, that the Negro is not equal to the white man.” It was then, and is now, an abhorrent political ideology completely inconsistent with the U.S. Constitution.
In this context the leaders of the UNC are proposing to spend $5.3 million to build another shrine, plus spend $800,000 annually for security, to this same bankrupt political ideology. Astounding. Once again North Carolina leadership careens off in a direction not supported by the majority of N.C. citizens.
As a small child in the Midwest, I learned to believe that to be a good person, the Ten Commandments were to be followed in all aspects of daily living. All my life I have believed this to be true, and I attempt to live my life accordingly.
When I read the letter related to “Broken Commandments” (Dec. 4), with the author asking the readers: “Who hasn’t broken these commandments?” I began to do more than simply shake my head in disbelief. Is it now OK to break the Ten Commandments? No matter who we are, certain behaviors are just not acceptable.
In recent years, much ado has been made about voter fraud. But numerous studies have shown it to be minimal. It is important to label the current focus on Bladen and Robeson counties not as voter fraud, but rather as election fraud, or more specifically, campaign worker fraud. It appears that the voters (and the democratic process) may be the victims of this problem, not the cause.
Medicare for All
Selling association health plans (AHPs) is the insurance equivalent of selling cars flooded in Hurricane Florence — good price, but they may not work when you need them (“Insurance effort by NC’s restaurants stalls,” Dec. 4).
Most AHPs allow exclusion or higher premiums and limited coverage for pre-existing conditions. Rather than waste energy trying to buy a defective product, insist that Congress pass single-payer Medicare for All, which can solve all of our health insurance problems and save money at the same time.
George Bohmfalk, MD
As more states see the advantages of Medicaid expansion, the number of holdout states is slowly declining; eventually there could be a lone holdout state. Capturing that honor for North Carolina is within our grasp, given our current governance.